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Why is this medication prescribed?

Zafirlukast is used to prevent asthma symptoms. It works by blocking the action of substances that cause inflammation, fluid retention, mucous secretion, and constriction in your lungs.

This medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

How should this medicine be used?

Zafirlukast comes as a tablet to take by mouth. It usually is taken two times a day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take zafirlukast exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.

Zafirlukast controls asthma symptoms but does not cure them. Continue to take zafirlukast even if you feel well. Do not stop taking zafirlukast without talking to your doctor.

What special precautions should I follow?

Before taking zafirlukast,

  • tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to zafirlukast or any other drugs.
  • tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications you are taking, especially anticoagulants ('blood thinners') such as warfarin (Coumadin), aspirin, erythromycin, terfenadine (Seldane), theophylline (Theo-Dur), and vitamins.
  • tell your doctor if you have or have ever had liver disease.
  • tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking zafirlukast, call your doctor.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

Take zafirlukast either 1 hour before or 2 hours after a meal.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Although side effects from zafirlukast are not common, they can occur. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away.

  • headache
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • dizziness
  • muscle or joint pain

If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately.

  • upset stomach
  • pain in the right upper part of your stomach
  • fatigue
  • lack of energy
  • itching
  • yellowing of the skin or eyes
  • loss of appetite
  • flu-like symptoms
  • cold or infection that lasts a long time
  • rash
  • increased difficulty breathing

Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.

In case of emergency/overdose

In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.

What other information should I know?

Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor may order certain lab tests to check your response to zafirlukast.

Call your doctor if your asthma symptoms do not improve or worsen.

Zafirlukast will not stop an acute attack that has already started. Continue to use the medication prescribed for your acute attacks.

Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.

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Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT