Zafirlukast, an allergy and asthma medicine, may be the right choice for you, especially if you like Singulair, but not the price. Zafirlukast is a generic form of Accolate.
It works in much the same way as Singulair by blocking leukotrienes, which are chemicals produced by the body in response to allergens or other natural substances that cause swelling and tightening of the airways.
Zafirlukast and Singulair are in a class of medications listed as leukotriene inhibitors. These inhibitor drugs keep the bronchial tubes from contricting. Some researchers have found this type of medicine to be almost as effective as steroids without the serious side effects.
I started taking Singulair several years ago after trying a number of other remedies for my allergies and sinusitis. Nothing else worked as effectively to stop my chronic stuffy nose and post-nasal drip but I was never happy with the price of my prescription.
My pharmacist suggested I try Zafirlukast because it was similar but less expensive. A 30-day supply of Singulair will set you back $127.09 whereas Zafirlukast for 30 days is $69.84 at my pharmacy.
An almost 50-percent savings is definitely a major plus for Zafirlukast. However, there are some downsides. One of the minor nuisances is Zafirlukast has to be taken twice a day on an empty stomach while Singulair is once a day, either with or without a food.
The side effects associated with Zafirlukast are a whole different issue. They are similar to those caused by Singulair but some are different.
Common side effects listed on the patient leaflet for Zafirlukast are: headache, infection, generalized pain, diarrhea, nausea, dizziness, muscle weakness, swelling usually of face or lips, and abnormal blood cell count.
Possible side effects on the patient leaflet for Singulair include: headache, flu-like symptoms, stomach discomfort or pain, cough, muscle weakness, skin rash, liver problems, fever, unusual tiredness or weakness.
Both medications are associated with mood or behavior change; anxiety or depression; and/or insomnia.
I never experienced any side effects with Singulair but did with Zafirlukast. Admittedly, I am especially sensitive to medications. I guess the morale of the story is I will stick with Singulair but it was worth giving Zafirlukast a try.