GENERIC NAME: cromolyn
BRAND NAME: Nasalcrom, Gastrocrom
DISCONTINUED BRANDS: Intal, Opticrom
DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Cromolyn is a synthetic compound that is used to prevent allergic reactions and bronchospasms (narrowing of airways) that cause asthma. Many of the symptoms and signs of allergic reactions are caused by chemicals such as histamine that are released from mast cells, a type of cell that is found throughout the body as well as in the lungs, nose, and eyelids. Cromolyn works by preventing the release of these chemicals from mast cells. Cromolyn is inhaled to prevent episodes of asthma. It also is used as a nasal inhaler to treat seasonal allergic rhinitis (inflammation of the lining of the nose, hay fever), as an ophthalmic (eye) solution to treat allergic conjunctivitis (inflammation of the lining of the eyelids), and as oral concentrate for mastocytosis (too many mast cells). Cromolyn was approved by the FDA in 1973. The oral concentrate was approved in 1996, and in 1997 the FDA approved over-the- counter status for the nasal solution.
PRESCRIBED FOR: Cromolyn inhaled via nebulizer is used for treating chronic asthma and exercise induced asthma. Cromolyn nasal spray is used for controlling symptoms of allergic rhinitis, a condition in which the lining of the nose swells with fluid ("stuffy nose") and fluid is released into the nasal passages ("runny nose"). In conjunctivitis, cromolyn eye solution controls swelling, tearing, itching, and redness of the eye. The oral solution is used for treating excessive production of mast cells throughout the body.
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