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Allergies Health Center

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Mast Cell Inhibitors for Allergy Symptoms

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    Cromolyn sodium (Nasalcrom, Crolom), a mast cell inhibitor, is used to prevent allergic symptoms like runny nose or itchy eyes. Cromolyn sodium must be started 1-2 weeks before pollen season and continued daily to prevent seasonal allergy symptoms. The response is not as strong as that of corticosteroid nasal sprays.

    • How mast cell inhibitors work: These drugs prevent the release of histamine and other chemicals that cause allergic symptoms from mast cells when an individual comes into contact with an allergen like pollen.
    • Who should not use these medications: Individuals who are allergic to any components of the nasal spray or eye drops should not take mast cell inhibitors.
    • Use: Frequent dosing is necessary, since the effect only lasts up to 8 hours. Mast cell inhibitors are available as nasal sprays to prevent runny nose or eye drops for itchy eyes.
    • Drug or food interactions: Since these drugs have little or no effect beyond the area applied, they are unlikely to interact with other drugs.
    • Side effects:Contact lenses should not be worn if using eye drops. Eye drops may cause stinging, burning, redness, and, possibly, severe swelling of eyes. Nasal congestion, sneezing, itching, nosebleeds, and burning have been reported with use of cromolyn sodium nasal sprays.

    Recommended Related to Allergies

    3 Questions About Pollen Allergies

    Do you suffer from frequent sneezing, congestion, watery eyes, and an itchy, runny nose? If so, you may have seasonal allergic rhinitis, often called hay fever. It strikes when pollen starts to fly. About 18 million U.S. adults and more than 7 million children suffer from hay fever, according to the CDC. Fortunately, there are steps people with allergies can take to avoid pollen and the misery that accompanies it, says Andy W. Nish, MD, of the Allergy & Asthma Care Center in Gainesville, Ga...

    Read the 3 Questions About Pollen Allergies article > >

    WebMD Medical Reference from eMedicineHealth

    Reviewed by Luqman Seidu, MD on May 04, 2014
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