Sodium cromoglycate: What is it? Presentation, Indications, Side Effects, Contraindications and Prescription

It is an antiallergic used in cases associated with ocular affections and as a preventive treatment in mild or moderate asthma produced by exposure to antigens.

For example, chemicals, pollen, and air pollutants, among others.

Its mechanism of action inhibits the degranulation of mast cells, preventing the release of histamine, inflammatory leukotrienes, anaphylactic substances, and pulmonary neuronal reflexes, and reduces the influx of calcium.

An antiallergic effect acts on bronchial asthma when this biochemical process is generated.

As a result, sodium cromoglycate is not a bronchodilator and is not prescribed to treat asthma symptoms but is used for its preventive action in asthmatic people.

In these cases, the treatment uses solutions or spray is used.

These doses are absorbed by 8% through the lungs, and the rest is exhaled by depositing in the oropharynx or swallowed, eliminating naturally in the feces.


Once the treatment is started in asthmatic people, the clinical improvement is observed around the first three to four weeks.


  • Inhalation solution.
  • Aerosol suspension.
  • Ophthalmological drops.


  • 1% solution for inhalation.
  • 100 ml of 4% ophthalmological drops contain 4.0 g of sodium cromoglycate.
  • Aerosol suspension where each 100 mg includes 3.6 g of sodium cromoglycate.


  • In solution for inhalation and spray: Preventive treatment of intrinsic and extrinsic bronchial asthma induced by exercise, climatic changes, antigens, chemical irritants, stress.
  • In drops: Treatment of allergic disorders, seasonal allergic conjunctivitis, acute and perennial, use of contact lenses, and vernal and allergic keratoconjunctivitis.

Side effects

Solution for inhalation and spray:

Due to its low absorption, adverse effects occur in less than 1% of people who use this drug, and the associated reactions are usually not severe.

It can cause cough, stomach pain, headache, nasal congestion, unpleasant taste in the mouth, irritability, and dryness in the throat.

Patients with lactose intolerance can generate vomiting, nausea, flatulence, bloating, and abdominal cramps.

In drops:

Burning eyes with mild and transient effects, dryness around the eye, chemosis, styles, and watery eyes. Although in the first application, it can cause blurred vision.


Solution for inhalation and spray:

Stop use immediately if you have shortness of breath, swelling of the throat, face, and hives.

These are usually manifestations of severe allergy or hypersensitivity to any of its components.

When found in category B risk in pregnant women, it should not be given unless directed by your doctor, in those cases where the benefits outweigh the risks.


In uncontrolled eye allergy formulations, avoid using contact lenses.

If needed, it is suggested to wait around 10 to 30 minutes before replacing the lenses.

Take into account that slight and transient lens distortion could occur in any benzalkonium-based preparation.



  • The dose should be administered through the nebulizer mask twice a day every 6 hours.
  • Subsequently, and as directed by your doctor, it will be reduced every 8 to 12 hours.
  • To prevent asthma, it is recommended to inhale 20 mg four times a day at regular intervals.
  • To prevent bronchospasm, 20 mg as a single dose before allergen exposure or exercise.
  • It is recommended not to use a double dose to complement the one you forgot.


The dose can be increased to two shots six to eight times a day for severe cases. These doses can be reduced, always gradually and by medical criteria.

Ophthalmic solution:

Adults and children: 1 or 2 drops in each eye, up to four times a day. The dose can increase to six times a day to control more symptoms.


In all cases, keep this medication at room temperature and keep it out of the reach of children.