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Allergies > Doctors: Cromones


They are generally less effective than antihistamines and topical corticosteroids. Furthermore, regular use (ie four times daily) is essential and this increases non-compliance.

Disodium cromoglicate is available in topical form for use in the eyes, nose, and bronchi. It is most useful as a prophylactic treatment or when antihistamines are not tolerated. Sodium nedocromil is available in an ophthalmological solution for treating eye symptoms.

Mode of Action

Cromones appear to act on the cell wall of mast cells and/or the intracellular events that follow allergen binding to IgE. Their mechanism of action is largely undetermined, but may include blockage of calcium channels on mast cell membranes, phosphodiesterase inhibition, or blockage of oxidative phosphorylation.

Drug Information

The following table lists some major cromones available in the UK, Canada, and US for the treatment of allergic rhinitis. Only brand name drugs are listed, but generic versions may also be available.

Active ingredients Brand names and country where licensed
Nasal solutions
Sodium cromoglicate, cromolyn Children’s Nasalcrom, Nasalcrom (US) Apo-Cromolyn, Cromolyn Nasal Solution, Gen-Cromoglycate (Canada)
Eye solutions  
Nedocromil sodium Alocril (US)


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