Medically reviewed on June 7, 2018
Commonly used brand name(s)
In the U.S.
Available Dosage Forms:
Therapeutic Class: Ophthalmologic Agent
Pharmacologic Class: Mast Cell Stabilizer
Uses For cromolyn
Cromolyn ophthalmic solution is used in the eye to treat certain disorders of the eye caused by allergies. It works by acting on certain cells, called mast cells, to prevent them from releasing substances that cause the allergic reaction.
Cromolyn is available only with your doctor's prescription.
Before Using cromolyn
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For cromolyn, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to cromolyn or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.
Studies on cromolyn have been done only in adult patients, and there is no specific information comparing use of cromolyn in children up to 4 years of age with use in other age groups. For older children, cromolyn is not expected to cause different side effects or problems than it does in adults.
Many medicines have not been studied specifically in older people. Therefore, it may not be known whether they work exactly the same way they do in younger adults. Although there is no specific information comparing use of ophthalmic cromolyn in the elderly with use in other age groups, cromolyn is not expected to cause different side effects or problems in older people than it does in younger adults.
Interactions with Medicines
Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. Tell your healthcare professional if you are taking any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine.
Interactions with Food/Tobacco/Alcohol
Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.
Proper Use of cromolyn
To use the eye drops:
- First, wash your hands. Tilt the head back and, pressing your finger gently on the skin just beneath the lower eyelid, pull the lower eyelid away from the eye to make a space. Drop the medicine into this space. Let go of the eyelid and gently close the eyes. Do not blink. Keep the eyes closed for 1 or 2 minutes to allow the medicine to be absorbed by the eye.
- If you think you did not get the drop of medicine into your eye properly, use another drop.
- To keep the medicine as germ-free as possible, do not touch the applicator tip to any surface (including the eye). Also, keep the container tightly closed.
Use cromolyn eye drops only as directed. Do not use more of cromolyn and do not use it more often than your doctor ordered. To do so may increase the chance of side effects.
In order for cromolyn to work properly, it must be used every day in regularly spaced doses as ordered by your doctor. A few days may pass before you begin to feel better. However, in some conditions, it may take several weeks before you begin to feel better.
The dose of cromolyn will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of cromolyn. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.
The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.
- For ophthalmic solution (eye drops) dosage form:
- For eye allergies:
- Adults and children 4 years of age and older—Use one drop four to six times a day in regularly spaced doses.
- Children up to 4 years of age—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
- For eye allergies:
If you miss a dose of cromolyn, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.
Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.
Keep out of the reach of children.
Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
Precautions While Using cromolyn
If your symptoms do not improve or if your condition becomes worse, check with your doctor.
Cromolyn Side Effects
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:
- Rash or redness around the eyes
- swelling of the membrane covering the white part of the eye, redness of the white part of the eye, styes, or other eye irritation not present before therapy
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:
- Burning or stinging of eye (mild and temporary)
Less common or rare
- Dryness or puffiness around the eye
- watering or itching of eye (increased)
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
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- Dosage Information
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- Drug class: ophthalmic antihistamines and decongestants
Other brands: Crolom