Both nedocromil sodium and cromolyn sodium are useful anti-inflammatory drugs in the therapy of allergic diseases. These diseases include asthma, allergic rhinitis, and allergic ocular disorders. Additional therapeutic uses have been proposed. Nedocromil and cromolyn are both available in the United States for asthma therapy, but only cromolyn is available for the treatment of the other conditions.
Recent publications in the evidence-based literature have upheld the safety profile of the chromones, but increasingly suggest that other topical anti-inflammatory agents (e.g., glucocorticosteroids or ocular antihistamine preparations) are more effective and have comparable safety at recommended doses. Cromolyn appears to be more effective when combined with a ß-agonist. There are no data to support that addition of chromones to inhaled corticosteroids enhances efficacy. Whether other drugs can be utilized with cromolyn or nedocromil to achieve greater effectiveness and comparable safety remains to be seen. Refinements of existing formulations may also achieve greater efficacy. At present, cromolyn and nedocromil appear to be niche drugs that can be of great clinical importance for some patients.
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