Gastrocrom is indicated for the symptomatic treatment of mastocytosis, which is caused by the increased number of mast cells in the body. This condition can affect adults and children.
Mast cells are key players in the immune response since they release chemicals that help the body fight off infection. These include, but are not limited to, histamine and cytokines.
When there are too many mast cells in the body, these chemicals also increase and can cause a variety of symptoms. These include typical allergic responses, musculoskeletal pain, ulcers, diarrhea, itching, nausea and vomiting, and abdominal discomfort.
Oral cromolyn acts on mast cells and inhibits them from releasing those chemicals, therefore alleviating symptoms. This medication is only available with a prescription and comes in capsule or solution form.
2 What to Know Before Using
You need to consider a number of factors before using Gastrocom. You and your doctor must have a comprehensive discussion about the pros and cons. This medication is contraindicated in individuals who have had allergic reactions to cromolyn sodium. Inform your physician about food, dry, animal, and drug allergies.
The effects of oral cromolyn on younger children have not been compared with its effects on other age groups. It is usually prescribed for children age 2 years old and over. It should only be used in younger children if the benefits significantly outweigh the risks and if the condition is dire.
There haven’t been enough studies done comparing oral cromolyn’s effects on patients 65 years old and over versus its effects on younger adults although this medication is expected to have similar effects. However, it should be used with caution given the fact that elderly patients are more at risk of developing renal, cardiovascular and hepatic problems.
Oral cromolyn is a pregnancy category B for all trimesters. It should be used only if clearly necessary. There isn’t enough evidence to suggest that cromolyn is not excreted in human milk. Therefore, it should be used with caution in nursing women.
Check with your physician if cromolyn may interact with other medications you are taking. Inform your physician if you have liver and/or kidney disease since these conditions can alter the concentration of cromolyn in your body and put you at risk of developing untoward effects.
To use Gastrocrom correctly, you must follow all instructions given by your doctor.
If you are on a low-sodium diet, inform your physician as oral cromolyn contains sodium. Follow your doctor’s orders regarding the dosage, frequency and timing. This medication should be taken on a regular basis to achieve maximum efficacy.
Read the patient information sheet for instructions on the proper administration of oral cromolyn. Generally, you need to open the capsule, mix the powder with hot water, and drink it. Do not mix this medication with milk, fruit juice, or food.
If you have the solution form, break the ampule, squeeze the liquid into your glass of water, stir, and drink all of the liquid. The normal dosage and timing of oral cromolyn is 200 mg dissolved in water and taken 4 times daily. This is for children 12 years of age and older, as well as adults.
The recommended dose for children aged 2 to 12 is 100 mg dissolved in water to be taken 4 times daily. Take a dose immediately if you missed it but only if the next timing isn’t near. Otherwise, skip it all together and resume the normal schedule. Keep this medication away from children’s reach.
4 Precautions to Take
Before using Gastrocrom, there are some precautions you must take.
Notify your physician if your symptoms do not get better. Again, oral cromolyn should be used with caution in patients with renal and/or hepatic problems since this medication is primarily metabolized and excreted by the liver and kidneys, respectively.
The starting dose must be lower than the recommended dose and adjusted accordingly. Also, this medication should not be used in patients who have had allergic reactions to cromolyn or its ingredients.
5 Potential Side Effects
Gastrocrom has several side effects associated with it. Remember, however, that not all of these side effects can occur. Rare reactions that need medical attention include coughing, itching, difficulty in swallowing, facial swelling including lips or eyelids, and wheezing.
You should also inform your physician immediately if you develop a skin rash. Other adverse reactions that are less commonly reported include:
Please note that these symptoms could also be related to mastocytosis and are temporary. Call your doctor right away if any of your symptoms get worse. Do the same if you experience effects that are not listed here.
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