Generic name: cromolyn sodium
Dosage form: Nebulizer Solution
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For management of bronchial asthma in adults and pediatric patients (two years of age and over), the usual starting dosage is the contents of one ampule administered by nebulization four times a day at regular intervals.
Drug stability and safety of INTAL Nebulizer Solution when mixed with other drugs in a nebulizer have not been established.
Patients with chronic asthma should be advised that the effect of INTAL therapy is dependent upon its administration at regular intervals, as directed. INTAL should be introduced into the patient's therapeutic regimen when the acute episode has been controlled, the airway has been cleared and the patient is able to inhale adequately.
For the prevention of acute bronchospasm which follows exercise or exposure to cold dry air, environmental agents (e.g., animal danders, toluene diisocyanate, pollutants), etc., the usual dose is the contents of one ampule administered by nebulization shortly before exposure to the precipitating factor.
It should be emphasized to the patient that the drug is poorly absorbed when swallowed and is not effective by this route of administration.
For additional information, see the accompanying leaflet entitled “Living a Full Life with Asthma”.
INTAL Therapy in Relation to Other Treatments for Asthma: Non-steroidal agents: INTAL should be added to the patient's existing treatment regimen (e.g., bronchodilators). When a clinical response to INTAL is evident, usually within two to four weeks, and if the asthma is under good control, an attempt may be made to decrease concomitant medication usage gradually.
If concomitant medications are eliminated or required on no more than a prn basis, the frequency of administration of INTAL may be titrated downward to the lowest level consistent with the desired effect. The usual decrease is from four to three ampules per day. It is important that the dosage be reduced gradually to avoid exacerbation of asthma. It is emphasized that in patients whose dosage has been titrated to fewer than four ampules per day, an increase in the dose of INTAL and the introduction of, or increase in, symptomatic medications may be needed if the patient's clinical condition deteriorates.
Corticosteroids: In patients chronically receiving corticosteroids for the management of bronchial asthma, the dosage should be maintained following the introduction of INTAL. If the patient improves, an attempt to decrease corticosteroids should be made. Even if the corticosteroid-dependent patient fails to show symptomatic improvement following INTAL administration, the potential to reduce corticosteroids may nonetheless be present. Thus, gradual tapering of corticosteroid dosage may be attempted. It is important that the dose be reduced slowly, maintaining close supervision of the patient to avoid an exacerbation of asthma.
It should be borne in mind that prolonged corticosteroid therapy frequently causes an impairment in the activity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and a reduction in the size of the adrenal cortex. A potentially critical degree of impairment or insufficiency may persist asymptomatically for some time even after gradual discontinuation of adrenocortical steroids. Therefore, if a patient is subjected to significant stress, such as a severe asthmatic attack, surgery, trauma or severe illness while being treated or within one year (occasionally up to two years) after corticosteroid treatment has been terminated, consideration should be given to reinstituting corticosteroid therapy. When respiratory function is impaired, as may occur in severe exacerbation of asthma, a temporary increase in the amount of corticosteroids may be required to regain control of the patient's asthma.
It is particularly important that great care be exercised if, for any reason, INTAL is withdrawn in cases where its use has permitted a reduction in the maintenance dose of corticosteroids. In such cases, continued close supervision of the patient is essential since there may be sudden reappearance of severe manifestations of asthma which will require immediate therapy and possible reintroduction of corticosteroids.
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- Drug class: mast cell stabilizers