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Back To Vidyya An Asthma Drug For Sickle Cell Anemia?

Cromolyn Sodium

A single dose of low-dose cromolyn sodium causes a "striking decrease" in sickle cells in African children with severe sickle-cell disease.

While the mechanism underlying the antisickling effect of cromolyn sodium remains unclear, the findings suggest that the drug "is a good candidate for antisickling treatment," Dr. Maurice Vanhaelen, of the Universite Libre de Bruxelles, in Belgium, and colleagues conclude in the July 22nd issue of The Lancet.

The investigators administered intranasal or inhaled sodium cromoglicate to nine African children with severe sickle-cell disease. The dose used was four times lower than that generally prescribed for asthma therapy, according to their report.

In both groups of children, the treatment caused a "striking decrease" in sickle cells, and the improvement could still be detected 24 hours after drug administration. This effect is consistent with prior in vitro findings by the same researchers.

Dr. Vanhaelen and colleagues note that cromolyn sodium has several advantages as a treatment for sickle-cell disease, including its "very low toxicity" and low cost.

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