Effects of orally administered sodium cromoglycate in asthma and urticaria due to foods


Professor J. Pepys, Department of Clinical Immunology, Cardiothoracic Institute, Brompton, London SW3 6HP.


Out of twenty patients with a history of asthma or urticaria attributed to food substances, ten reacted on oral challenge: seven with asthma, one with asthma and urticaria and two with urticaria alone. In five of the eight asthmatic reactors, the symptoms developed within a few sec and there was no associated rise in free venous plasma histamine. In those remaining, two with asthma, two with urticaria and one with both, the symptoms developed only after 20–30 min. A rise in free plasma histamine occurred only in the two subjects with urticaria alone. The third with urticaria and asthma did not have blood estimations performed.

Sodium cromoglycate in a dosage of 800 mg a day for 1 week, or a single dose of 1.0 g by mouth, did not block any of the reactions. By inhalation it blocked the asthmatic reactions which developed within a few sec of challenge.