Accolate® is a prescription drug used to treat asthma in adults and children over the age of five. It is the brand name of the drug zafirlukast and is sold in the United States by the pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca.
Accolate® is prescribed for the prevention of asthma symptoms and to decrease the number and frequency asthma attacks. It works by blocking leuoktrienes, natural substances that can cause or worsen asthma. It eases breathing by reducing inflammation of the airways. Using this drug regularly can improve an asthma sufferer's ability to exercise and may reduce the need for a rescue inhaler.
Accolate® is taken as a pill, generally, twice daily. The dosage prescribed is based on the age of the patient and his or her medical condition. The drug must be taken regularly, even if the symptoms of asthma are not present.
It is best to take Accolate® on an empty stomach either an hour before or two hours after a meal. Accolate® does not work immediately and is not used as treatment for sudden asthma attacks. For sudden attacks, it is best to use a quick-relief inhaler.
There are several off-label uses for Accolate®. It is sometimes prescribed the treat hay fever or to prevent breathing problems when exercising. Accolate® should only be taken for these purposes by doctor recommendation.
Several possible side effects are associated with Accolate®. Some common side effects include headache, sore throat, diarrhea, and nausea. Trouble sleeping and malaise have also been reported. An allergic reaction to Accolate® can cause a rash, itching and swelling, dizziness and trouble breathing. Any signs of an allergic reaction should be reported to a doctor as soon as possible.
In some very rare cases, Accolate® can cause severe liver damage. It is important to seek medical attention if any severe side effects occur. These can include persistent nausea and vomiting, yellowing of the skin or eyes and severe abdomonal pain. Dark urine, mental changes, tingling of hands and feet, coughing up blood and signs of infection are other possible severe side effects.
Like all drugs, Accolate® may not mix well with other medications, particularly aspirin or drugs related to liver enzymes. This drug is not recommended for women who are pregnant or may become pregnant or who are breastfeeding. All these things should be discussed with a doctor when deciding whether or not to take this drug.