Compare Cromolyn vs. Asacol

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Intal (Cromolyn)

Prescription or OTC

Lialda (Mesalamine)

Prescription only
Relieves nasal allergy symptoms.

Intal (Cromolyn) is a good option to relieve nasal allergy symptoms when antihistamines aren't working. Good choice for pregnant women.

Treats inflammatory bowel disease.

Lialda (Mesalamine) is an effective first-line medicine for inflammatory bowel disease. There isn't a generic version and you'll have to take it multiple times a day.

Upsides
  • Treats nasal allergy symptoms.
  • Most people don't have many side effects since it works in the nose and doesn't affect the rest of your body.
  • It's a good option for pregnant women. Can also be used for kids 2 years and older.
  • Doesn't make you drowsy or dizzy.
  • No prescription is needed.
  • Effective first-line medication for treating and lowering the symptoms of mild inflammatory bowel disease.
  • About half the people who have mild to moderate colon inflammation and take Lialda (Mesalamine) will see improvement.
  • Available in tablets, capsules, enemas, and suppositories.
  • Certain forms of Lialda (Mesalamine) can be used during pregnancy. Talk to your doctor if you're pregnant, or plan on becoming pregnant, and you want to take Lialda (Mesalamine).
Downsides
  • Needs to be used regularly for at least a week to see any good effects.
  • Can have an unpleasant smell or taste.
  • Can cause headaches, or burning and stinging in your nose.
  • No generic versions are available for the tablets, capsules, and suppositories (meaning it could be somewhat expensive).
  • Doesn't work well for severe colon inflammation.
  • You may need to take Lialda (Mesalamine) three or four times a day.
  • Not a good option if you have kidney disease.
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Nasal spray
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Enema
  • Suppository
Price
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Reviews
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Side effects
The Intal (Cromolyn) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
35possible side effects
  • Headache
    35%
  • Abdominal pain
    18%
  • Eructation
    16%
  • Pain
    14%
  • Nausea
    13%
  • Pharyngitis
    11%
  • Dizziness
    8%
  • Asthenia
    7%
  • Diarrhea
    7%
  • Back pain
    7%
  • Fever
    6%
  • Rash
    6%
  • Dyspepsia
    6%
  • Rhinitis
    5%
  • Arthralgia
    5%
  • Hypertonia
    5%
  • Vomiting
    5%
  • Constipation
    5%
  • Flatulence
    3%
  • Dysmenorrhea
    3%
  • Chest pain
    3%
  • Chills
    3%
  • Flu syndrome
    3%
  • Peripheral edema
    3%
  • Myalgia
    3%
  • Sweating
    3%
  • Colitis exacerbation
    3%
  • Pruritus
    3%
  • Adverse events
    3%
  • Acne
    2%
  • Increased cough
    2%
  • Malaise
    2%
  • Arthritis
    2%
  • Conjunctivitis
    2%
  • Insomnia
    2%
See more detailed side effects
Risks and risk factors
No information currently available
  • Serious allergic reactions
    • Asthma
    • Rhinitis
    • Nasal polyps
    • Aspirin allergy
    • NSAID allergy
  • Serious allergic reactions
    • Phenylketonuria (PKU)
  • Worsening kidney or liver function
    • Kidney problems
    • Liver problems
  • Blood disorders
    • Age 65 or older
  • Liver toxicity
    • Liver problems
  • Worsening of colitis
    • Taking Lialda (Mesalamine) at the start of treatment
See more detailed risks and warnings