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All about: Gen-Cromoglycate Nasal

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Some commonly used brand names are:

In the U.S.—

  • Children's Nasalcrom
  • Nasalcrom

In Canada—

  • Apo-Cromolyn
  • Cromolyn Nasal Solution
  • Gen-Cromoglycate

Another commonly used name is sodium cromoglycate .

Category

  • Antiallergic, nasal
  • Mast cell stabilizer, nasal

Description

Cromolyn (KROE-moe-lin) nasal solution is used to help prevent or treat the symptoms (sneezing, wheezing, runny nose, itching) of seasonal (short-term) or chronic (long-term) allergic rhinitis. Cromolyn powder for nasal inhalation is used to help prevent seasonal (short-term) allergic rhinitis.

This medicine works by acting on certain cells in the body, called mast cells, to prevent them from releasing substances that cause the allergic reaction.

When cromolyn is used to treat chronic (long-term) allergic rhinitis, an antihistamine and/or a nasal decongestant may be used with this medicine, especially during the first few weeks of treatment.

Nasal cromolyn is available without a prescription in the U.S., however, in Canada, it requires a prescription from your doctor. It is available in the following dosage forms:

  • Nasal
  • Nasal solution (U.S. and Canada)

Before Using This Medicine

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of using the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For nasal cromolyn, the following should be considered:

Allergies—Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to cromolyn. Also tell your health care professional if you are allergic to any other substances, such as foods, preservatives, or dyes.

Pregnancy—Nasal cromolyn has not been shown to cause birth defects in humans. However, studies in animals have shown that cromolyn, when given by injection in very large amounts, causes a decrease in successful pregnancies and a decrease in the weight of the animal fetus. Before using this medicine, make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or if you may become pregnant.

Breast-feeding—It is not known whether cromolyn passes into the breast milk. Although most medicines pass into breast milk in small amounts, many of them may be used safely while breast-feeding. Mothers who are using this medicine and who wish to breast-feed should discuss this with their doctor.

Children—Studies on this medicine have been done only in adult patients, and there is no specific information comparing use of nasal cromolyn in children up to 6 years of age (in Canada, up to 5 years of age) with use in other age groups. In older children, this medicine is not expected to cause different side effects or problems than it does in adults.

Older adults—Many medicines have not been studied specifically in older people. Therefore, it may not be known whether they work exactly the same way they do in younger adults. Although there is no specific information comparing use of nasal cromolyn in the elderly with use in other age groups, this medicine is not expected to cause different side effects or problems in older people than it does in younger adults.

Other medicines—Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking nasal cromolyn, it is especially important that your doctor and pharmacist know if you are taking any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine.

Other medical problems—The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of nasal cromolyn. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Kidney disease or
  • Liver disease—Diseases of these body systems may alter the concentration of nasal cromolyn in the body
  • Polyps or growths inside the nose—Cromolyn may not work if nasal passages are blocked

Proper Use of This Medicine

This medicine usually comes with patient directions. Read them carefully before using the medicine.

Before using this medicine, clear the nasal passages by blowing your nose.

To use:

  • Cromolyn solution is used with a special spray device.
  • To keep clean, wipe the nosepiece with a clean tissue and replace the dust cap after use.
  • To avoid spreading an infection, do not use the container for more than one person.

Use this medicine only as directed . Do not use more of it and do not use it more often than your doctor ordered. To do so may increase the chance of side effects.

In order for this medicine to work properly, it must be used every day in regularly spaced doses as ordered by your doctor:

  • For patients using cromolyn for seasonal (short-term) allergic rhinitis , up to 1 week may pass before you begin to feel better.
  • For patients using cromolyn for chronic (long-term) allergic rhinitis , up to 2 to 4 weeks may pass before you feel the full effects of this medicine, although you may begin to feel better after 1 week.

Dosing—The dose of nasal cromolyn will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label . The following information includes only the average doses of nasal cromolyn. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

  • For nasal solution dosage form:
    • For allergic rhinitis:
      • Adults and children 6 years of age (in Canada, 5 years of age) and older—One spray into each nostril three to six times a day until condition is better; then, one spray in each nostril every eight to twelve hours.
      • Children up to 6 years of age (in Canada, up to 5 years of age)—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.

Missed dose—If you miss a dose of this medicine, use it as soon as possible. Then use any remaining doses for that day at regularly spaced intervals. Do not double doses.

Storage—To store this medicine:

  • Keep out of the reach of children.
  • Store away from heat and direct light.
  • Keep the solution from freezing.
  • Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed. Be sure that any discarded medicine is out of the reach of children.

Precautions While Using This Medicine

If your symptoms do not improve or if your condition becomes worse, check with your doctor .

Side Effects of This Medicine

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:

Rare

Allergic reaction (coughing; difficulty in swallowing; hives or itching; swelling of face, lips, or eyelids; wheezing or difficulty in breathing); nosebleeds; skin rash

Other side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. However, check with your doctor if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome:

More common

Burning, stinging, or irritation inside of nose; flushing; increase in sneezing

Less common

Cough; headache; postnasal drip; unpleasant taste

Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your doctor.

Revised: 6/04/1999

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