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Diagnosis and Treatment |

Therapy with Cromolyn Sodium

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▸Requests for reprints should be addressed to I. Leonard Bernstein, M.D., Division of Immunology, Department of Medicine, University of Cincinnati Medical Center; 231 Bethesda Avenue; Cincinnati, OH 45267.

Cincinnati, Ohio

© 1978 American College of PhysiciansAmerican College of Physicians

Ann Intern Med. 1978;89(2):228-233. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-89-2-228
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Cromolyn is a prototype of a new series of drugs, the pharmacologic activities of which may offer an entirely new approach in the treatment of asthma. Whereas bronchodilator drugs and steroids act primarily at tissue sites to counteract the effects of various toxic mediators released from tissue mast cells, cromolyn prevents the release of such mediators from mast cell membranes. The advent of cromolyn sodium therapy has been recognized as a significant advance by the pharmaceutical industry, which is rapidly developing a series of cromolyn-like drugs with similar properties. Many of these compounds are active orally, and some preliminary investigations suggest that they also could be clinically effective. Cromolyn has therapeutic value in immunologic and nonimmunologically induced bronchospasm, being particularly suited for conditions amenable to long-term prophylactic therapy. The risk-to-benefit ratio of cromolyn sodium therapy is excellent. Cromolyn sodium is an important adjunct in the treatment of asthma. By topical administration the drug has been effective in seasonal and perennial rhinoconjunctivitis and in selected cases of gastrointestinal allergy to foods.





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