What does zafirlukast do?
ZAFIRLUKAST (Accolate(R)) helps to reduce asthma symptoms (coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, or chest tightness) and control your asthma. It does not provide instant relief and cannot be used to treat a sudden asthma attack. It works only when used on a regular basis to help reduce inflammation and prevent asthma attacks. Zafirlukast is effective in adults and older children. Generic zafirlukast tablets are not yet available.
What should my health care professional know before I use zafirlukast?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
• an acute asthma attack
• are on corticosteroid therapy, like prednisone or inhalers
• liver disease, like hepatitis
• an unusual or allergic reaction to zafirlukast, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
• pregnant or trying to get pregnant
How should I use this medicine?
Take zafirlukast by mouth (i.e., swallowed) on an empty stomach. This means you should take this medicine at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after a meal. Follow the directions on the prescription label. You should take zafirlukast every day, even when you are not having asthma symptoms. Do not take your medicine more often than directed.
Contact your pediatrician or health care professional regarding the use of this medicine in children under the age of 5 years old. Special care may be needed.
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the previous dose. Do not use double or extra doses.
What other medicines can interact with zafirlukast?
• cisapride (Propulsid(R))
• sildenafil (Viagra(R))
• some medicines for lowering cholesterol (examples: lovastatin, simvastatin)
• some medicines for lowering heart rate or blood pressure (examples: diltiazem, felodipine, nifedipine, quinidine, verapamil)
• warfarin (Coumadin(R))
Tell your prescriber or health care professional about all other medicines that you are taking, including non-prescription medicines. Also tell your prescriber or health care professional if you are a frequent user of drinks with caffeine or alcohol, if you smoke, or if you use illegal drugs. These may affect the way your medicine works. Check with your health care professional before stopping or starting any of your medicines.
What side effects may I notice from using zafirlukast?
Side effects that you should report to your prescriber or health care professional as soon as possible:
• wheezing or continued coughing
Rare or uncommon-signs of allergic reactions:
• skin rash and itching (hives)
• swelling of face, lips, or eyelids
• difficulty breathing
Rare- signs of liver problems:
• brown or dark urine
• loss of appetite
• nausea and vomiting
• severe itching
• yellowing of the eyes or skin
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your prescriber or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):
• cough, sore throat
• indigestion or mild stomach ache
• runny or stuffy nose