How does this medication work? What will it do for me?
Sodium cromoglycate eye drops belong to the class of medications called mast cell stabilizers. It is used to help relieve and prevent seasonal allergy eye symptoms such as itching, tearing, and redness. Relief of symptoms usually occurs within 2 to 3 days of starting the medication.
Sodium cromoglycate works by blocking the release of histamine from certain cells in the body called mast cells. Histamine causes allergy symptoms such as itchy, red, and watery eyes.
This medication may be available under multiple brand names and/or in several different forms. Any specific brand name of this medication may not be available in all of the forms or approved for all of the conditions discussed here. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here.
Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed in these drug information articles. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are using this medication, speak to your doctor or pharmacist. Do not stop using this medication without consulting your doctor or pharmacist.
Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to use this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it, or a pharmacist has not recommended it.
What form(s) does this medication come in?
Each plastic dropper bottle of a clear, colorless to pale yellow sterile solution, contains sodium cromoglycate 2% w/v. Nonmedicinal ingredients: benzalkonium chloride as a preservative and edetate disodium.
How should I use this medication?
The recommended dose of sodium cromoglycate eye drops for adults and children over 5 years of age is 1 or 2 drops in each eye 4 times daily at regular intervals. If possible, start treatment before your usual allergy season.
To avoid contamination of the bottle tip, replace the cap after each use and do not touch the eye, finger, or other surface with the bottle tip. Wash your hands thoroughly before and after using the drops.
To instill the drops:
- Tilt your head back and gently pull your lower lid down.
- Carefully squeeze out 1 or 2 drops into each eye while looking up toward your forehead.
- Close your eyes gently for a few moments.
If you are not sure how to use the drops, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
Many things can affect the dose of medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are using the medication without consulting your doctor or pharmacist.
It is important to use this medication exactly as suggested by your doctor or pharmacist. Keep using this medication for the full length of treatment, even if your symptoms go away. Using this medication regularly during the allergy season will help ensure your symptoms remain controlled.
If you miss a dose, instill it as soon as possible and continue on with your regular schedule. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not instill a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you are not sure what to do after missing a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.
Store this medication at room temperature, protect it from direct sunlight, and keep it out of the reach of children. Discard opened bottles after 4 weeks.
Do not dispose of medications in wastewater (e.g. down the sink or in the toilet) or in household garbage. Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medications that are no longer needed or have expired.
Who should NOT take this medication?
Do not use this medication if you are allergic to sodium cromoglycate or any ingredients of the medication.
What side effects are possible with this medication?
Many medications can cause side effects. A side effect is an unwanted response to a medication when it is taken in normal doses. Side effects can be mild or severe, temporary or permanent.
The side effects listed below are not experienced by everyone who takes this medication. If you are concerned about side effects, discuss the risks and benefits of this medication with your doctor.
The following side effects have been reported by at least 1% of people taking this medication. Many of these side effects can be managed, and some may go away on their own over time.
Contact your doctor if you experience these side effects and they are severe or bothersome. Your pharmacist may be able to advise you on managing side effects.
- burning or stinging of the eye (mild and temporary)
- dry eyes
- puffiness around the eyes
- watery, itchy eyes
Some people may experience side effects other than those listed. Check with your doctor if you notice any symptom that worries you while you are taking this medication.
Are there any other precautions or warnings for this medication?
Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.
Contact lenses: Do not wear soft contact lenses while using sodium cromoglycate eye drops.
Other eye conditions: If you experience eye pain, changes in vision, sensitivity or pain in the eyes when exposed to light, sudden eye redness, excessive eye discharge that is not clear, abnormal pupils, or eye injury, your symptoms may not be caused by allergies and you should contact your doctor immediately. If your symptoms worsen or if they do not improve within 72 hours, contact your doctor immediately.
Pregnancy: This medication should not be used during pregnancy unless the benefits outweigh the risks. If you become pregnant while using this medication, contact your doctor immediately.
Breast-feeding: It is not known if sodium cromoglycate passes into breast milk. If you are a breast-feeding mother and are using this medication, it may affect your baby. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue breast-feeding.
Children: The safety and effectiveness of using sodium cromoglycate eye drops have not been established for children under 5 years old.
What other drugs could interact with this medication?
There may be an interaction between sodium cromoglycate eye drops and any of the following:
- other eye preparations
If you are using any of these medications, speak with your doctor or pharmacist. Depending on your specific circumstances, your doctor may want you to:
- stop taking one of the medications,
- change one of the medications to another,
- change how you are taking one or both of the medications, or
- leave everything as is.
An interaction between two medications does not always mean that you must stop taking one of them. Speak to your doctor about how any drug interactions are being managed or should be managed.
Medications other than those listed above may interact with this medication. Tell your doctor or prescriber about all prescription, over-the-counter (non-prescription), and herbal medications that you are taking. Also tell them about any supplements you take. Since caffeine, alcohol, the nicotine from cigarettes, or street drugs can affect the action of many medications, you should let your prescriber know if you use them.
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