Important Info on Cromolyn Sodium and Decongestants
Cromolyn sodium (Nasalcrom®) is often used for allergy relief. It is a nasal spray that, in some people, helps prevent allergic rhinitis from starting. When used as a nasal spray, it can safely stop the release of chemicals like histamine from mast cells. It is available over-the-counter and is used three to four times a day.
It has few side effects when used as directed and significantly helps some people manage their allergies. Doctors often recommend this medicine for the relief of allergies in children because it is extremely safe and available without a prescription.
By helping the nasal passages drain away mucus, decongestants can help relieve symptoms such as congestion, swelling, excess secretions, and discomfort in the sinus areas.
Your doctor may recommend using oral or nasal decongestants to reduce congestion, along with an antihistamine to control allergic symptoms. Common over-the-counter decongestants include Sudafed®, Actifed®, and Drixoral®.
People with high blood pressure, heart disease, glaucoma, an enlarged prostate, thyroid disease, or diabetes should not use decongestants for allergy relief unless a doctor says it's okay. Never use a decongestant if you're taking a drug containing an MAO inhibitor (sometimes used to treat depression).
Also, you should not use over-the-counter or prescription decongestant nose drops and sprays for more than a few days. When used for longer periods, these medicines can lead to even more congestion and swelling of the nasal passages. Because of recent concerns about the bad effects of decongestant sprays and drops, some products have been removed from store shelves.