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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.

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52 Comments to “Zafirlukast discontinued”

  1. My sister is still prescribed zafirlukast and reading it's been discontinued - how come she's able to take it! Is it safe?

    Comment by Donna McGoff — August 25, 2021 #
    Reply

    1. @Donna,

      This website is for clinicians in Britain. Zafirlukast may well be available in other countries if a manufacturer feels the is sufficient demand. If your sister gets supplies from a reputable source I'm sure it will be safe, it was discontinued here for economic not safety reasons.

      Comment by Matthew Robinson — August 26, 2021 #
      Reply

  2. I also took Accolate for many years to help my COPD and the asthma. When I reached 65 my health benefits on the advantage plan from United Healthcare would not allow me to fill Accolate so I have to go on Singular. I didn't feel I was as good so they had to raise my Advair to 500 instead of 250 and this medication is very expensive and I have to get it from Canada.

    Comment by Bernadette's De Simone — July 10, 2021 #
    Reply

    1. @Bernadette’s De Simone,

      Here in the UK, there are less expensive versions of Advair. You could maybe ask if something similar is available where you live and would be suitable for you.

      Comment by Matthew Robinson — July 10, 2021 #
      Reply

  3. I took Accolate for years to help with both asthma and COPD but when I turned 65 United healthcare said that the drug was not on their list anymore and I could no longer take it. So, I was put on Singulair. I don't think it works as well for me so I had to go to a higher dose of my Advair just so I can keep breathing the same.

    Comment by Bernadette's De Simone — July 10, 2021 #
    Reply

  4. I have been taking Accolate for many years with wonderful results. At first I had to try Singulair and then the generic for Accolate and neither one of these meds helped me. BUT when I was prescribed Accolate my whole life changed for the BETTER. I no longer had to live on three different inhalers everyday and only have had to use my rescue inhaler once in a while. I began taking Accolate around 1999 and now, at 80 years old, I am having a very hard time breathing. This past week I tried to stretch my supply by taking just one 20mg tablet a day hoping to have enough until my refill could be filled. Here it is Saturday of the three day weekend, May 29, and guess what - NO Accolate can be found anywhere and it is discontinued. After reading the comments above I am also struggling to breathe and to understand why such a wonderful medication has been discontinued. The popular and more known Singular just does not work for me and neither does the generic so my prospects of breathing without struggle are evaporating before my eyes. Asthma is a serious condition and taking a medication off of the market is simply cruel and inhuman. My heart goes out to my fellow asthmatics who have been helped by taking Accolate and who will be as ill and devastated without it as I am. It is irresponsible for this medication to be discontinued - lives and quality of life are at stake. Shameful disregard for those who battle asthma everyday

    Comment by Ellen Deming — May 29, 2021 #
    Reply

    1. At 81 I have to agree with Ellen. Singular enhanced my asthma symptoms and the generic didn't work for me. Accolate helped me recover from serious attacks but unable to get it for years now. Time to do something about it, especially with COVID. Helping us with useful medicine would be nice.

      Comment by Roger Brooks — October 12, 2021 #
      Reply

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