Cromoglicic acid also referred to as cromolyn or Cromoglicate is a mast cell stabilizer. It
prevents the release of histamine, an inflammatory chemical, from mast cells. It is commonly
marketed as sodium cromoglicate or cromolyn sodium. In the treatment of Asthama, it was
the non-corticosteroid of choice but has been replaced by leukotriene receptor antagonists,
as they are known to be safer and convenient to use. It has no additive benefit when taken in
combination with inhaled corticosteroids. Cromoglycate is an effective long-term prophylactic
when treating mild-to-moderate asthma, where it decreases the frequency and severity of
attacks in extrinsic and exercise-induced asthma, in younger patients. It has also shown
symptomatic improvement when used to treat Allergic rhinitis, as a nasal spray. As eye
drops, it used to treat allergic conjunctivitis.
Cromoglicate is sold under the brand names Cromolyn sodium, Catacrom®; Murine®
hayfever relief; Opticrom®; among others.
Roger Altounyan first discovered Cromolyn sodium in 1965. It is a breakthrough drug in
asthma management. It frees many of them from depending on steroids. However, do note
that it is mainly effective as a prophylaxis for allergic or exercise-induced asthma. It should
not be for or during acute attacks.
Dosage and administration
Cromoglicate is ingredient in several medicines, so the dosage and the form and the
availability vary. In the case of the eye drops, wash your hand first, remove the cap using a
single-dose unit. Then tilt your head back and let the drops fall into the eye. To release one
drop into your eye, Press the container gently. After administration, Close eyes for a two
minutes, and press gently on the side of your nose where the corner of your eye meets your
The cost of Cromoglicate
In India, the consumers have to pay USD0.50 to USD1 for 5ml ophthalmic solution. In the
USA, the cost of 20 mg/2ml is $2.36 per nebule for 50 nebules.
How does Cromoglicate Work?
Cromoglicate prevents the release of mediators that attract inflammatory cells, thus
stabilizes the inflammatory cells. MCT mast cells in the mucosa are stabilised. The
underlying mechanism of action is not fully understood. While Cromoglicate stabilizes mast
cells, it is not associated with curing asthma. However, it has been suggested that, it works
by inhibiting the response of sensory C fibers to the irritant capsaicin, which in turn inhibits
the local axon reflexes involved in asthma. It is also thought to inhibit the release of
preformed T cell cytokines and mediators associated with Asthama.
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