The effect of frequent administration of sodium cromoglycate to asthmatic children who previously responded poorly


Dr Simon Godfrey, Department of Child Health, Hammersmith Hospital, Du Cane Road, London. W12 0HS.


The effect of an increased frequency of administration of sodium cromoglycate (SCG) was studied in twenty-four asthmatic children who had previously responded poorly to 3–4 capsules per day. Six out of seven children who were assessed clinically alone improved when their dose was raised to 6 capsules daily. When a diary score and bronchodilator consumption were recorded, the more frequent administration of SCG gave significantly better results in eleven of seventeen children. However, only five of the twelve children given peak flow meters to use twice daily at home showed objective improvement.

At the beginning of the trial four children were on systemic corticosteroid treatment and two of them were weaned off while on the raised dosage of SCG. The other two were not improved and were treated with a corticosteroid aerosol, beclomethasone diproprionate (Becotide), as were two other SCG failures. There was no clear correlation between the duration of protection given by SCG on exercise testing and the clinical response in this trial.

The fact that only four out of twenty-four children who previously did not respond satisfactorily to SCG eventually needed corticosteroids, suggests that the increased frequency of administration may reduce the proportion of children failing to respond to SCG.