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Diseases & Conditions

Leukotriene Modifiers for COPD

What are leukotriene modifiers, and what do they do?

Some examples of leukotriene modifiers are montelukast sodium (Singulair®), zafirlukast (Accolate®), and zileuton (Zyflo®). These medications block chemicals that cause the airways to narrow and tighten.

How are these medications supplied?

Leukotriene modifiers are available in tablet form.

What are possible side effects?

  • Indigestion and/or nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Fatigue

You should notify your doctor if you:

  • Take theophylline, Coumadin®, Inderal®, or aspirin
  • Take Zyflo® and develop abdominal pain on the right side, or if you have yellow skin

Note: The side effects listed are the most common. Always contact your health care provider if you have questions about your personal situation.

How and when should do you take leukotriene modifiers? Are there special instructions?

  • Do not use for "quick relief" of sudden symptoms.
  • Swallow tablets whole; do not chew or crush tablets.
  • Continue to take the medication as prescribed, even if your symptoms are under control and you feel better.
  • Take Singulair regularly once a day in the evening.
  • Take Accolate one hour before or two hours after a meal.
  • Blood tests may be performed periodically.

What are phosphodiesterase 4 inhibitors, and what do they do?

Selective phosphodiesterase 4 (PDE 4) inhibitors block the action of a specific type of enzyme. Roflumilast (Daliresp®) is a PDE 4 inhibitor used to treat COPD. It is not a rescue-type medication, but can be used to reduce the number of flare-ups (times when symptoms get worse) in adults with COPD.

How is this medication supplied?

Daliresp is a pill taken one time per day.

What are possible side effects?

  • Daliresp may cause problems in mood or behavior, including thoughts of suicide.
  • Daliresp may cause weight loss. You should check your weight regularly.
  • Daliresp may interact with other medicines. Tell your doctor about any and all medications, vitamins, and supplements that you take.

Other side effects may include:

  • diarrhea
  • back pain
  • nausea
  • symptoms like those from the flu
  • headache
  • dizziness
  • difficulty sleeping
  • smaller appetite

Note: The side effects listed are the most common. Always contact your health care provider if you have questions about your personal situation.

How and when should do you take Daliresp? Are there special instructions?

Daliresp can be taken with food or without food. Take it exactly as your doctor tells you to take it. If you take more than your prescribed amount of Daliresp, call your doctor or health care provider or get to an emergency room immediately.

References

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This information is provided by the Cleveland Clinic and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or health care provider. Please consult your health care provider for advice about a specific medical condition. This document was last reviewed on: 12/31/2011…#14278