Cromolyn/sodium cromoglycate/DSCG

Disodium cromoglycate or cromolyn, available since 1973 is an antiasthmatic/ antiallergic drug acting as a mast cell stabilizer.
About 20 cases reported in the literature.
One death (bronchospasm).
Clinical manifestations
Anaphylactic shock: 3 cases published.
Bronchospasm: one death reported.
Rhinitis, conjunctivitis, urticaria.
Differentiate from dermatitis, myositis, gastroenteritis (2% of patients) and cough, dry mouth, pharyngeal irritation, mild transient bronchospasm (attributed to local irritant effects of the powder on hyperreactive airways).
Diagnostic methods
Cutaneous testing.
Skin prick-tests (10 mg/ ml): positive in a few patients.
Intradermal skin tests (10 mg/ ml): positive with syndromic reaction in one case.
Specific IgE (RAST) by spontaneous binding of DSCG to human serum albumin (one case).
Conjunctival challenge test (20 mg/ ml).
Bronchial challenge (20 mg/capsule).
IgE-mediated hypersensitivity (positive skin tests, passive transfer, specific IgE).
DSCG is a weak hapten (only hydrogen bonds can be found between drug and host cells or tissue).
Allergic sensitization may disappear with the time.


  1. Ibanez M.D, Laso M.T, Martinez-San Irineo M, Alonso E, "Anaphylaxis to disodium cromoglycate (see comments)", Ann. Allergy. Asthma. Immunol., 1996; 77 (3): 185-6
  2. Shearer W.T, "Anaphylaxis to disodium cromoglycate (editorial)", Ann. Allergy. Asthma. Immunol., 1996; 77 (3): 165
  3. Mansfield L.E, "Disappearance of allergic reaction to cromolyn (cromoglycate) by avoidance and then reintroduction", J. Asthma., 1991; 28 (6): 447-50
  4. Wass U, Plaschke P, Bjorkander J, Belin L, "Assay of specific IgE antibodies to disodium cromoglycate in serum from a patient with an immediate hypersensitivity reaction", J. Allergy. Clin. Immunol, 1988; 81 (4): 750-7

As in all diagnostic testing, the diagnosis is made by the physican based on both test results and the patient history.