Generic name: ZafirlukastBrand names: Accolate
Accolate helps prevent asthma attacks. It is prescribed for long-term treatment.
Accolate will not stop an asthma attack once it starts. You will still need to use an airway-opening medication when an attack occurs.
Accolate should be taken twice every day, whether or not you have had any recent asthma attacks. Do not take the medication with food. Allow at least 1 hour to pass before eating, or wait for 2 hours after a meal. You can continue to take Accolate while using another medication to stop an attack.
Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, inform your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking Accolate.
If you have had an allergic reaction to Accolate or to any of its ingredients, avoid Accolate.
While taking Accolate, you should not stop—or even cut down on—any other asthma medication you are using unless your doctor recommends it. Remember that Accolate is not an airway-opening medication. You will still need an inhaler to stop an attack.
If you have been taking an oral steroid drug and your doctor does decide to cut back the dosage, there is a remote chance that complications will follow. Inform your doctor of any new symptoms.
Also call your doctor if you develop any of the following: pain in the upper right abdomen, nausea, fatigue, lethargy, loss of appetite, itching, flu-like symptoms, or jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes). These are signs of a liver problem—a rare side effect of Accolate that tends to develop more often in women. If tests show the problem to be serious, you'll have to stop using the drug. The symptoms will disappear once you stop.
A full stomach can reduce Accolate's effectiveness. Do not take with meals.
If Accolate is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Accolate with the following:AspirinAstemizoleBlood-thinning drugsCarbamazepineCyclosporineErythromycinHeart and blood pressure medications called calcium channel blockersPhenytoinTerfenadineTheophyllineTolbutamide
Accolate should be taken during pregnancy only if clearly needed. If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, inform your doctor immediately.
Accolate does find its way into breast milk and should not be taken by nursing mothers.
The usual dose for adults and children 12 years of age and over is 20 milligrams twice a day.
The usual dose for children 5 to 11 years of age is 10 milligrams twice a day. Safety and effectiveness in children under 5 years of age have not been established.
Any medication taken in excess can have serious consequences. If you suspect an overdose, seek medical attention immediately.