Zafirlukast Side Effects
Some side effects of zafirlukast may not be reported. Always consult your doctor or healthcare specialist for medical advice. You may also report side effects to the FDA.
For the Consumer
Applies to zafirlukast: oral tablet
Along with its needed effects, zafirlukast may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking zafirlukast:Less common
- Cough or hoarseness
- fever or chills
- lower back or side pain
- painful or difficult urination
- Abdominal or stomach pain
- clay-colored stools
- dark urine
- loss of appetite
- unpleasant breath odor
- unusual tiredness or weakness
- vomiting of blood
- yellow eyes or skin
- Attack, assault, or force
- attempts at killing oneself
- dry mouth
- fear or nervousness
- feeling sad or empty
- fever with or without chills
- general feeling of tiredness or weakness
- irregular heartbeats
- lack of appetite
- large, hive-like swelling on the face, eyelids, lips, tongue, throat, hands, legs, feet, or sex organs
- loss of interest or pleasure
- seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not there
- shakiness in the legs, arms, hands, or feet
- shortness of breath
- sore throat
- sores, ulcers, or white spots on the lips or in the mouth
- trembling or shaking of the hands or feet
- trouble with concentrating
- trouble with sleeping
- unable to sleep
- unusual bleeding or bruising
Some side effects of zafirlukast may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:Less common
- Acid or sour stomach
- back pain
- difficulty with moving
- joint pain
- lack or loss of strength
- muscle aching or cramping
- muscle pains or stiffness
- stomach discomfort or upset
- swollen joints
- Hives or welts
- redness of the skin
For Healthcare Professionals
Applies to zafirlukast: oral tablet
Nervous system side effects have included headache, asthenia, somnolence, dizziness, fever, insomnia, and pain.
A 47-year-old man with persistent asthma developed sinus congestion, cough, malaise, arthralgia, a progressive rash over his trunk and extremities, and fever within one month of reinitiating zafirlukast therapy. Prior to the development of these symptoms, the patient had been receiving inhaled steroids in combination with zafirlukast therapy. A skin eruption was observed on his face, arms, and trunk. A chest film showed basilar reticulonodular infiltrates, and laboratory findings revealed a positive titer for rheumatoid factor, a blood eosinophil count of 4,350 and an elevated total IgE level (851 intl units/L). The patient's prior medications were discontinued, and he was treated with intravenous hydrocortisone, acyclovir, ceftriaxone, and erythromycin. The patient demonstrated rapid improvement of all signs and symptoms following initiation of hydrocortisone. A causal relationship between zafirlukast therapy and the development of systemic vasculitis was suspected.
Following nearly two months of zafirlukast therapy, a 53-year-old female with a history of asthma and chronic sinusitis developed arthralgias involving her knees, wrists, shoulder and joints. She further developed amaurosis fugax and a hemorrhagic, maculopapular eruption on her elbows and fingers. Her chest film showed multiple pulmonary nodes, and a bronchoscopic lung biopsy revealed eosinophilic infiltrates and granulomas. The patient was initiated on high-dose steroid therapy after which all signs and symptoms promptly resolved. It was believed that this case report represented zafirlukast-induced Churg-Strauss syndrome independent of steroid therapy.
Immunologic side effects have included Churg-Strauss syndrome, also known as allergic granulomatosis, and drug-induced lupus. In addition, increased incidence of infection in patients over the age of 55 has been noted in clinical trials of patients receiving zafirlukast.
Gastrointestinal side effects have included dry mouth, nausea, diarrhea, abdominal pain, vomiting and dyspepsia.
Musculoskeletal side effects have included arthralgia, myalgia and back pain.
In clinical trials, SGPT elevations were comparable between treatment and placebo groups. However, one case of hepatitis and hyperbilirubinemia was observed in a patient receiving zafirlukast 40 mg per day for 100 days.
Hepatic side effects have included elevations of hepatic transaminase levels.
General side effects have included malaise.
Dermatologic side effects have included pruritus.
Psychiatric side effects have included insomnia and depression.
More zafirlukast resources
- zafirlukast MedFacts Consumer Leaflet (Wolters Kluwer)
- zafirlukast Concise Consumer Information (Cerner Multum)
- zafirlukast Advanced Consumer (Micromedex) - Includes Dosage Information
- Zafirlukast Prescribing Information (FDA)
- Zafirlukast Professional Patient Advice (Wolters Kluwer)
- Zafirlukast Monograph (AHFS DI)
- Accolate Prescribing Information (FDA)
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