1 What is Accolate?

Brand: Accolate

Generic: Zafirlukast

Accolate is an asthma medication which is used in patients who are not showing progress with simple bronchodilators.

It is used for the treatment of asthma, but it does not benefit in an acute attack. It is a prescription drug available in the form of a tablet.

2 What to Know Before Using

If you are about to start Accolate, speak with your doctor about what you need to know.

Any therapy has a prerequisite that the patient is informed about it and the patient has discussed all the doubts or problems with the doctor. An informed consent to any treatment method or drug initiation is taken from the patient after a detailed session of doctor-patient interaction.

Detailed history of a patient is extremely important prior to any medical therapy and in this case, it is more likely that a drug is started after it.

Allergies or any history of allergy to any drug, food, preservatives, dyes or animal products, history of drug usage, past medical or surgical procedure should also be kept in the record to predict any drug interaction.

Physical examination should be done before starting this drug so that any physiological or pathological condition with which this drug may interfere may be ruled out.

Assessment of the patient’s age and effects of the drug on that age group is important for patient’s safety. The studies in children and geriatric patients have revealed that it does not have extra effects in these groups in comparison to young adults. However, elderly patients should use it with caution as there are more chances of lower respiratory tract infections in them and it can lead to an exacerbation.

It is safe for use in pregnancy while there is a lack of enough studies to rule out its safety in breastfeeding mothers.

Drug interactions result when there are different drugs used together. It most commonly occurs when a new drug has been started without consultation with the physician. Other drugs may interfere with the working of this drug or its removal from the body.

There are certain medications which are used along with zafirlukast and it is advisable to decrease the dose of either of these to reduce the side effects. These drugs include Warfarin, Terfenadine, Theophylline, and Erythromycin.

The patient should also consult about the effects of alcohol, tobacco, and certain foods on the drug.

Other medical conditions may also interact with the drug and it is important that the doctor is aware of these prior to therapy. Such conditions may result in more harm with the use of this drug than benefit.

These conditions include liver disease, acute asthma attack (as the drug does no good to the condition while the patient’s condition continues to deteriorate) and Churg-Strauss syndrome.

3 Proper Usage

Accolate is a prescription drug which should be taken according to doctor’s prescription. Take this medicine when the stomach is empty (1 hour before a meal or 2 hours after a meal) as the food may hinder its absorption.

Do not miss any dose or take it more often than the prescribed plan. Do not discontinue the drug without talking about it to the prescribing doctor.

It is important that the patient keeps taking medicine at regular intervals, even when asthma seems better, to allow the drug to work properly.

4 Precautions to Take

In using Accolate, you must be careful and take some precautions as advised by your doctor. Precautions are the instructions for the patient to make the drug more effective and to minimize its side effects.

The patient should be made aware of these tips to avoid complications during therapy:

  • Regular visits to the doctor should be made to keep an eye on the progress.
  • Blood tests may be done to check for complications.
  • Do not stop or reduce the medicine even if asthma is better.
  • Stop the drug and consult your doctor if there are any signs of liver failure like a pain in the upper abdomen, pale stools, dark urine, and loss of appetite, nausea, unusual weakness and yellowing of eyes or skin.
  • Consult your doctor if there are any symptoms of Churg-Strauss syndrome like tingling sensation, flu-like symptoms, numbness, rash, and pain or swelling of the sinuses.
  • Behavioral modifications should be informed to the doctor or any psychiatrist.
  • Do not start any other drug, prescription or non-prescription, without consulting your doctor.
  • Keep it away from the reach of children.

5 Potential Side Effects

Every drug in the world is associated with some unwanted effects. Some drugs have minimal side effects while others are dangerous for use due to their extra effects on the body.

Accolate also causes some side effects out of which some may appear and others may not. It is necessary that the patient seeks medical help in case of any effect to avoid severe complications.

The unwanted effects include:

  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Body pain
  • Painful or difficult urination
  • Clay-colored stools
  • Dark urine
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Itching
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Unpleasant breath odor
  • Unusual tiredness
  • Blood in vomiting
  • Yellowing of eyes or skin
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Depression
  • Dry mouth
  • Nervousness
  • Increased breathing rate
  • Irregular heartbeats
  • Irritability
  • Restlessness
  • Sleeplessness
  • Sore throat
  • Trembling of the hands or feet 
  • Trouble while concentrating