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5-Lipoxygenase Inhibitors: Uses, Common Brands, and Safety Info

5-Lipoxygenase inhibitors are a class of drugs that help reduce inflammation by blocking the activity of the enzyme 5-lipoxygenase. They are commonly used to manage asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The only FDA-approved 5-lipoxygenase inhibitor is Zileuton, marketed as Zyflo or Zyflo CR. These drugs may have side effects such as headache and gastrointestinal disturbances and can interact with other medications. It is important to follow prescribed dosages

Drug Class: 5-Lipoxygenase Inhibitors


5-Lipoxygenase inhibitors are a class of drugs that work by inhibiting the activity of an enzyme called 5-lipoxygenase. This enzyme plays a crucial role in the production of leukotrienes, which are inflammatory compounds involved in several allergic and inflammatory conditions. By blocking the action of 5-lipoxygenase, these drugs help reduce inflammation and alleviate symptoms associated with certain diseases.


5-Lipoxygenase inhibitors are primarily used to manage and treat conditions characterized by chronic inflammation, particularly those involving the respiratory system. The most common indication for these drugs is the management of asthma, where they help to reduce airway inflammation and improve breathing. Additionally, they can be used in the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) to alleviate symptoms and reduce exacerbations.

Common Brands

Some commonly prescribed 5-lipoxygenase inhibitors include:

  • Zileuton: This is the only FDA-approved drug in this class and is commonly marketed under the brand name Zyflo or Zyflo CR.

It is important to note that the availability of these drugs may vary depending on your location and the healthcare system of your country. Always consult with your healthcare provider to determine the most appropriate treatment options available to you.


Like all medications, 5-lipoxygenase inhibitors have potential side effects and precautions to consider:

  • Common side effects may include headache, nausea, gastrointestinal disturbances, and liver function abnormalities. Monitoring of liver function tests is typically recommended during treatment.

  • These drugs may interact with other medications, so it is important to inform your healthcare provider about all the medications you are taking. This includes over-the-counter drugs, herbal supplements, and vitamins.

  • Some individuals may be allergic or hypersensitive to 5-lipoxygenase inhibitors. If you experience symptoms such as rash, itching, swelling, or difficulty breathing, seek immediate medical attention.

  • As with any medication, it is crucial to follow the prescribed dosage and instructions provided by your healthcare provider. Do not adjust or discontinue the medication without consulting your doctor.

It is important to discuss the potential risks and benefits of 5-lipoxygenase inhibitors with your healthcare provider before starting any treatment. They will consider your individual medical history and specific condition to determine if this class of drugs is appropriate for you. Overall, 5-lipoxygenase inhibitors are valuable medications in the management of chronic inflammatory conditions such as asthma and COPD. When used as prescribed and under medical supervision, they can help improve symptoms and enhance the quality of life for individuals with these conditions.

List of 5-Lipoxygenase Inhibitors