This medication stabilizes mast cells. Mast cells break down as part of the inflammatory reaction and release histamine, a powerful vasodilator. These medications prevent mast cells from breaking down and releasing their contents.
This medication is indicated only for the prevention of asthma attacks, as it prevents the breakdown of mast cells. It has no indication for treatment of an acute asthma attack.
Cromolyn is used to prevent exercise-induced bronchospasm by working as an antiinflammatory. It should be administered approximately 15 minutes prior to exercise.
Cromolyn is indicated as a nasal spray in some countries for the treatment of allergic rhinitis caused by irritants. It prevents the body from initiating an inflammatory reaction.
Patients may experience a cough as a side effect of the medication, because it increases the viscosity of mucus secretions.
In very rare instances, patients have a paradoxical bronchospasm when taking this medication.
Because this medication is used to prevent inflammatory responses like asthma, it must be maintained at a constant therapeutic level. This medication must be given on a fixed schedule and is administered via nebulizer or a metered dose inhaler (MDI). Because of administration 4 times daily, other medications are now preferred for use in asthma prophylaxis.
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