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.

In its mechanism of action, it inhibits degranulation of mast cells, preventing the release of histamine , inflammatory leukotrienes, anaphylactic substance, pulmonary neuronal reflexes and reduces the influx of calcium.

When this biochemical process is generated, an anti-allergic effect occurs that acts on bronchial asthma .

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.

Just in these cases, the treatment by means of 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.


  • Solution for inhalation.
  • 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 contains 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 serious.

Being able to cause cough, stomach pain, headache, nasal congestion, unpleasant taste in the mouth, irritability and dryness in the throat.

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

In drops:

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


Solution for inhalation and spray:

Stop use immediately if you have symptoms such as 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 distortion of the lens 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.
  • For prophylaxis of asthma it is recommended to inhale 20 mg four times a day at regular intervals.
  • For prophylaxis of bronchospasm; 20 mg as a single dose before allergenexposure 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 in accordance with medical criteria.

Ophthalmic solution:

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


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