Cromolyn Sodium for Treating Allergies

When You Take Cromolyn Sodium to Treat Allergies

  • Cromolyn sodium may be taken up to 6 times daily as directed.
  • Start using it before your allergy symptoms begin.
  • It is most effective in preventing allergic reactions or relieving allergy symptoms if you use it continually as directed until exposure to the allergen ends.

Using Cromolyn Sodium Safely To Treat Allergies

Take this medicine before the allergy begins. Then continue until the possibility of exposure to the allergen has passed. Take it up to 6 times daily or as directed. Try not to miss a dose, because it's more effective in preventing allergic reactions or relieving allergy symptoms if you use it continually. Also, have patience. It may take several days for it to work.

How Cromolyn Sodium Works To Relieve Allergy Symptoms

This nonsteroidal nasal solution is a safe and effective allergy medication that stops nasal allergy symptoms before they start. It relieves the nasal itching, sneezing, runny nose, and congestion of nasal allergies. Cromolyn is an anti-inflammatory agent. It prevents or makes it harder for certain body cells, called mast cells, to release histamines. It's only used in the nose and doesn't cause drowsiness. It's safe and effective with daily use.


Taking Cromolyn Sodium To Treat Allergies

Cromolyn sodium is available as a nasal spray. It can be used with other allergy medications. Cromolyn has to be used frequently, up to 6 times a day, in order to best prevent allergic reactions or relieve allergy symptoms.

What Your Doctor Can Do for Side Effects of Cromolyn Sodium

If you're bothered by side effects, your doctor can often help by changing:

  • How much medication you take. Sometimes side effects can be stopped or minimized by reducing the dose. Or, your doctor may lower the dose and then raise it again more slowly.
  • When you take the medication. You may be able to cope with drowsiness or insomnia, for instance, by taking your medication in the evening or first thing in the morning.
  • How you take the medication. Taking your medication in smaller doses several times a day rather than in one dose can help. Taking your medicine with food might eliminate side effects such as nausea.
  • The type of allergy medication. A different allergy medication may be able to stop your symptoms with fewer or less severe side effects.

Always talk with your doctor before making any changes in how you take your medications.

Possible side effects of cromolyn sodium include:

  • occasional headache
  • sneezing
  • nasal irritation
  • cough
  • wheezing
  • dizziness
  • nausea
  • body aches
  • drowsiness


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Written by Karen Serrano, MD Emergency Medicine resident at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Reviewed by Lisa V. Suffian, MD

Instructor of Clinical Pediatrics in the Division of Allergy and Pulmonary Medicine at Saint Louis Children's Hospital, Washington University School of Medicine

Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital, Saint Louis University

Board certified in Allergy and Immunology

Last updated June 2008