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Is montelukast monotherapy effective for the management of allergic rhinitis in children?
  1. Chavini Ranasinghe,
  2. Jai Prashar
  1. Division of Medicine, University College London Medical School, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Chavini Ranasinghe, University College London Medical School, London WC1E 6DE, UK; chavini.ranasinghe{at}

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A 4-year-old boy presents at the allergy clinic with severe refractory allergic rhinitis. Antihistamine therapy has not satisfactorily improved his symptoms, and he has not tolerated a trial of intranasal corticosteroids. You wonder if montelukast monotherapy might be effective in managing his symptoms.

Structured clinical question

In a child with allergic rhinitis [patient] is montelukast monotherapy [intervention], compared with other treatments or placebo [comparison], effective in reducing symptoms [outcome]?


MEDLINE and Embase up to April 2021 were searched using the following search terms:

(allergic rhinitis) AND (montelukast) AND (paediatric OR child* [child, children]). Reference lists were subsequently searched to identify additional studies.

A total of 419 abstracts with keywords as described in the search criteria were identified. Three literature reviews were identified,1–3 with none considering all the available evidence to April 2021. Studies that did not include a montelukast monotherapy group were excluded. Seven studies were considered as being relevant to the clinical question. These studies are summarised in table 1.

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Table 1

Summary of included studies


Allergic rhinitis (AR) is a chronic condition that is reported to affect one in eight children worldwide.4 In AR, inhaled allergens (such as pollen, pet dander or dust mites) irritate the …

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  • Contributors CR and JP contributed equally to this work. Both CR and JP jointly conceived the idea, undertook the literature search, performed critical analysis and wrote the initial manuscript. Both authors approved the final manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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