Compiled By Rich Murray, MA
Room For All
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Santa Fe, New Mexico 87505 USA
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Posted: 27 October 2010

Formaldehyde from 0.2 mg daily methanol from aspartame in Singulair (montelukast) chewable asthma medicine causes severe allergic dermatitis in boy, SE Jacob et al, Pediatric Dermatology 2009 Nov: Rich Murray 2010.09.27

Monday, September 27, 2010
[At end of each long page, click on Older Posts]


Pediatr Dermatol. 2009 Nov-Dec;26(6):739-43.
Systematized contact dermatitis and montelukast in an atopic boy.
Castanedo-Tardan MP
González ME
Connelly EA
Giordano K
Jacob SE.
Mari Paz Castanedo-Tardan
Mercedes E. González
Elizabeth A. Connelly
Kelly Giordano
Sharon E. Jacob
University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine
Department of Dermatology and Cutaneous Surgery
Miami, Florida, USA.
Article first published online: 2 APR 2009
DOI: 10.1111/j.1525-1470.2008.00855.x
(c) 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


Upon ingestion, the artificial sweetener, aspartame is metabolized to formaldehyde in the body and has been reportedly associated with systemic contact dermatitis in patients exquisitely sensitive to formaldehyde. We present a case of a 9-year-old Caucasian boy with a history of mild atopic dermatitis that experienced severe systematized dermatitis after being started on montelukast chewable tablets containing aspartame. Patch testing revealed multiple chemical sensitivities which included a positive reaction to formaldehyde.

Notably, resolution of his systemic dermatitis only occurred with discontinuation of the montelukast chewables. PMID: 20199453

We present a case of a 9-year-old Caucasian boy with a history of mild atopic dermatitis (stable on topical ta-crolimus ointment 0.03%), mild intermittent asthma and known food and environmental allergies diagnosed by prick testing (egg, soy, and peanut) at 3 years of age, and wheat ...

Montelukast Chewable Tablets
Pronunciation: mon-te-LOO-kast
Generic Name: Montelukast
Brand Name: Singulair 13 pages

Copyright 1996-2009 Cerner Multum, Inc.
Version: 7.03. Revision date: 06/25/2009.

Phenylketonuria [Since phenylalanine is 50% by weight of aspartame, the dose of aspartame is 1.348 mg and 1.684 mg, releasing the very small dose of methanol, 11 %, of 0.148 mg and 0.185 mg, of which about 30% remains in the body as cumulative durable toxic reaction products, concentrated where the tissues have high levels of the ADH enzyme, such as brain, retina, skin, liver, kidney, GI tract, and muscle -- the ADH enzyme turns methanol into formaldehyde, part of which becomes another toxin, formic acid. A 12-oz can of diet drink has 200 mg aspartame, releasing 22 mg methanol into the body, resulting in about 7 mg retained toxic products of formadehyde and formic acid in concentrated locations.]


Hypersensitivity to any component of this product.

Who should not take SINGULAIR?

Do not take SINGULAIR if you are allergic to any of its ingredients.


Use of this medication is not recommended in children less than 15 years old.


What is Singulair?

What is the dose of SINGULAIR?

The dose of SINGULAIR prescribed for your or your child's condition is based on age:

2 to 5 years: one 4-mg chewable tablet
6 to 14 years: one 5-mg chewable tablet.

The mean systemic exposure of the 4-mg chewable tablet in pediatric patients 2 to 5 years of age and the 5-mg chewable tablets in pediatric patients 6 to 14 years of age is similar to the mean systemic exposure of the 10-mg film-coated tablet in adults.

The 5-mg chewable tablet should be used in pediatric patients 6 to 14 years of age and the 4-mg chewable tablet should be used in pediatric patients 2 to 5 years of age.

Montelukast sodium, the active ingredient in SINGULAIR, is a selective and orally active leukotriene receptor antagonist that inhibits the cysteinyl leukotriene CysLT1 receptor.

Each 4-mg and 5-mg chewable SINGULAIR tablet contains 4.2 and 5.2 mg montelukast sodium, respectively, which are equivalent to 4 and 5 mg of montelukast, respectively.

Both chewable tablets contain the following inactive ingredients: mannitol, microcrystalline cellulose, hydroxypropyl cellulose, red ferric oxide, croscarmellose sodium, cherry flavor, aspartame, and magnesium stearate. Asthma

SINGULAIR is indicated for the prophylaxis and chronic treatment of asthma in adults and pediatric patients 12 months of age and older.

Exercise-Induced Bronchoconstriction

SINGULAIR is indicated for prevention of exercise-induced bronchoconstriction (EIB) in patients 15 years of age and older.

Allergic Rhinitis

SINGULAIR is indicated for the relief of symptoms of seasonal allergic rhinitis in patients 2 years of age and older and perennial allergic rhinitis in patients 6 months of age and older.

Four Murray AspartameNM reviews in SE Jacob & SAS techschulte debate with EG Abegaz & RG Bursey of Ajinomoto re migraines from formaldehyde from aspartame, Dermatitis 2009 May: TE Hugli -- folic acid with V-C protects: Rich Murray 2009.08.12
Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Formaldehyde, aspartame, migraines: a possible connection. Abegaz EG, Bursey RG. Dermatitis. 2009 May-Jun;20(3):176-7; author reply 177-9. No abstract available. PMID: 19470307

Eyassu G. Abegaz*
Robert G. Bursey
Ajinomoto Corporate Services LLC, Scientific & Regulatory Affairs, 1120 Connecticut Ave., N.W., Suite 1010, Washington, DC 20036
*Corresponding author.
Tel.: +1 202 457 0284; fax: +1 202 457 0107. (E.G. Abegaz) (R.G. Bursey)

"For example, fruit juices, coffee, and alcoholic beverages produce significantly greater quantities of formaldehyde than aspartame-containing products. [6]"

"[6] Magnuson BA, Burdock GA, Doull J, et al. Aspartame: a safety evaluation based on current use levels, regulations, and toxicological and epidemiological studies. Crit Rev Toxicol 2007;37:629-727"

[Two detailed critiques of industry affiliations and biased science in 99 page review with 415 references by BA Magnuson, GA Burdock and 8 more, Critical Reviews in Toxicology, 2007 Sept.: Mark D Gold 13 page: also Rich Murray 2007.09.15: 2008.03.24
Monday, March 24, 2008

"Nearly every section of the Magnuson (2007) review has research that is misrepresented and/or crucial pieces of information are left out.

In addition to the misrepresentation of the research, readers (including medical professionals) are often not told that this review was funded by the aspartame manufacturer, Ajinomoto, and the reviewers had enormous conflicts of interest."]

Dermatitis. 2008; 19(3): E10-E11.
(c) 2008 American Contact Dermatitis Society
Formaldehyde, Aspartame, and Migraines: A Possible Connection
Sharon E. Jacob; Sarah Stechschulte
Published: 09/17/2008


Aspartame is a widely used artificial sweetener that has been linked to pediatric and adolescent migraines. Upon ingestion, aspartame is broken, converted, and oxidized into formaldehyde in various tissues. We present the first case series of aspartame-associated migraines related to clinically relevant positive reactions to formaldehyde on patch testing.

Case Series

Six patients (ages 16 to 75 years) were referred for evaluation of recalcitrant dermatitis. By history, five of the patients were noted to have developed migraines following aspartame consumption; the sixth reported dermatitis flares associated with diet cola consumption of >2 liters/day.

All six patients had current environmental exposures to formaldehyde or formaldehyde-releasing preservatives in their personal hygiene products and/or regular consumption of "sugar-free food" artificially sweetened with aspartame.

Based on their histories and clinical presentations, these patients were patch-tested with the North American Contact Dermatitis Group 65-allergen Standard Screening Series and selected chemicals from the University of Miami vehicle, fragrance, bakery, and textile trays.

All six patients had positive reactions to formaldehyde, and four had additional positive reactions to formaldehyde-releasing preservatives (FRPs). Expert counseling on allergen avoidance (including avoidance of formaldehyde, FRPs, and aspartame) and alternative product recommendations were provided to the patients.

At their follow-up appointments (between 8 and 12 weeks), all the patients showed clearance of their dermatitis. Four patients (two inadvertently) resumed their consumption of aspartame and subsequently returned for an additional follow-up visit. Three of the first five patients had recurrences of both their migraines and their dermatitis; the sixth patient (who had no migraines) had a positive rechallenge dermatitis. These four patients were again counseled on avoidance regimen.

formaldehyde, aspartame, and migraines, the first case series, Sharon E Jacob-Soo, Sarah A Stechschulte, UCSD, Dermatitis 2008 May: Rich Murray 2008.07.18
Friday, July 18, 2008
Skin & Aging Journal
Skin & Aging - ISSN: 1096-0120 - Volume 13 - Issue 12_2005 - December 2005 - Pages: 22 - 27

Allergen Focus:

Focus on T.R.U.E. Test Allergens #21, 13 and 18: Formaldehyde and Formaldehyde-Releasing Preservatives -- By Sharon E. Jacob, M.D., Tace Steele, B.A., [now MD] and Georgette Rodriguez, M.D., M.P.H.

Formaldehyde from many sources, including aspartame, is major cause of Allergic Contact Dermatitis, SE Jacob, T Steele, G Rodriguez, Skin and Aging 2005 Dec.: Murray 2008.03.27
Thursday, March 27, 2008

Avoiding formaldehyde allergic reactions in children Pediatric Annals. 2007 Jan.; 36(1): 55-6. PMID: 17269284 Sharon E. Jacob, MD, Director, Contact Dermatitis Clinic, Dept. of Dermatology and Cutaneous Surgery, U. of Miami, 1295 NW 14th St., Miami, FL 33125

"For example, diet soda and yogurt containing aspartame (Nutrasweet), release formaldehyde in their natural biological degradation.

One of aspartame's metabolites, aspartic acid methyl ester, is converted to methanol in the body, which is oxidized to formaldehyde in all organs, including the liver and eyes. 22

Patients with a contact dermatitis to formaldehyde have been seen to improve once aspartame is avoided. 22

Notably, the case that Hill and Belsito reported had a 6-month history of eyelid dermatitis that subsided after 1 week of avoiding diet soda. 22"

Avoiding formaldehyde allergic reactions in children, aspartame, vitamins, shampoo, conditioners, hair gel, baby wipes, Sharon E Jacob, MD, Tace Steele, U. Miami, Pediatric Annals 2007 Jan.: eyelid contact dermatitis, AM Hill, DV Belsito, 2003 Nov.: Murray 2008.03.27
Thursday, March 27, 2008

Sharon E. Jacob, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine (Dermatology)
University of California, San Diego
200 W. Arbor Drive, #8420, San Diego, CA 92103-8420
Tel: 858-552-8585 ×3504 Fax: 305-675-8317; Sarah A. Stechschulte, BA
Aspartame in Merck Maxalt-MLT worsens migraine, AstraZeneca Zomig, Eli Lilly Zyprexa, J&J Merck Pepcid AC (Famotidine 10mg) Chewable Tab, Pfizer Cool Mint Listerine Pocketpaks: Murray 2002.07.16

Migraine MLT-Down: an unusual presentation of migraine in patients with aspartame-triggered headaches. Newman LC, Lipton RB Headache 2001 Oct; 41(9): 899-901. [Merck 10-mg Maxalt-MLT, for migraine, has 3.75 mg aspartame, while 12 oz diet soda has 200 mg.]
Headache Institute, St. Lukes-Roosevelt Hospital Center
New York, NY
Department of Neurology
Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY
Innovative Medical Research
Blumenthall & Vance: aspartame chewing gum headaches
Nov 1997: Murray 2002.07.28

Harvey J. Blumenthal, MD, Dwight A Vance, RPh
Chewing Gum Headaches. Headache 1997 Nov; 37(10): 665-6.
Department of Neurology, University of Oklahoma College of Medicine, Tulsa, USA.
Aspartame, a popular dietetic sweetener, may provoke headache in some susceptible individuals. Herein, we describe three cases of young women with migraine who reported their headaches could be provoked by chewing gum sweetened with aspartame. [6-8 mg aspartame per stick chewing gum]

Methanol (11% of aspartame), made by body into formaldehyde in many vulnerable tissues, causes modern diseases of civilization, summary of a century of research, Woodrow C Monte PhD, Medical Hypotheses journal: Rich Murray 2009.11.15
Sunday, November 15, 2009

Woodrow C Monte, PhD, Emiritus Prof. Nutrition gives many PDFs of reseach -- methanol (11% of aspartame) puts formaldehyde into brain and body - multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's, cancers, birth defects, headaches: Rich Murray 2010.05.13
Thursday, May 13, 2010

[Other formaldehyde sources include alcohol drinks and tobacco and wood smoke, while adequate folic acid levels protect most people, but not for brain and retina harm.]

See also:

Sweeteners (aspartame), methanol (becomes formaldehyde), and premature babies in Denmark, TI Halldorsson et al 2010.06.30 AmJClinNutr: Erik Millstone: Betty Martini: Rich Murray 2010.07.08
Thursday, July 8, 2010

589 references -- click on each title for free pdf ofabstracts or full texts of most of the reports.

Article 2

Selection from Article 2, Fitness Life, December 2007.

Here is his very practical advice for diet:

Methanol: Where Is It Found? How Can It Be Avoided?

AVOID the following, ranked in order of greatest danger:

  1. Cigarettes.
  2. Diet foods and drinks with aspartame.
  3. Fruit and vegetable products and their juices in bottles, cans, or pouches.
  4. Jellies, jams, and marmalades not made fresh and kept refrigerated.
  5. Black currant and tomato juice products, fresh or processed.
  6. Tomato sauces, unless first simmered at least 3 hours with an open lid.
  7. Smoked food of any kind, particularly fish and meat.
  8. Sugar-free chewing gum.
  9. Slivovitz: You can consume one alcoholic drink a day on this diet -- no more! [no fruit brandies]
  10. Overly ripe or near rotting fruits or vegetables.


Rich Murray, MA
Boston University Graduate School 1967 psychology
BS MIT 1964, history and physics
1943 Otowi Road
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87505
505-501-2298 New primary archive
Group with 148 members, 1,613 posts in a public archive
Group with 1215 members, 24,105 posts in a public archive

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