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Drugs & Medications

cromolyn inhalation

COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Intal

GENERIC NAME(S): CROMOLYN SODIUM

Uses

This medication is used to prevent symptoms (wheezing and shortness of breath) caused by asthma. It is generally used with other medications by patients who have symptoms at least twice weekly (mild persistent asthma). It is also used to prevent wheezing and shortness of breath caused by exercise, cold/dry/polluted air, or allergens such as pollen. Controlling breathing problems may decrease time lost from work or school. If you use this medication you may not need to use other asthma drugs (such as corticosteroids) as often.

Cromolyn belongs to a class of medications called mast cell stabilizers. It works by preventing release of certain natural chemicals (such as histamines) that may cause swelling of the airways and breathing problems.

This medication must be used regularly to prevent asthma symptoms. It does not work immediately and should not be used to relieve sudden asthma attacks. If an asthma attack occurs, use your quick-relief inhaler as prescribed.

How to use cromolyn inhalation

Read the Patient Information Leaflet provided by your pharmacist before you start using cromolyn and each time you get a refill. Follow the illustrated directions for the proper use of this medication. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

This product is used with special breathing equipment (power nebulizer with face mask or mouthpiece). Ask your doctor, pharmacist, or respiratory therapist about the proper use of the equipment with this medication.

Make sure you understand how to use the machine and how to properly clean it to prevent infections. A parent or other responsible adult should supervise a child who is using this type of machine. If you have any questions, ask your heath care professional.

Before using, check this product visually for particles or discoloration. If either is present, do not use the solution. Do not mix this medication with other solutions or products in the nebulizer.

Inhale this medication by mouth, usually 4 times daily or as directed by your doctor.

If you are using this medication to prevent breathing problems related to exercise, cold/dry air, or allergens, use it within 10 to 15 minutes, but not more than 60 minutes, before exposure.

If you are using other inhaled medications, ask your doctor when to use each of the medications and in what order you should use them.

Learn which of your inhalers/medications you should use every day (controller drugs) and which you should use if your breathing suddenly worsens (quick-relief drugs). Ask your doctor ahead of time what you should do if you have new or worsening cough or shortness of breath, wheezing, increased sputum, worsening peak flow meter readings, waking up at night with trouble breathing, if you use your quick-relief inhaler more often (more than 2 days a week), or if your quick-relief inhaler does not seem to be working well. Learn when you can treat sudden breathing problems by yourself and when you must get medical help right away.

Use this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. This medication works best if always used at evenly spaced intervals. To help you remember, use it at the same times each day. Do not increase your dose, use it more frequently, or stop using this medication without first asking your doctor. Dosage is based on your medical condition, your age, response to treatment, and use of other asthma medications. Your doctor may lower your dose once the medication starts to work. Follow your doctor's instructions carefully.

It may take up to 4 weeks of regular use before the full benefit of this drug takes effect.

If you notice less effect than usual from this medication, if your symptoms get worse, and/or you feel you need to use any of your asthma medications more often than recommended, seek immediate medical attention.

Side Effects

Coughing, stuffy nose, sneezing, headache, nausea, or tearing may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: dizziness, painful/frequent urination, joint swelling/pain, swollen glands around the cheek (parotid gland), muscle weakness, heartburn.

Infrequently, this medication may cause severe sudden worsening of breathing problems/asthma immediately after use. If you have sudden worsening of breathing, use your quick-relief inhaler and seek immediate medical attention.

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

In the US -

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.

Precautions

Before using cromolyn, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: liver problems, kidney problems.

During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.

It is unknown whether this drug passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

Interactions

The effects of some drugs can change if you take other drugs or herbal products at the same time. This can increase your risk for serious side effects or may cause your medications not to work correctly. These drug interactions are possible, but do not always occur. Your doctor or pharmacist can often prevent or manage interactions by changing how you use your medications or by close monitoring.

To help your doctor or pharmacist give you the best care, be sure to tell your doctor or pharmacist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) before starting treatment with this product. While using this product, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any other medicines you are using without your doctor's approval.

Keep a list of all the products you use. Share the list with your doctor and pharmacist to reduce your risk for serious medication problems.

Overdose

If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.

Notes

Do not share this medication with others.

Learn to use a peak flow meter, use it daily, and promptly report worsening asthma (such as readings in the yellow/red range, increased use of quick-relief inhalers).

Avoid substances that can worsen breathing problems by causing irritation or allergic reaction, such as smoke, pollen, pet dander, dust, and mold.

Because the flu virus can worsen breathing problems, ask your doctor or pharmacist if you should have a flu shot every year.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you remember. Use the remaining doses for that day at evenly spaced intervals. Do not double the dose to catch up.

Storage

Store at room temperature in the foil pouches away from light and moisture. Refer to storage information printed on the bottle for the exact temperature range. If you have any questions about storage, ask your pharmacist. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets.

Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company for more details about how to safely discard your product.

Information last revised April 2014. Copyright(c) 2014 First Databank, Inc.

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Selected from data included with permission and copyrighted by First Databank, Inc. This copyrighted material has been downloaded from a licensed data provider and is not for distribution, expect as may be authorized by the applicable terms of use.

CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any drug, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.

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