Compare cromolyn vs. Singulair

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

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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.Prevents breathing problems. Singulair (Montelukast) has fewer side effects but doesn't work as well as steroid inhalers for asthma. It also helps with allergies.
How it works
Intal (Cromolyn) is a mast-cell stabilizer nasal spray that prevents and treats seasonal allergies.Singulair (Montelukast) is a leukotriene inhibitor. It lowers inflammation in your lungs and nasal passages to prevent asthma and relieve allergies.
Type of medication
Mast cell stabilizerPrescription or OTC
Leukotriene modifier
Prescription only
Available as
  • Nasal spray
  • Pill
  • Chewable tablet
  • Granule
Used for (click to learn more)
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Reviews & ratings
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Reviews for Singulair (Montelukast)
+66% vs. Intal (Cromolyn)
+46% vs. Intal (Cromolyn)
13% vs. Intal (Cromolyn)
Side effects

We haven’t found good data for cromolyn side effects.

FDA side effect reports for cromolyn »
  • Dizziness 1%
  • Muscle weakness/fatiguea/fatigue 1%
  • Decreased liver function 1%
  • Congestion, nasal 1%
  • Pain, dental 1%
More Singulair side effects »
Risk factors for serious side effects
Coming soon.
  • Exercise-induced asthma
  • Other environmental triggers
    • Recent treatment with corticosteroid medication
    • Lowering dose of corticosteroid medication
    • History of phenylketonuria (PKU)
    • History of liver disease including hepatitis
    • history of alcohol use
    • Other medications that cause liver injury
    Detailed Singulair (Montelukast) risks & warnings »
    Pregnancy category
    No specific alcohol-related info.
    • There are reports of liver injury in people taking Singulair (Montelukast) mostly in combination with other factors such as drugs, alcohol, and liver disease. If you have any of these risk factors, your doctor will need to check your liver function periodically.
    No specific food-related info.
    • Granules can be taken by mouth or dissolved in liquid or soft food.
    Kidneys and liver
    No specific kidneys and liver-related info.No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
    No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.
    No specific sleep-related info.
    • Can cause behavior changes, agitation, aggression, and difficulty sleeping for some people.
    • Rare cases of behavior changes occur in adults and children taking Singulair (Montelukast). Symptoms range from irritability and memory problems to hallucinations and suicidal thinking. It is not clear if this is linked to history of these conditions. Get medical help immediately if you notice symptoms of agitation, aggression, sleep disturbance, or suicidal thoughts while taking Singulair (Montelukast).
    No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.
    Upsides and benefits
    • 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.
    • Prevents symptoms and improves lung function in children and adults with chronic asthma.
    • A single 10 mg dose improves exercise-induced asthma symptoms for up to 24 hours.
    • Fewer side effects compared to other asthma treatments.
    • Also relieves nasal allergy symptoms.
    • Effective pill alternative to corticosteroid inhalers.
    Downsides and risks
    • 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.
    • You have to use Montelukast every day to control your symptoms.
    • Somewhat less effective than corticosteroid inhalers for asthma.
    • There's no generic available, so it can be expensive.
    • Can cause behavior changes, agitation, aggression, and difficulty sleeping for some people.
    Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
    • Works best when used one week before exposure to allergens. It takes about 1 to 2 weeks until you feel the full effects.
    • Check with your doctor or pharmacist to make sure you know how to use this nose spray. Don't use more than recommended.
    • Shake the spray gently and clear your nose before each use.
    • Before using it for the first time, prime the spray pump until you see a fine mist.
    • Breathe in slowly as you're spraying. Wait a few minutes before blowing your nose if needed.
    • Take it once a day to control asthma and allergy symptoms.
    • If you're using it for asthma or allergies, take it in the evening.
    • Use it 2 hours before exercising.
    • Granules can be taken by mouth or dissolved in liquid or soft food.
    • Doesn't treat sudden wheezing or asthma attacks once they start. Keep a fast-acting (rescue) inhaler with you.
    • The chewable tablets contain aspartame, so don't use them if you have a sensitivity to phenylalanine or phenylketones.
    Learn more
    More about cromolynSide effectsAlternativesFDA package insert
    More about SingulairSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert