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Cromolyn Oral Inhalation

(kroe' moe lin)

Brand Name(s): Intal®; also available generically

WHY is this medicine prescribed?

Cromolyn oral inhalation is used to prevent the wheezing, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, coughing, and chest tightness caused by asthma. It also is used to prevent breathing difficulties (bronchospasm) caused by exercise, cold and dry air, or by inhaling substances such as pet dander, pollen, dust mites, or chemicals, such as perfume. It works by preventing the release of substances that cause inflammation (swelling) in the air passages of the lungs.

Are there OTHER USES for this medicine?

This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

HOW should this medicine be used?

Cromolyn oral inhalation comes as a solution (liquid) to inhale by mouth using a special nebulizer (machine that turns medication into a mist that can be inhaled). When the nebulizer is used to prevent symptoms of asthma, it is usually used 4 times a day. When the nebulizer is used to prevent breathing difficulty caused by exercise, cold and dry air, or by inhaling a substance (trigger), it is usually used 10 to 15 minutes before exercise or before you come into contact with the trigger. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Use cromolyn exactly as directed. Do not use more or less of it or use it more often than prescribed by your doctor.

Cromolyn controls asthma but does not cure it. Your symptoms may improve soon after you begin using cromolyn, but it may take up to 4 weeks for before you feel the full benefit of the medication. You should use it regularly for it to be effective. If your symptoms have not improved after 4 weeks, tell your doctor. Continue to use cromolyn even if you feel well. Do not stop using cromolyn without talking to your doctor.

Cromolyn oral inhalation helps to prevent asthma attacks (sudden episodes of shortness of breath, wheezing, and coughing) but will not stop an asthma attack that has already started. Your doctor will prescribe a short-acting inhaler to use during asthma attacks.

Before you use cromolyn inhalation for the first time, read the written instructions that come with the nebulizer. Ask your doctor, pharmacist, or respiratory therapist to show you how to use it. Practice using the nebulizer while he or she watches.

To inhale the solution using a nebulizer, follow these steps;

  1. Remove one vial of cromolyn solution from the foil pouch. Leave the rest of the vials in the pouch until you are ready to use them.
  2. Look at the liquid in the vial. It should be clear and colorless. Do not use the vial if the liquid is cloudy or discolored.
  3. Twist off the top of the vial and squeeze all of the liquid into the nebulizer reservoir. If you are using your nebulizer to inhale other medications, ask your doctor or pharmacist if you can place the other medications in the reservoir along with cromolyn.
  4. Connect the nebulizer reservoir to the mouthpiece or face mask.
  5. Connect the nebulizer to the compressor.
  6. Place the mouthpiece in your mouth or put on the face mask. Sit in an upright, comfortable position and turn on the compressor.
  7. Breathe in calmly, deeply, and evenly for about 5 to 10 minutes until mist stops forming in the nebulizer chamber.
  8. Clean your nebulizer regularly. Follow the manufacturer's directions carefully and ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions about cleaning your nebulizer.

What SPECIAL PRECAUTIONS should I follow?

Before using cromolyn,

  • tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to cromolyn, any other drugs, or any of the ingredients in cromolyn nebulizer solution. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
  • tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements and herbal products you are taking or planning to take .
  • tell your doctor if you have or have ever had liver or kidney disease.
  • tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding. If you become pregnant while using cromolyn, call your doctor.

What should I do IF I FORGET to take a dose?

Use the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not use a double dose to make up for a missed one.

What SIDE EFFECTS can this medicine cause?

Cromolyn inhalation may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

  • sore throat
  • bad taste in the mouth
  • stomach pain
  • cough
  • stuffy nose
  • itching or burning nasal passages
  • sneezing

If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:

  • wheezing
  • difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • hives
  • rash
  • itching
  • swelling of the face, tongue, throat, or lips

What should I know about STORAGE and DISPOSAL of this medication?

Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Keep unused vials of nebulizer solution in the foil pouch until you are ready to use them. Store nebulizer vials at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom).

Unneeded medications should be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and other people cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medication down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medication is through a medicine take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage/recycling department to learn about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA's Safe Disposal of Medicines website (http://goo.gl/c4Rm4p) for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.

It is important to keep all medication out of sight and reach of children as many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and young children can open them easily. To protect young children from poisoning, always lock safety caps and immediately place the medication in a safe location – one that is up and away and out of their sight and reach. http://www.upandaway.org

What OTHER INFORMATION should I know?

Keep all appointments with your doctor.

Do not let anyone else use your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.

It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.

This branded product is no longer on the market. Generic alternatives may be available.


This report on medications is for your information only, and is not considered individual patient advice. Because of the changing nature of drug information, please consult your physician or pharmacist about specific clinical use.

The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists® represents that the information provided hereunder was formulated with a reasonable standard of care, and in conformity with professional standards in the field. The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists® makes no representations or warranties, express or implied, including, but not limited to, any implied warranty of merchantability and/or fitness for a particular purpose, with respect to such information and specifically disclaims all such warranties. Users are advised that decisions regarding drug therapy are complex medical decisions requiring the independent, informed decision of an appropriate health care professional, and the information is provided for informational purposes only. The entire monograph for a drug should be reviewed for a thorough understanding of the drug's actions, uses and side effects. The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists® does not endorse or recommend the use of any drug. The information is not a substitute for medical care.

Pronunciation Guide for Drug Names is used with permission. © 2009. The United States Pharmacopeial Convention. All Rights Reserved.

AHFS® Patient Medication Information™. © Copyright, 2020. The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists®, 4500 East-West Highway, Suite 900, Bethesda, Maryland. All Rights Reserved. Duplication for commercial use must be authorized by ASHP.

Selected Revisions: March 15, 2016.