Cromolyn | Side Effects, Dosage, Uses & More
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Generic Name:

cromolyn-sodium, Inhalation solution

All Brands

  • Intal (Discontinued)
A discontinued drug is a drug that has been taken off the market due to safety issues, shortage of raw materials, or low market demand.
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Highlights for cromolyn-sodium

Inhalation solution
1

Cromolyn is a prescription drug. It’s available in these forms: oral solution, inhalation solution, nasal spray, and ophthalmic drops.

2

The inhalation solution is used to help prevent the symptoms of asthma, bronchospasm caused by exercise, or allergies.

3

The cromolyn inhalation solution is available as a generic drug. It’s not available as a brand-name drug.

4

The more common side effects of the inhalation solution include cough, nose congestion, nausea, sneezing, or wheezing.

5

The cromolyn inhalation solution can cause a severe allergic reaction.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Severe allergic reaction

Cromolyn inhalation solution can cause an anaphylactic reaction. This is a severe allergic reaction. If you have symptoms such as skin rash, swelling of your face or tongue, or trouble breathing, call 9-1-1 right away or go to the nearest emergency room.

Appropriate use

Cromolyn inhalation solution cannot be used to treat status asthmaticus (severe asthma attack).

What is cromolyn?

Cromolyn is a prescription drug. It’s available in these forms: oral solution, inhalation solution, nasal spray, and ophthalmic drops.

Cromolyn inhalation solution isn’t available as a brand-name drug. It’s available as a generic drug. Generic drugs usually cost less. In some cases, they may not be available in every strength or form as the brand-name version. Talk to your doctor to see if the generic version will work for you.

Cromolyn may be used as part of a combination therapy. This means you may need to take it with other medications.

Why it's used

Cromolyn inhalation solution is used to help prevent the symptoms of asthma, bronchospasm caused by exercise, or allergies. These symptoms include shortness of breath, cough, wheezing, or a tight feeling in the chest.

How it works

Cromolyn belongs to a class of drugs called mast cell stabilizers. A class of drugs is a group of medications that work in a similar way. These drugs are often used to treat similar conditions.

More Details

How it works

Cromolyn belongs to a class of drugs called mast cell stabilizers. A class of drugs is a group of medications that work in a similar way. These drugs are often used to treat similar conditions.

Mast cells are part of your immune system. They release substances that cause allergic reactions such as flushing, itching, trouble breathing, and others. Cromolyn reduces the amount of these substances that’s released by mast cells. This helps improve your mastocytosis or asthma symptoms.

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cromolyn-sodium Side Effects

Inhalation solution

More Common Side Effects

The more common side effects that can occur with use of cromolyn inhalation solution include:

  • cough

  • nose congestion

  • nausea

  • sneezing

  • wheezing

If these effects are mild, they may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. If they’re more severe or don’t go away, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Serious Side Effects

Call your doctor right away if you have serious side effects. Call 9-1-1 if your symptoms feel life-threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency. Serious side effects and their symptoms can include the following:

  • allergic reactions. Symptoms can include:

    • skin rash
    • swelling of your face, mouth, or tongue
    • breathing problems
    • hives
Pharmacist's Advice
Healthline Pharmacist Editorial Team

Cromolyn doesn’t cause drowsiness.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible side effects. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always discuss possible side effects with a healthcare provider who knows your medical history.
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cromolyn-sodium May Interact with Other Medications

Inhalation solution

An interaction is when a substance changes the way a drug works. This can be harmful or prevent the drug from working well. To help prevent interactions, your doctor should manage all of your medications carefully. Be sure to tell your doctor about all medications, vitamins, or herbs you’re taking.

To find out how cromolyn might interact with something else you’re taking, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs interact differently in each person, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible interactions. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your healthcare provider about possible interactions with all prescription drugs, vitamins, herbs and supplements, and over-the-counter drugs that you are taking.
Cromolyn warnings
Pregnant women
Pregnant women

Cromolyn is a category B pregnancy drug. That means two things:

  1. Studies of the drug in pregnant animals have not shown a risk to the fetus.
  2. There aren’t enough studies done in pregnant women to show if the drug poses a risk to the fetus.

Talk to your doctor if you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant. This drug should be used only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.

Women who are breast-feeding
Women who are breast-feeding

It is not known whether cromolyn may pass into breast milk and cause side effects in a child who is breast-fed.

Talk to your doctor if you breast-feed your child. You may need to decide whether to stop breast-feeding or stop taking this medication.

call doctor
When to call the doctor

Call your doctor if you notice that your asthma symptoms are not well controlled or are getting worse. If you have an asthma attack that is not helped with your short-acting rescue inhaler, go to the emergency room.

Call your doctor if you get pregnant while taking cromolyn inhalation solution.

allergies
Allergies

Cromolyn can cause a severe allergic reaction. Symptoms can include:

  • trouble breathing or swallowing
  • swelling of the face, eyes, or tongue
  • chest discomfort or tightness

If you have a reaction, call your doctor. If your symptoms are severe, call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency room.

Don’t take this drug again if you’ve ever had an allergic reaction to it. Taking it again could be fatal (cause death).

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How to Take cromolyn-sodium (Dosage)

Inhalation solution

All possible dosages and drug forms may not be included here. Your dosage, drug form, and how often you take the drug will depend on:

  • your age
  • the condition being treated
  • how severe your condition is
  • other medical conditions you have
  • how you react to the first dose

What are you taking this medication for?

Asthma, exercise-induced bronchospasm, allergies

Brand: Cromolyn

Form: Inhalation solution
Strengths: 20mg/2 mL
Adult dosage (ages 18 years and older)
  • For prevention of asthma symptoms:
    • Typical dosage: 1 ampule given by nebulizer. It’s taken 4 times per day, at regular intervals.
    • Dosage reduction: Over time, your doctor may lower your dosage. You may start taking the drug 4 times per day, and later take it 2 or 3 times per day.
  • For prevention of acute bronchospasm (tightening of airways) after exercise or exposure to other triggers:
    • Typical dosage: 1 ampule given by nebulizer 10–15 minutes (up to an hour) before exposure to the trigger.
Child dosage (ages 2–17 years)
  • For prevention of asthma symptoms:
  • Typical dosage: 1 ampule given by nebulizer. It’s taken 4 times per day, at regular intervals.
    • For prevention of acute bronchospasm (tightening of airways) after exercise or exposure to other triggers:
    • Typical dosage: 1 ampule given by nebulizer 10–15 minutes (up to an hour) before exposure to the trigger.
Child dosage (younger than 2 years old)

Cromolyn should not be used. It has not been confirmed that cromolyn is safe and effective for use in children younger than 2 years.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this list includes all possible dosages. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always to speak with your doctor or pharmacist about dosages that are right for you.
Pharmacist's Advice
Healthline Pharmacist Editorial Team

Cromolyn inhalation solution comes with risks if you don’t take it as prescribed.

If you stop taking the drug suddenly or don’t take it at all

Your asthma symptoms may not be well controlled or may worsen. You may be at a higher risk of asthma attack.

If you miss doses or don’t take the drug on schedule

Your medication may not work as well or may stop working completely. For this drug to work well, a certain amount needs to be in your body at all times.

If you take too much

You may have symptoms such as:

  • cough
  • nose congestion
  • nausea
  • sneezing
  • wheezing

If you think you’ve taken too much of the drug, call your doctor or local poison control center. If your symptoms are severe, call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency room.

What to do if you miss a doseTake your dose as soon as you remember. But if you remember just a few hours before your next scheduled dose, take only one dose. Never try to catch up by taking two doses at once. This could result in dangerous side effects.

How to tell if the drug is working

You should have reduced asthma symptoms. You should also need to use your rescue inhaler less often. The full benefit may not be seen for several weeks, but you may notice an improvement right away.

Cromolyn inhalation solution is used for long-term treatment.

Important considerations for taking cromolyn

Store this drug carefully

  • Keep cromolyn inhalation solution at room temperature between 68°F and 77°F (20°C and 25°C).
  • Keep this drug protected from light.
  • Don’t use a cromolyn ampule if it contains particles or if it’s cloudy or discolored.

A prescription for this medication is refillable

You should not need a new prescription for this medication to be refilled. Your doctor will write the number of refills authorized on your prescription.

Travel

When traveling with your medication:

  • Always carry your medication with you. When flying, never put it into a checked bag. Keep it in your carry-on bag.
  • Don’t worry about airport x-ray machines. They can’t hurt your medication.
  • You may need to show airport staff the pharmacy label for your medication. Always carry the original prescription-labeled box with you.
  • Don’t put this medication in your car’s glove compartment or leave it in the car. Be sure to avoid doing this when the weather is very hot or very cold.

Self-management

You will need to use a nebulizer to take cromolyn inhalation solution. This is a device that turns the liquid solution into a mist, which can then be inhaled (breathed in). Your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist will show you how to use your nebulizer.

Clinical monitoring

Your doctor will monitor your symptoms. This will let you know if cromolyn is working for you.

Are there any alternatives?

There are other drugs available to treat your condition. Some may be better suited for you than others. Talk to your doctor about other drug options that may work for you.

Content developed in collaboration with University of Illinois-Chicago, Drug Information Group

Medically reviewed by Creighton University, Center for Drug Information and Evidence-Based Practice on October 15, 2015

Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.
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