"May 4, 2011 -- The drugs Singulair and Accolate proved to be just as effective as steroid inhalers for the prevention of asthma symptoms with better patient compliance in two new studies published in this week's New England Journal of Medicine"...
Adults and Children 12 years of age and older
The safety database for ACCOLATE consists of more than 4000 healthy volunteers and patients who received ACCOLATE, of which 1723 were asthmatics enrolled in trials of 13 weeks duration or longer. A total of 671 patients received ACCOLATE for 1 year or longer. The majority of the patients were 18 years of age or older; however, 222 patients between the age of 12 and 18 years received ACCOLATE.
A comparison of adverse events reported by ≥ 1% of zafirlukast-treated patients, and at rates numerically greater than in placebo-treated patients, is shown for all trials in the table below.
The frequency of less common adverse events was comparable between ACCOLATE and placebo.
Rarely, elevations of one or more liver enzymes have occurred in patients receiving ACCOLATE in controlled clinical trials. In clinical trials, most of these have been observed at doses four times higher than the recommended dose. The following hepatic events (which have occurred predominantly in females) have been reported from postmarketing adverse event surveillance of patients who have received the recommended dose of ACCOLATE (40 mg/day): cases of symptomatic hepatitis (with or without hyperbilirubinemia) without other attributable cause; and rarely, hyperbilirubinemia without other elevated liver function tests. In most, but not all postmarketing reports, the patient's symptoms abated and the liver enzymes returned to normal or near normal after stopping ACCOLATE. In rare cases, patients have presented with fulminant hepatitis or progressed to hepatic failure, liver transplantation and death (see WARNINGS, Hepatotoxicity and PATIENT INFORMATION).
In clinical trials, an increased proportion of zafirlukast patients over the age of 55 years reported infections as compared to placebo-treated patients. A similar finding was not observed in other age groups studied. These infections were mostly mild or moderate in intensity and predominantly affected the respiratory tract. Infections occurred equally in both sexes, were dose-proportional to total milligrams of zafirlukast exposure, and were associated with coadministration of inhaled corticosteroids. The clinical significance of this finding is unknown.
In rare cases, patients with asthma on ACCOLATE may present with systemic eosinophilia, eosinophilic pneumonia, or clinical features of vasculitis consistent with Churg-Strauss syndrome, a condition which is often treated with systemic steroid therapy. Physicians should be alert to eosinophilia, vasculitic rash, worsening pulmonary symptoms, cardiac complications, and/or neuropathy presenting in their patients. These events have usually, but not always, been associated with reductions and/or withdrawal of steroid therapy. The possibility that ACCOLATE may be associated with emergence of Churg-Strauss syndrome can neither be excluded nor established (see PRECAUTIONS, Eosinophilic Conditions).
Neuropsychiatric adverse events, including insomnia and depression, have been reported in association with ACCOLATE therapy (see PRECAUTIONS, Neuropsychiatric Events). Hypersensitivity reactions, including urticaria, angioedema and rashes, with or without blistering, have also been reported in association with ACCOLATE therapy. Additionally, there have been reports of patients experiencing agranulocytosis, bleeding, bruising, or edema, arthralgia, myalgia, malaise, and pruritus in association with ACCOLATE therapy.
Rare cases of patients experiencing increased theophylline levels with or without clinical signs or symptoms of theophylline toxicity after the addition of ACCOLATE to an existing theophylline regimen have been reported. The mechanism of the interaction between ACCOLATE and theophylline in these patients is unknown and not predicted by available in vitro metabolism data and the results of two clinical drug interaction studies (see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY and PRECAUTIONS: DRUG INTERACTIONS).
Pediatric Patients 5 through 11 years of age
ACCOLATE has been evaluated for safety in 788 pediatric patients 5 through 11 years of age. Cumulatively, 313 pediatric patients were treated with ACCOLATE 10 mg twice daily or higher for at least 6 months, and 113 of them were treated for one year or longer in clinical trials. The safety profile of ACCOLATE 10 mg twice daily-versus placebo in the 4- and 6-week double-blind trials was generally similar to that observed in the adult clinical trials with ACCOLATE 20 mg twice daily.
In pediatric patients receiving ACCOLATE in multi-dose clinical trials, the following events occurred with a frequency of ≥ 2% and more frequently than in pediatric patients who received placebo, regardless of causality assessment: headache (4.5 vs. 4.2%) and abdominal pain (2.8 vs. 2.3%).
The post-marketing experience in this age group is similar to that seen in adults, including hepatic dysfunction, which may lead to liver failure.
Read the Accolate (zafirlukast) Side Effects Center for a complete guide to possible side effects
In a drug interaction study in 16 healthy male volunteers, coadministration of multiple doses of zafirlukast (160 mg/day) to steady-state with a single 25 mg dose of warfarin resulted in a significant increase in the mean AUC (+ 63%) and half-life (+36%) of S-warfarin. The mean prothrombin time (PT) increased by approximately 35%. This interaction is probably due to an inhibition by zafirlukast of the cytochrome P450 2C9 isoenzyme system. Patients on oral warfarin anticoagulant therapy and ACCOLATE should have their prothrombin times monitored closely and anticoagulant dose adjusted accordingly (see WARNINGS, Concomitant Warfarin Administration). No formal drug-drug interaction studies with ACCOLATE and other drugs known to be metabolized by the cytochrome P450 2C9 isoenzyme (eg, tolbutamide, phenytoin, carbamazepine) have been conducted; however, care should be exercised when ACCOLATE is coadministered with these drugs.
In a drug interaction study in 11 asthmatic patients, coadministration of a single dose of zafirlukast (40 mg) with erythromycin (500 mg three times daily for 5 days) to steady-state resulted in decreased mean plasma levels of zafirlukast by approximately 40% due to a decrease in zafirlukast bioavailability.
Coadministration of zafirlukast (20 mg/day) or placebo at steady-state with a single dose of sustained release theophylline preparation (16 mg/kg) in 16 healthy boys and girls (6 through 11 years of age) resulted in no significant differences in the pharmacokinetic parameters of theophylline.
Coadministration of zafirlukast (80 mg/day) at steady-state with a single dose of a liquid theophylline preparation (6 mg/kg) in 13 asthmatic patients, 18 to 44 years of age, resulted in decreased mean plasma levels of zafirlukast by approximately 30%, but no effect on plasma theophylline levels was observed.
Rare cases of patients experiencing increased theophylline levels with or without clinical signs or symptoms of theophylline toxicity after the addition of ACCOLATE to an existing theophylline regimen have been reported. The mechanism of the interaction between ACCOLATE and theophylline in these patients is unknown (see ADVERSE REACTIONS).
Coadministration of zafirlukast (40 mg/day) with aspirin (650 mg four times daily) resulted in mean increased plasma levels of zafirlukast by approximately 45%.
In a single-blind, parallel-group, 3-week study in 39 healthy female subjects taking oral contraceptives, 40 mg twice daily of zafirlukast had no significant effect on ethinyl estradiol plasma concentrations or contraceptive efficacy.
No formal drug-drug interaction studies between ACCOLATE and marketed drugs known to be metabolized by the P450 3A4 (CYP3A4) isoenzyme (eg, dihydropyridine calcium-channel blockers, cyclosporin, cisapride) have been conducted. As ACCOLATE is known to be an inhibitor of CYP3A4 in vitro , it is reasonable to employ appropriate clinical monitoring when these drugs are coadministered with ACCOLATE.
Read the Accolate Drug Interactions Center for a complete guide to possible interactions
Last reviewed on RxList: 8/18/2011
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