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All about: Zafirlukast

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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 of age and older. It should not be used to treat acute asthma attacks. The medicine may 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

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

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 liver problems

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

  • Oral blood thinners (eg, warfarin) because the risk of their side effects, including increased risk of bleeding, may be increased by Zafirlukast . If you are taking an oral anticoagulant with Zafirlukast , your doctor should monitor your prothrombin time and adjust your dose accordingly
  • Terfenadine because the risk of its actions and side effects may be increased when taken with Zafirlukast
  • Theophyllines (eg, aminophylline) because their effectiveness may be decreased or the risk of their side effects could 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.

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • If your doctor tells you that you have had liver damage due to use of Zafirlukast , never take Zafirlukast again.
  • Lab tests, including liver function tests, 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.
  • Zafirlukast should not be used in CHILDREN younger than 5 years old; safety and effectiveness in these children have not been confirmed. Zafirlukast should be used with extreme caution in CHILDREN between 5 and 6 years old.
  • 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; nausea.

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

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); dark urine; fever; flu-like symptoms; itching; joint or muscle aches and pains; loss of appetite; persistent nausea or stomach pain; tiredness; yellowing of the eyes or skin.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions or need medical advice about side effects, contact your doctor or health care provider. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 (1-800-332-1088) or at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center (http://www.aapcc.org/findyour.htm), or emergency room immediately.

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.

This information is a summary only. It does not contain all information about Zafirlukast . If you have questions about the medicine you are taking or would like more information, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.

Issue Date: September 5, 2007
Database Edition 07.3.1.003
Copyright © 2007 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

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