Psychoactive Effects of Montelukast Sodium

The doctor gave me a new allergy med yesterday, montelukast sodium. It comes with a long list of warnings, but I've been hit pretty bad this season, and most of the warnings seem targeted at asthma patients -- along the lines of "this will not stop an asthma attack once its started" and "use only as directed if you want to keep breathing."

But it does also have warnings about behavior and mood-related changes. So apparently it can be psychoactive, at least in some people, and not just to the degree of inducing drowsiness.

I took a dose last night before bed, and woke up feeling somewhat odd. I guess I'm one of those people. In the psychonautic tradition I thought it best to write down some notes and share the experience.

Context: I went out to a warehouse dance party (a charity benefit) last night and didn't get home until around 3am. So my normal sleep pattern was already disturbed. (Those events being what they are, I should mention that I did not take anything interesting at the party; I had a beer and few sips of rum, and just to be social one puff of a bowl of cannabis that someone offered. By the time I left I was sober and straight as a judge.)

I took one 10mg pill of montelukast sodium before going to bed.

I woke up an hour or so later with some stomach cramping. That may or may not have been related to the montelukast; it does happen to me sometimes. Spent some time on the toilet, went back to sleep.

Woke up this morning, around 10:30 feeling oddly disassociated. Looked at the wall of my bedroom, the bookshelves and guitar hanging on the wall as usual, with a feeling of nonrecognition. But there was no sense of emotional distress about it. Indeed feeling quite unemotional and detached. Pinched myself very hard and could feel the sensation but there was no perception of discomfort.

Tried to snooze for a bit to see if it would pass, but seem about the same 45 minutes later.

There seems to be a general flattening of emotional response. While I don't find any desire for self-harm, if I consider, for example, sticking myself with a lancet, I don't find the usual bit of frission that such an idea would engender. (Reason still strongly informs me that it would be non-optimal to put the matter to a physical test. This is strictly Gedankenexperiment territory.) Petting the dog is a physical motion with no emotional content.

I am aware that I should, socially, call my mother for Mother's Day, but unless this passes soon I'm going to have to fake some of the usual emotional connection. And reading an e-mail about a situation I was quite frustrated about yesterday I find myself unperturbed.

Checking the mirror, I observe that my pupils are decidedly constricted.

There is a somatic feeling that I would describe as a fullness and numbness that is somewhat similar to when I took dextromethorphan for a bad cough last year. DMX caused me to feel that my head wasn't on straight -- I mean that literally, that my sense of my body in space was disturbed. I'm getting a similar but less intense feeling now. When I close my eyes I have difficulty locating my body in space. While I was lying in bed I actually had difficulty with the old "close your eyes and touch the end of your nose" bit, though it's better now that I've gotten up and moved around

None of this is very serious. (I think, though if the situation is altering my see the difficulty here.) And as always, it is possible that I've placebo'ed my way into some sort of mental state. But since the patient information doesn't mention disassociation as a potential side effect, it would be an odd thing for me to fool myself into.

Oh, and I can breathe a bit better today, so the stuff is doing its assigned task.


a few hours later...

Feeling more like myself this evening though still a little rubber-headed (if that metaphor makes sense). It strikes me that for someone who didn't have experience with various altered states of consciousness, that could have been a dangerous experience; surprised there was not more explicit warning about it. Maybe my experience is highly unusual; or maybe we lack a good way to talk about different states of consciousness. Anyway, YMMV but I don't think I'm going to take another one tonight unless the pollen is at near-fatal levels.

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