What Is Zileuton Used For?
What is zileuton used for? The medication, which works by blocking leukotriene receptors, is used for preventing asthma attacks in both adults and children. The medication is approved for use in children 12 years old and over. Zileuton is used for "off-label" reasons too, on occasion, including the treatment of allergies.
Asthma is a chronic disease that affects your airways, which are the tubes that carry air into and out of your lungs. If you have asthma, the inside walls of your airways are inflamed (swollen). The inflammation makes the airways sensitive, and they tend to react strongly to things that you are allergic to or find irritating (see Asthma Triggers). When the airways react, they narrow and less air flows to your lungs. This is called bronchospasm, and it causes asthma symptoms, such as:
- Wheezing (a whistling sound when you breathe)
- Tightness in the chest
- Trouble breathing.
While there is no asthma cure, the condition can be controlled. There are many different asthma treatments, including fast-acting "rescue medications" for treating an asthma attack and longer-acting "controller medications" used to prevent them. Zileuton is a controller medication, used to help prevent asthma attacks (but not to treat an attack). Everyone who takes zileuton for asthma should also have a rescue medication (such as an albuterol inhaler) available for emergencies.