Zafirlukast

Pronunciation

Generic Name: zafirlukast (ZA-fir-LOO-kast)
Brand Name: Accolate

Zafirlukast is used for:

Prevention and long-term treatment of asthma in patients 5 years old and older. It should not be used to treat acute asthma attacks. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Zafirlukast is a leukotriene receptor antagonist. It works by blocking the action of certain chemicals that are responsible for some forms of asthma.

Do NOT use zafirlukast if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in zafirlukast
  • you have liver problems (eg, cirrhosis)

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

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Before using zafirlukast:

Some medical conditions may interact with zafirlukast. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have a history of liver problems
  • if you have a history of mental or mood problems (eg, depression) or suicidal thoughts or actions
  • if you have been taking a steroid (eg, prednisone) and will be stopping it or lowering its dose

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with zafirlukast. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Anticoagulants (eg, warfarin) because the risk of bleeding may be increased by zafirlukast
  • Fluconazole because it may increase the risk of zafirlukast's side effects
  • Erythromycin because it may decrease zafirlukast's effectiveness
  • Certain anticonvulsants (eg, carbamazepine, phenobarbital, phenytoin), certain calcium channel blockers (eg, amlodipine), cisapride, cyclosporine, theophylline, or tolbutamide because the risk of their side effects may be increased by zafirlukast

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if zafirlukast may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use zafirlukast:

Use zafirlukast as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • An extra patient leaflet is available with zafirlukast. Talk to you pharmacist if you have questions about this information.
  • Take zafirlukast by mouth on an empty stomach at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after eating.
  • Taking zafirlukast at the same time each day will help you remember to take it.
  • Take zafirlukast on a regular schedule to get the most benefit from it.
  • Continue to take zafirlukast even if you feel well. Do not miss any doses.
  • If you miss a dose of zafirlukast, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use zafirlukast.

Important safety information:

  • Zafirlukast will not stop an asthma attack once one has started. If you are also using a bronchodilator inhaler, be sure to always carry the bronchodilator inhaler with you to use during asthma attacks.
  • If your symptoms do not get better or if they get worse, check with your doctor.
  • Do not decrease your dose or stop using zafirlukast or other asthma medicines without first checking with your doctor.
  • Zafirlukast may rarely cause severe and sometimes fatal liver problems. Tell your doctor right away if you experience symptoms of liver problems (eg, yellowing of the skin or eyes, dark urine, flu-like symptoms, itching, loss of appetite, persistent nausea or stomach pain, unusual tiredness).
  • If your doctor tells you that you have had liver damage because of use of zafirlukast, do not take zafirlukast again.
  • Some patients taking zafirlukast have developed mental or mood changes. Contact your doctor immediately if you experience symptoms such as agitation, aggression, hostility, anxiety, depression, strange dreams, trouble sleeping, sleepwalking, tremor, hallucinations, restlessness, irritability, or any unusual change in mood or behavior. Contact your doctor immediately if any signs of suicidal thoughts or actions occur.
  • Lab tests, including liver function, may be performed while you use zafirlukast. These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • Use zafirlukast with caution in the ELDERLY; they may be more sensitive to its effects.
  • Zafirlukast should be used with extreme caution in CHILDREN younger than 5 years old; safety and effectiveness in these children have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY AND BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using zafirlukast while you are pregnant. Zafirlukast is found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking zafirlukast.

Possible side effects of zafirlukast:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Diarrhea; headache; mild stomach pain; nausea.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; blisters; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue; unusual hoarseness); burning, numbness, or tingling of the skin, hands, or feet; chest pain; fever, chills, or persistent sore throat; joint or muscle aches and pains; mental or mood changes (eg, agitation, aggression, hostility, anxiety, depression, severe or persistent trouble sleeping, strange dreams, sleepwalking, tremor, hallucinations, restlessness, irritability, any unusual change in behavior); new or worsening shortness of breath or other breathing problems; suicidal thoughts or actions; swelling of the hands, ankles, or feet; symptoms of liver problems (eg, yellowing of the skin or eyes, dark urine, flu-like symptoms, itching, loss of appetite, persistent nausea or stomach pain, unusual tiredness); unusual bruising or bleeding; unusual sinus pain or swelling.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include rash; stomach upset.

Proper storage of zafirlukast:

Store zafirlukast at room temperature, between 68 and 77 degrees F (20 and 25 degrees C). Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep zafirlukast out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about zafirlukast, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Zafirlukast is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take zafirlukast or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about zafirlukast. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to zafirlukast. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using zafirlukast.

Issue Date: July 2, 2014
Database Edition 14.3.1.001
Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

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