Accolate (Zafirlukast)

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Accolate (Zafirlukast) Dosage and Side Effects

ACCOLATE is a leukotriene  inhibitor. Leukotrienes are chemicals your body releases when you breathe in an allergen (such as pollen). These chemicals cause swelling in your lungs and tightening of the muscles around your airways, which can result in asthma symptoms.

Warnings and Precautions

ACCOLATE is not for the treatment of asthma attacks.

ACCOLATE does not act quickly enough to be used as a relief medication. If you get a sudden attack of wheezing and breathlessness between doses of ACCOLATE, you should take one or two puffs from a fast-acting relief medication (e.g., terbutaline, salbutamol) that your doctor has given you.

Remember, if you have an attack that does not get better when you take the relief medication you should see your doctor right away. You may need emergency treatment.

You should tell your doctor as soon as possible if you:

  • are getting more attacks of wheezing, breathlessness or chest tightness,

  • are using an increasing amount of fast-acting relief medication,

  • start to wake up at night with chest tightness, wheezing or shortness of breath.

Before using ACCOLATE, tell your doctor if:

  • you suffer from liver problems;

  • you are taking warfarin (blood thinner);

  • you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant or breastfeeding.

If you go into hospital, let the medical staff know that you are taking ACCOLATE.

Side Effects

Like any medication, ACCOLATE may cause side effects in some people. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following side effects bothers you, continues or gets worse:

The common side effects reported were:

  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, stomach pain

  • Muscle pain

  • Rash

  • Headache

  • Infections (including respiratory infections)

Less common side effects reported were:

  • Feelings of discomfort or of being unwell

  • Swelling

  • Blisters

  • Pain in the joints

  • Itching

  • Sleeping difficulties (insomnia)

Interactions with this medication

BEFORE you use ACCOLATE, make sure your doctor knows about all other medicines you are taking (including non-prescription or over the counter products), especially blood thinners (warfarin), allergy medications, acetylsalicylic acid (Aspirin), antibiotics, antifungals, and theophylline. This list is not complete and ACCOLATE may also interact with other medications.

Proper Use of this medication

Follow your doctor's instructions about when and how to take your tablets. Please READ THE LABEL on the package. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure.

DO NOT stop taking or lower the amount of any other asthma medications you are taking while taking ACCOLATE unless instructed by your doctor.

Usual dose:

For patients 12 years of age and older, the usual treatment with ACCOLATE is 20 mg (one tablet) twice daily (in the morning and evening).

  • Swallow each tablet whole with a full glass of water.

  • Do not take your tablet(s) with a meal (at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after meals).

  • Try to take your medicine at the same times each day.

Using ACCOLATE twice a day, regularly, is very important. Your tablets come in blister cards of 10. All tablets in each card are the same. To help you remember your schedule, blisters are labeled with 2 spots per day, (a.m. and p.m.). You can start ACCOLATE at any time. When starting a card, note the day and time you took the tablet. Take your next tablet approximately 12 hours later, punching out the tablet that corresponds with the time (a.m. or p.m.). As you get to the end of your last card, call your pharmacist for a refill, preferably before using the last four tablets.

REMEMBER: ACCOLATE should be taken regularly. Do not stop taking your tablets even if you are feeling well, unless your doctor tells you.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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