Prescribing Advice for GPs

An NHS Prescribing Advisers' Blog

Zafirlukast discontinued

The manufacturer of zafirlukast (Accolate®) has discontinued this product with effect from the end of March 2018. No further supplies are being made and it is predicted that minimal supplies will be available within the supply chain.

Commercial reasons are cited for this decision and it is stressed that there were no safety concerns with this medicine. Zafirlukast is a leukotriene receptor antagonist and as such the closest available alternative is montelukast.

Action: Clinicians should be aware of this product being discontinued. It would be prudent to run clinical system searches to identify any patients who are currently prescribed this product to allow a review and arrangements made to identify a suitable alternative.

Share 'Zafirlukast discontinued' on Email Share 'Zafirlukast discontinued' on Delicious Share 'Zafirlukast discontinued' on Digg Share 'Zafirlukast discontinued' on Facebook Share 'Zafirlukast discontinued' on reddit Share 'Zafirlukast discontinued' on Twitter

atomic-wealth

29 Comments to “Zafirlukast discontinued”

  1. I have suffered with asthma and COPD for 25 years and zafirlukast gave me real relief these past 12 years but montelukast has not worked at all. I'm suffering badly and now can't walk or do anything without being breathless. I use my inhalers all the time. My GP prescribed zafirlukast yesterday again so she was not aware this was discontinued. Why have they discontinued this drug as montelukast doesn’t work.

    Comment by Joanne Riley — August 7, 2019 #
    Reply

    1. @Joanne Riley,

      It was discontinued for commercial reasons, that basically means it was not making enough money to justify continue production.

      Comment by Matthew Robinson — August 7, 2019 #
      Reply

    2. I have the same problem. When they changed out this medication to Montelukast I have been more sick, and have had pneumonia twice this year. My lungs are always full of Rails and breathing and coughing is ridiculous. I can't exercise without becoming very breathless and blood oxygen levels go so low I feel out of sorts until I take additional medication "puffers". They don't care about our health these Pharmaceutical companies, all they want is more money and not one pill out there comes without side effects. Accolate was just that, a drug that prevented pneumonia strains and when they discovered this they removed it from the market saying it can cause death. I have two boxes of Accolate that were prescribed just before they took it off the market and I took that stuff for more than 3 years and it made my lungs really healthy. Now you see why Pharmaceuticals don't care about our heath, it's more about the money and how much they can make and Doctors lie and say that a certain drug doesn't cause cancer or what ever side effect you read about. Let's be honest here, why would someone want to take a drug when some of the side effects are more serious down the road than if a person were not to take the drug at all. It's just like Chemotherapy. It causes more damage and speeds up the time it takes to die from cancer if a person has been diagnosed. We should take the pharmaceutical companies to the Highest courts in the land and have their licenses revoked for not selling cures instead of prophylactic's that cause so many other diseases. This has been a well known fact for many years yet the Governments allow Pharmaceuticals to produce junk to put into our bodies. I say go natural if it helps more than the Pharmaceuticals.

      In addition to the above, Pharmaceuticals don’t make a difference and if they do its so slight just enough to get you to keep taking their drugs. But later down the road you wonder why you have certain ailments and often times they are life threatening. I say Clean up your act to the Pharmaceutical company’s because after a while insurance companies are going to stop paying you exorbitant amounts of money to keep you afloat. The Billions of dollars you make each year says it all you couldn't care less about our health you only care about the ever living dollar.

      Comment by Patrick — December 2, 2019 #
      Reply

      1. @Patrick,

        I'm not sure what the situation was like around the world but zafirlukast never really sold very well here in the UK. I'm more inclined to believe it was discontinued due to lack of sales if the UK situation was matched elsewhere.

        It is an unfortunate fact that the capitalist economic system is the most effective at encouraging development of new medicines. That results in individuals and companies needing to recoup their investment via sales. I'm not aware of any other economic system being more effective at creating new medicines.

        Comment by Matthew Robinson — December 2, 2019 #
        Reply

  2. I just found out that my GP swapped my medicine zafirlukast 20mg for the montelukast 10mg, I didn't realise this until I became short of breath and for the last 2 months I've been on my inhaler (salbutamol) every morning, evening and sometimes half way through the day. So, this Monday I checked the package and realised the medicine I've been getting for the past 6 months is different - I honestly thought it was just a different brand therefore different package/box and that the main ingredient was the same. I couldn't have been more wrong! What shocks me to my core is the fact that they have changed my medication without warning or consulting me. Is there any other medication similar to zafirlukast as montelukast doesn't agree with me reason why I was put on zafirlukast back in 2007.
    Thank you.

    Comment by Elizabete Ventura — April 18, 2019 #
    Reply

    1. @Elizabete,

      If your medication changed 6 months ago and you've only noticed symptoms in the last 2 months I would not necessarily link this to the change in medication. Also, zafirlukast was to be taken twice daily and montelukast is only taken once daily. You need to check you are taking the correct dose, especially if you thought they were the same thing until recently.

      In answer to your question though, there are only two drugs in this class of medicines (leukotriene receptor antagonists) that have been marketed in the UK. When zafirlukast was discontinued that dropped to one option; and that's montelukast.

      Comment by Matthew Robinson — April 18, 2019 #
      Reply

  3. Accolate is a hands down winner. Montelukast is not even close in helping my breathing. I too was a long term user with not one severe asthma attack. Absolutely disgusting that with all the money we (Canada) have in our health care system we don’t have enough to insist that the best drug be prescribed and let the other one go away. Haven't been this short of breath for years.

    Comment by Lawrence Parsons — March 19, 2019 #
    Reply

    1. Still waiting for a medication that performs anywhere close to Accolate! This is serious! I have been on the recommended alternate and perform at less than 50% along with all the associated discomfort. I had saved 2 pills both outdated and out of desperation took one today one today only to find that within 2 to 3 hours enjoyed the joy of easy breathing. I pay a considerable amount of money (Can$136.00) for the non-performing alternate. Please reconsider putting you well performing product back on the market. I am in your Fasenra study and while it has helped the difference is in no way comparable to the original medication. I know it is a different type of treatment but it is not comparable in successful treatment. Lawrence Parsons

      Comment by Lawrence Parsons — September 18, 2019 #
      Reply

  4. My GP, chemists and consultant were totally unaware until I researched it and found out it was discontinued. I'm totally disgusted that this can happen with no other alternative for us than to go back on a drug that previously caused bad side effects. I also had to go back on the montelukast and am still getting severe headaches although my asthma is a little better on it rather than on nothing like when I ran out of the zafirlukast. But definitely not as good as when on the zafirlukast, how is it allowed that they can just decide to suddenly discontinue a drug that keeps so many asthmatics stable at the drop of a hat because it doesn't make them enough money? It's unethical and dangerous.

    Comment by Kat — November 13, 2018 #
    Reply

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Prescribing Advice for GPs is powered by ClassicPress.
Subscribe for Free to our RSS or Atom Feeds for New Entries.

atomic-wealth
fond-illness
summer