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cromolyn sodium (inhalation)

Pronunciation: KROE moe lin SOE dee um

Brand: Intal, Intal Inhaler

What is the most important information I should know about cromolyn sodium inhalation?

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You should not use this medication if you are allergic to cromolyn sodium.

Before using cromolyn sodium inhalation, tell your doctor if you have heart disease or a heart rhythm disorder, coronary artery disease, kidney disease, or liver disease.

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Do not use cromolyn sodium inhalation to treat an asthma attack that has already begun. It will not work fast enough. Use only a fast-acting inhalation medicine to treat an asthma attack.

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Your dosage needs may change if you have surgery, are ill, are under stress, or have recently had an asthma attack. Do not change your doses or stop using cromolyn sodium inhalation without first talking to your doctor. Stopping suddenly or not using enough medicine can make your condition worse.

Talk with your doctor if any of your asthma medications do not seem to work as well in treating or preventing asthma attacks.

What is cromolyn sodium inhalation?

Cromolyn sodium is an anti-inflammatory medication. It works by preventing the release of substances in the body that cause inflammation.

Cromolyn sodium inhalation is used to prevent asthma attacks in people with bronchial asthma. Cromolyn sodium is also used to prevent bronchospasm (wheezing, chest tightness, trouble breathing) caused by exercise, pollutants in the air, or exposure to certain chemicals.

Cromolyn sodium inhalation may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before using cromolyn sodium inhalation?

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You should not use this medication if you are allergic to cromolyn sodium.

If you have certain conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely use this medication. Before using cromolyn sodium inhalation, tell your doctor if you have:

  • heart disease or a heart rhythm disorder;
  • coronary artery disease;
  • kidney disease; or
  • liver disease.

FDA pregnancy category B. This medication is not expected to be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.

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It is not known whether cromolyn sodium passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should I use cromolyn sodium inhalation?

Use this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use it in larger amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

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Do not use cromolyn sodium inhalation to treat an asthma attack that has already begun. It will not work fast enough. Use only a fast-acting inhalation medicine to treat an asthma attack.

Cromolyn sodium inhalation is given using a nebulizer or with a metered-dose inhaler. You will inhale the medication through a face mask or mouth piece. Do not swallow this medicine.

To prevent bronchial asthma attacks, cromolyn sodium inhalation is usually given 4 times daily. If you are using cromolyn sodium inhalation to prevent asthma caused by exercise, air pollutants, or exposure to chemicals, use the medicine 10 to 15 minutes (but not more than 1 hour) before exercising or exposure. Follow your doctor's instructions about your individual dosing schedule.

The instructions below are for standard use of the inhaler and nebulizer devices. Your doctor may want you to use your device differently. Be sure you understand all instructions that are specific to your use of this medication.

To use cromolyn sodium with a metered-dose inhaler:

  • Uncap the mouthpiece of the inhaler and shake the inhaler gently.
  • Breathe out fully. Put the mouthpiece into your mouth and close your lips. Do not block the mouthpiece with your tongue. Tilt your head back and breathe in slowly while pushing down on the top of the canister. Take the inhaler out of your mouth and hold your breath for several seconds, then breathe out slowly.
  • Clean your inhaler twice a week by removing the canister and rinsing the mouthpiece under warm running water. Allow the parts to dry before putting the inhaler back together. Never place the medicine canister in water.

To use cromolyn sodium inhalation solution with a nebulizer:

  • Break open the ampule and empty the medicine into the chamber of the nebulizer. Attach the mouthpiece or face mask to the drug chamber. Then, attach the drug chamber to the compressor.
  • Sit upright in a comfortable position. Place the mouthpiece into your mouth or put the face mask on, covering your nose and mouth. Turn on the compressor.
  • Breathe in slowly and evenly until you have inhaled all of the medicine. The treatment is complete when no more mist is formed by the nebulizer and the drug chamber is empty.
  • Clean the nebulizer after each use. Follow the cleaning directions that came with your nebulizer.

It may take up to 4 weeks of using cromolyn sodium before you get the full effect. For best results, keep using the medication as directed. Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve after 4 weeks of treatment, or if they get worse.

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Your dosage needs may change if you have surgery, are ill, are under stress, or have recently had an asthma attack. Do not change your doses or stop using cromolyn sodium inhalation without first talking to your doctor. Stopping suddenly or not using enough medicine can make your condition worse.

Asthma is usually treated with a combination of different drugs. To best treat your condition, use all of your medications as directed by your doctor. Be sure to read the medication guide or patient instructions provided with each of your medications. Talk with your doctor if any of your asthma medications do not seem to work as well in treating or preventing asthma attacks.

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If you also use a steroid medication, do not stop using the steroid suddenly or you may have unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Talk with your doctor about using less and less of the steroid before stopping completely.

To be sure this medication is helping your condition, your blood may need to be tested on a regular basis. Do not miss any scheduled appointments.

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Store this medication at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Keep the inhaler canister away from open flame or high heat, such as in a car on a hot day. The canister may explode if it gets too hot. Do not puncture an inhaler canister.

Keep track of the number of sprays you have used and throw away the canister after 112 sprays if you use the 8.1-gram inhaler, or 200 sprays if you use the 14.2-gram inhaler, even if it feels like there is still medicine in the canister.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Use the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next regularly scheduled dose, skip the missed dose and use the next one as directed. Do not use a double dose of this medication.

What happens if I overdose?

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Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine. An overdose of cromolyn sodium inhalation is not likely to cause life-threatening symptoms.

What should I avoid while taking cromolyn sodium inhalation?

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Avoid spraying the inhaler into your face or getting the medication in your eyes.

Do not mix cromolyn sodium inhalation with other medicines in a nebulizer.

What are the possible side effects of cromolyn sodium inhalation?

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Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

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Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • severe wheezing or chest tightness just after inhaling the medication;
  • skin rash, bruising, severe tingling, numbness, pain, muscle weakness; or
  • fever, swollen glands, rash or itching, joint pain, and a general ill feeling.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • dry or irritated throat, temporary or occasional cough;
  • sneezing, stuffy or itchy nose, watery eyes;
  • burning or bleeding of your nose;
  • nausea, heartburn, stomach pain;
  • urinating more or less than usual;
  • dizziness, drowsiness, headache; or
  • unusual or unpleasant taste in your mouth.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect cromolyn sodium inhalation?

There may be other drugs that can interact with cromolyn sodium inhalation. Tell your doctor about all your prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

Your pharmacist can provide more information about cromolyn sodium inhalation.


Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

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