Mast cell stabilizer

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]

Overview

Mast cell stabilizers are cromone medications used to prevent or control certain allergic disorders. They block a calcium channel essential for mast cell degranulation, stabilizing the cell and so prevent the release of histamine[1] and related mediators. One suspected pharmacodynamic mechanism is the blocking of IgE-regulated calcium channels. Without intracellular calcium, the histamine vesicles cannot fuse to the cell membrane and degranulate.

As inhalers they are used to treat asthma, as nasal sprays to treat hay fever (allergic rhinitis) and as eye drops for allergic conjunctivitis. Finally in oral form they are used to treat the rare condition of mastocytosis.

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