Accolate® (zafirlukast)

Reviewed by: HU Medical Review Board | Last reviewed: May 2022

Accolate® (zafirlukast) is a synthetic, selective peptide leukotriene antagonist (LTRA). It is indicated to prevent asthma attacks by blocking the action of certain natural substances that cause swelling and tightening in the airways.1-3 

Accolate comes in tablet form. It is part of a preventive and chronic treatment regimen for bronchial asthma. It is not indicated for the relief of an acute asthma attack.

Zafirlukast is distributed by AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals in the US.1,2

How does Accolate (zafirlukast) work?

Accolate is a preventive drug. It is not a rescue medication and does not provide immediate relief of acute symptoms. Your doctor may also prescribe short-acting bronchodilators, like albuterol, for emergency relief of an acute asthma attack.1,2

Accolate can help reduce airway inflammation.1-3 It helps to reduce the inflammatory process in the airways. Accolate helps to prevent asthma symptoms from developing. These include wheezing, coughing, tightness in the chest, and shortness of breath.2

What is the active ingredient in Accolate?

The active ingredient in Accolate is zafirlukast.1-3

What are some of the possible side effects of Accolate?

The most common side effects of Accolate include:1-3

  • Headache
  • Infection
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Generalized pain

Accolate can cause rare but serious side effects, including:1-3

  • Severe liver problems
  • Pain or tenderness in the right upper side of your stomach area (abdomen)
  • Yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes
  • Darkening of the urine
  • Serious allergic reactions including rash, swelling of the mouth, tongue, and face
  • Flu-like symptoms including loss of appetite, feeling tired, sinus discomfort
  • Changes in mood or behavior including insomnia and depression

These are not all the possible side effects of Accolate. Talk to your doctor about what to expect or if you experience any changes that concern you during treatment with Accolate.

Things to know

Before starting Accolate, you should talk to your doctor about all drugs (prescription and over the counter), supplements, and vitamins you are taking. Some drugs or supplements may interfere with each other. This means both drugs may work less well, or you may have serious side effects.1,2 In particular, zafirlukast may interact with certain drugs including:1-3

  • Warfarin sodium (like Coumadin or Jantoven)
  • Erythromycin
  • Theophylline
  • Fluconazole (Diflucan)

Before starting treatment with Accolate discuss all of your health conditions with your doctor, especially:1-3

  • Hypersensitivity to zafirlukast
  • Liver problems

Accolate is indicated for adults and children over age 5.1-3 Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using Accolate. It should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies any potential risks to the baby. Do not take Accolate if you are breastfeeding.

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