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ACUTE EXPOSURE INFORMATION
- USES: Zafirlukast is used for the prophylaxis and chronic treatment of asthma in adults and children 5 years of age and older.
- PHARMACOLOGY: Zafirlukast is a selective and competitive receptor antagonist of the cysteinyl leukotrienes D4 and E4. The cysteinyl leukotrienes, originally described as slow-reacting substances of anaphylaxis, produce airway edema, smooth muscle constriction, and altered cellular activity associated with the inflammatory process, all of which are associated with the pathophysiology of asthma.
- EPIDEMIOLOGY: Exposure is common, but severe toxicity is rare.
- WITH THERAPEUTIC USE
- ADVERSE EFFECT: Adverse effects associated with therapeutic zafirlukast use include headache, somnolence, pharyngitis, rhinitis, gastritis, elevation of liver enzymes, and asthma exacerbation; however, the incidence of most of these effects has been similar in placebo-treated patients.
- Zafirlukast and the other leukotriene antagonists have been associated with the development of Churg-Strauss Syndrome, a potentially fatal eosinophilic vasculitis, in adult asthma patients in most of whom concomitant oral steroid dose was reduced. Effects have included worsening pulmonary symptoms, eosinophilia, vasculitic rash, cardiac complications and/or neuropathy. This is a rare effect.
- WITH POISONING/EXPOSURE
- TOXICITY: Four patients developed minimal adverse effects (eg, rash, upset stomach) after ingesting zafirlukast doses as high as 200 mg.
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