Zafirlukast | Side Effects, Dosage, Uses & More
Advertisement

Generic Name:

zafirlukast, Oral tablet

All Brands

  • Accolate
SECTION 1 of 5

Highlights for zafirlukast

Oral tablet
1

Zafirlukast is used for prevention of asthma attacks.

2

Zafirlukast shouldn’t be used for treatment of asthma attacks.

3

The more common side effects of this drug include headache, infection, nausea, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.

4

This drug may cause liver damage. Your doctor will check your liver function while you are taking this drug.

5

This drug should be taken at least 1 hour before meals or 2 hours after meals.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Liver injury

This drug may cause liver injury. In rare cases, the injury it causes can be life-threatening. If liver injury occurs, you can usually reverse it after you stop using this drug. Symptoms of liver injury may include

  • pain in the upper right area of your abdomen
  • nausea
  • tiredness
  • itching
  • flu-like symptoms
  • loss of appetite

Let your doctor know if you experience these symptoms.

Not for asthma attacks

This drug shouldn’t be used to treat an asthma attack. If you have an asthma attack, use your rescue inhaler as prescribed by your doctor.

Drug features

This drug is a prescription drug. It’s available as an oral tablet.

It’s also available as a generic drug. Generic drugs usually cost less. In some cases, they may not be available in every strength or form as the brand-name version. Talk to your doctor to see if the generic version will work for you.

Why it's used

This drug is used to prevent symptoms of asthma. 

How it works

This drug belongs to a class of drugs called leukotriene receptor antagonists, or leukotriene inhibitors.

More Details

How it works

This drug belongs to a class of drugs called leukotriene receptor antagonists, or leukotriene inhibitors. A class of drugs is a group of medications that work in a similar way. These drugs are often used to treat similar conditions. Leukotriene inhibitors work by helping to decrease the inflammation and tightening in your lungs that occur with asthma.

Advertisement
SECTION 2 of 5

zafirlukast Side Effects

Oral tablet

More Common Side Effects

Some of the more common side effects that can occur with use of zafirlukast include:

  • headache

  • infection

  • nausea

  • diarrhea

  • abdominal pain

If these effects are mild, they may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. If they’re more severe or don’t go away, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Serious Side Effects

Call your doctor right away if you have serious side effects. Call 9-1-1 if your symptoms feel life-threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency. Serious side effects and their symptoms can include the following:

  • Liver injury. Symptoms can include:

    • pain in the upper right area of your abdomen
    • nausea
    • tiredness
    • itching
    • flu-like symptoms
    • loss of appetite
    • yellowing of your skin and the whites of your eyes
  • Inflammation of your blood vessels. Symptoms can include:

    • swelling of your face, mouth, tongue, and throat
    • trouble breathing or swallowing
    • pain, burning, numbness, or tingling in your hands or feet
  • Changes in mood or behavior. Symptoms can include:

    • problems sleeping
    • feeling very sad
  • Allergic reactions. Symptoms can include:

    • itching
    • breathing problems
    • skin rash
    • skin blisters
    • skin redness
    • swelling
Pharmacist's Advice
Healthline Pharmacist Editorial Team

Mental health problems and sleep disorders have been reported in people taking this drug. Let your doctor know if you notice changes in your behavior or sleep while you take this drug.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible side effects. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always discuss possible side effects with a healthcare provider who knows your medical history.
SECTION 3 of 5

zafirlukast May Interact with Other Medications

Oral tablet

Zafirlukast can interact with other medications, vitamins, or herbs you may be taking. An interaction is when a substance changes the way a drug works. This can be harmful or prevent the drug from working well.

To help avoid interactions, your doctor should manage all of your medications carefully. Be sure to tell your doctor about all medications, vitamins, or herbs you’re taking. To find out how this drug might interact with something else you’re taking, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Medications that might interact with this drug

Antifungal drugs

If you take certain antifungal drugs and also take zafirlukast, a toxic amount of zafirlukast could build up in your body. Examples of these drugs include:

  • fluconazole
  • voriconazole
  • ketoconazole

Blood pressure drugs

If you take certain blood pressure drugs, a toxic amount of zafirlukast could build up in your body. Examples of these drugs include:

  • losartan
  • irbesartan

Blood thinners

If you take the blood thinner warfarin, a toxic amount of warfarin may build up in your body if you also take zafirlukast. This could lead to excessive bleeding. Your doctor may need to adjust the dose of either or both of these drugs if you take them together.

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection drugs

If you take certain HIV drugs and also take zafirlukast, a toxic amount of zafirlukast could build up in your body. Examples of these drugs include: 

  • efavirenz
  • etravirine

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs interact differently in each person, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible interactions. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your healthcare provider about possible interactions with all prescription drugs, vitamins, herbs and supplements, and over-the-counter drugs that you are taking.
Drug warnings
liver disease
People with liver disease

This drug can cause liver injury or make existing liver disease worse. Talk to your doctor before taking this drug if you have liver disease.

Pregnant women
Pregnant women

This drug is a category B pregnancy drug. That means two things:

  1. Research in animals hasn’t shown a risk to the fetus when the mother takes the drug.
  2. There aren’t enough studies done in humans to show if the drug poses a risk to the fetus.

Talk to your doctor if you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant. Animal studies don’t always predict the way humans would respond. Therefore, this drug should only be used in pregnancy if clearly needed.

breast-feeding
Women who are breast-feeding

This drug passes into breast milk and may cause side effects in a child who is breast-fed.

You shouldn’t breast-feed while taking this drug.

call the doctor
When to call the doctor

Call your doctor about rescue inhaler overuse. If you’re taking this drug> and notice you need more puffs of your rescue inhaler than usual, you should let your doctor know. Also call your doctor if you’re using more puffs of your rescue inhaler than what your doctor prescribed for a 24-hour period.

allergies
Allergies

This drug can cause a severe allergic reaction. Symptoms can include: 

  • itching
  • breathing problems
  • skin rash
  • skin blisters
  • skin redness
  • swelling 

If you have an allergic reaction, call your doctor or local poison control center right away. If your symptoms are severe, call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency room.

Don’t take this drug again if you’ve ever had an allergic reaction to it. Taking it again could be fatal (cause death).

SECTION 4 of 5

How to Take zafirlukast (Dosage)

Oral tablet

All possible dosages and drug forms may not be included here. Your dosage, drug form, and how often you take the drug will depend on: 

  • your age
  • the condition being treated
  • how severe your condition is
  • other medical conditions you have
  • how you react to the first dose

What are you taking this medication for?

Asthma

Brand: Accolate

Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 10 mg, 20 mg

Generic: zafirlukast

Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 10 mg, 20 mg
Adult dosage (ages 18 years and older)

One 20-mg tablet, taken twice per day (every 12 hours).

Child dosage (ages 12–17 years)

One 20-mg tablet, taken twice per day (every 12 hours).

Child dosage (ages 5–11 years)

One 10-mg tablet, taken twice per day (every 12 hours).

Child dosage (ages 0–4 years)

This drug hasn’t been approved for use in children younger than 4 years.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this list includes all possible dosages. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always to speak with your doctor or pharmacist about dosages that are right for you.
Pharmacist's Advice
Healthline Pharmacist Editorial Team

This drug comes with serious risks if you don’t take it as prescribed.

If you stop taking the drug or don’t take it at all

Your asthma may be uncontrolled and may worsen. You may have more asthma attacks. You also may have to use your rescue inhaler more.

If you miss doses or don’t take the drug on schedule

Your medication may not work as well or may stop working completely if you don’t take it the way your doctor prescribed. For this drug to work well, a certain amount needs to be in your body at all times.

If you take too much

You could have dangerous levels of the drug in your body if you take too much. If you think you’ve taken too much of this drug, call your doctor or local poison control center. If your symptoms are severe, call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency room right away.

What to do if you miss a dose

If you forget a dose, take it as soon as you remember. But if you remember just a few hours before your next scheduled dose, take only one dose. Never try to catch up by taking two doses at once. This could result in dangerous side effects.

How to tell if the drug is working

You may have fewer asthma attacks. You also may have to use your rescue inhaler less frequently.

This drug is used for long-term treatment.

Important considerations for taking this drug

Don’t take this drug with food

The amount of this drug in your body may be reduced if you take it at the same time you eat food. You should take it at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after meals.

Store this drug carefully

  • Keep it away from high temperatures.
  • Store this drug at room temperature between 68°F and 77°F (20°C and 25°C).
  • Store this drug in the original airtight container it was dispensed in.
  • Don’t store this medication in moist or damp areas, such as bathrooms.

A prescription for this medication is refillable

You should not need a new prescription for this medication to be refilled. Your doctor will write the number of refills authorized on your prescription.

Travel

When traveling with your medication:

  • Always carry your medication with you. When flying, never put it into a checked bag. Keep it in your carry-on bag.
  • Don’t worry about airport x-ray machines. They can’t hurt your medication.
  • You may need to show airport staff the pharmacy label for your medication. Always carry the original prescription-labeled box with you.
  • Don’t put this medication in your car’s glove compartment or leave it in the car. Be sure to avoid doing this when the weather is very hot or very cold.

Clinical monitoring

Your doctor may do tests. While you’re taking this drug, your doctor will check your liver function with a blood test.

Are there any alternatives?

There are other drugs available to treat your condition. Some may be better for you than others. Talk to your doctor about other drug options that may work for you.

What does the pill look like?

Showing - out of 9
SECTION 5 of 5

How Much Does zafirlukast Cost?

Oral tablet

We've partnered with GoodRx so you can compare prices, find discounts and save up to 80% on your next prescription. Check out the low coupon prices below — no insurance required.

Compare prices and save up to 80% on your next refill!

Lowest price for zafirlukast

Walmart $31.58
Walgreens $55.10
Duane Reade $55.10
These prices represent the lowest priced national pharmacies for zafirlukast on GoodRx. They may be lower than your insurance.

Enter your zip code to find the best deal near you.

These prices represent the lowest priced national pharmacies for zafirlukast on GoodRx. They may be lower than your insurance.

Content developed in collaboration with University of Illinois-Chicago, Drug Information Group

Medically reviewed by Creighton University, Center for Drug Information and Evidence-Based Practice on October 13, 2015

Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement