What is an Intal Inhaler?

M. DePietro

An Intal inhaler is a medication used to treat certain breathing problems. The main active ingredient in an Intal inhaler is cromolyn sodium. It is classified as a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication. Its main use is to treat respiratory conditions, such as asthma. The medication is usually taken four times a day to control symptoms.

An Intal inhaler is used to address breathing problems.
An Intal inhaler is used to address breathing problems.

Although some people may have an immediate improvement in symptoms, it may take up to four weeks before a decrease in asthma symptoms is noticeable. An Intal inhaler helps prevent attacks by reducing inflammation in the lungs. It is FDA approved for adults and children five years and older. There are various other types of aerosol inhalers that treat asthma, including bronchodilators, which treat acute attack symptoms.

Intal can be administed with a nebulizer.
Intal can be administed with a nebulizer.

It is important to understand Intal does not treat sudden, acute broncoconstriction, which can make breathing difficult during an asthma attack. It is not classified as a fast-acting bronchodilator to treat symptoms once they have started. It is considered a prophylactic drug, which means it is a preventative medication. It may help prevent asthma attacks from occurring.

Intal comes in two forms, a liquid medication used in a nebulizer and an aerosol inhaler. An intal inhaler comes in a canister called a metered dose inhaler. One puff is considered one actuation and it delivers 1 milligram of medication to the patient.

The aerosol inhaler is taken by shaking the canister and putting the mouthpiece into the mouth with the lips sealed tightly around it. The canister is then pressed down to release the medication. Immediately after pressing the canister the user should inhale the medication slowly and deeply into the lungs. Repeat for a second puff if prescribed.

As with other types of aerosol inhalers, Intal can be used with a spacer. A spacer is a small tube-like device that holds the canister on one end, and has a mouthpiece on the other. The medication becomes trapped in the aerochamber after pressing the canister. This makes taking the medication easier and helps it to get deeper into the lungs.

Intal inhaler side effects may include irritation to the throat, dry mouth, and nausea. Other adverse reactions are considered rare, but can include headache, joint pain, and dizziness. It is advisable to discuss any medication with a doctor before taking it, especially if pregnant. Intal is considered a class B medication, which means it is considered safe for pregnant women and is unlikely to hurt an unborn baby.

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