Active Ingredients

Cromoglicic acid – effect, application & risks

Cromolyn acid

Cromoglicic acid is an active ingredient that is mainly used to prevent allergic diseases . The active substance is generally applied in the form of inhalation sprays, inhalation capsules, eye and nose drops and nasal sprays .

What is cromolyn acid?

Cromoglicic acid belongs to the active ingredient group of cromones. Well-known chromone derivatives are cromoglicic acid, flavones (yellow plant pigments) and certain cardioactive glycosides, such as e.g. B. the khellinin.

These derivatives are isolated from umbelliferous plants, while cromolyn acid is produced synthetically. Due to its better water solubility, the disodium salt of cromoglicic acid is used in medicines. Undissolved cromoglicic acid and its salt are present as a white, crystalline solid. To prevent allergic reactions, the active ingredient is only applied locally in the form of drops, sprays or by inhalation.

Enteral absorption (via the intestine) is not possible. The reason for this is to be found in the low lipophilicity (fat solubility) of cromoglicic acid or its salt. Cromoglicic acid acts directly on the mast cells and prevents the formation of inflammatory mediators such. B. the histamine . Since cromoglicic acid has a very short half-life, it must be used at least four times a day to prevent allergic reactions.

Pharmacological action

Cromoglicic acid prevents the release of inflammatory mediators by inhibiting the chloride channels of activated mast cells. Certain messenger substances, such as histamine or heparin , are stored in the mast cells and are responsible for the body’s own defences.

Histamine in particular causes inflammatory reactions in the defense reaction. In the event of an allergic reaction, these messenger substances are released to an increased extent to combat normally harmless substances. Cromoglicic acid has an inhibiting effect on the release of inflammatory mediators, although not immediately, but after several weeks of use. Therefore, the sole use of cromoglicic acid in an existing acute allergic reaction is unsuitable.

This allergy can only be successfully combated by long-term treatment with cromoglicic acid. However, the active ingredient is suitable for preventing allergies. The development of the effect can take 2-4 weeks. Therefore, treatment should begin several weeks before an expected allergy season.

Medical Application & Use

Cromoglicic acid is a long-term antiallergic . Typical diseases treated with cromoglicic acid are e.g. B. bronchial asthma , allergic rhinitis ( hay fever ), allergic conjunctivitis ( conjunctivitis ) and allergic reactions of the digestive organs.

As already mentioned, the treatment is mostly used for prophylaxis, because the effect only occurs with a considerable time delay. Systemically, cromoglicic acid has hardly any effect because less than 10 percent of it is absorbed by the body. Therefore, the drug can usually only be applied locally to the affected areas. For the prevention and treatment of asthmatic diseases, however, there is also a combinatorial use of cromoglicic acid with reproterol .

Reproterol has a bronchial dilating effect and can initially alleviate the acute shortness of breath that occurs in bronchial asthma. The long-term use of the combined drug in existing asthma leads to good long-term treatment success, since the anti-inflammatory effect and the rapid relief of shortness of breath are combined in one drug.

Due to the poor absorption and the short half-life of cromoglicic acid, the drug has to be applied several times a day for weeks. Cromoglicic acid can also be taken orally in capsule form to treat food allergies. Here, too, the active ingredient exerts its influence locally on the intestinal mucosa after the capsules have dissolved in the intestine.

Risks & side effects

Cromoglicic acid is very well tolerated. Even with long-term use, side effects were rarely observed. However, one should bear in mind that every active substance can lead to hypersensitivity reactions in the case of a corresponding physical constitution.

The side effects mentioned below can therefore be regarded as a basic risk. In rare cases, the use of eye drops can cause burning eyes , a foreign body sensation or swelling of the conjunctiva. Nasal sprays with cromoglicic acid can sometimes lead to headaches or taste disorders .

Hypersensitivity reactions such as skin rashes , hives , gastrointestinal problems or respiratory spasms also occur in individual cases when inhaled or taken orally . Although the active ingredient prevents allergic diseases, allergic shock also occurs in very rare cases. Adverse interactions with other drugs are not known to date.

Lisa Newlon
 | Website

Hello! I am Lisa Newlon, and I am a medical writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience in the healthcare industry. I have a Master’s degree in Medicine, and my deep understanding of medical terminology, practices, and procedures has made me a trusted source of information in the medical world.