Leukotriene Pathway Modifiers for Long-Term Control of Asthma
What To Think About
The U.S. National Asthma Education and Prevention Program (NAEPP) recommends leukotriene pathway modifiers as an alternative treatment for people who have mild or persistent asthma. Preferred medicines are inhaled corticosteroids with or without long-acting beta2-agonists.Reference 3
People who take zafirlukast and medicine to prevent blood clots (such as warfarin) need to have their clotting times checked regularly. When used with blood-thinning medicine, zafirlukast can increase the risk of bleeding. Zafirlukast also may cause problems when taken with other medicines, such as blood pressure medicines, aspirin, and some seizure medicines. Before you take zafirlukast, make sure your doctor knows that you are taking any of those medicines.
Montelukast can be given to people age 2 and older. It is given once a day. Zafirlukast can be given to people age 5 and older. It is given twice a day. Zileuton has not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in children.
People who are taking zafirlukast or zileuton need to have liver function tests several times during the first 6 months of treatment. People who are taking theophylline along with zileuton may need to take less theophylline.
People who take leukotriene pathway modifiers may be more likely to take their medicine regularly, because it can be taken orally and has a more immediate effect on symptoms than some other medicines such as inhaled corticosteroids.
Leukotriene pathway modifiers are not used to treat Reference asthma attacks Opens New Window.
Medicine is one of the many tools your doctor has to treat a health problem. Taking medicine as your doctor suggests will improve your health and may prevent future problems. If you don't take your medicines properly, you may be putting your health (and perhaps your life) at risk.
There are many reasons why people have trouble taking their medicine. But in most cases, there is something you can do. For suggestions on how to work around common problems, see the topic Reference Taking Medicines as Prescribed.
Advice for women
If you are pregnant, breast-feeding, or planning to get pregnant, do not use any medicines unless your doctor tells you to. Some medicines can harm your baby. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, herbs, and supplements. And make sure that all your doctors know that you are pregnant, breast-feeding, or planning to get pregnant.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: February 13, 2011|
|Medical Review:||Reference E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Reference Rohit K Katial, MD - Allergy and Immunology