Hypersensitivity Compounding

Hypersensitivity Compounding"Hypersensitive - excessively sensitive." — Webster's Dictionary

Allergic reactions (hypersensitivity reactions) are inappropriate immune responses to a normally harmless substance.

Normally, the immune system defends the body against foreign substances (called antigens). However, in susceptible people, the immune system can overreact to certain antigens (called allergens), which are harmless in most people. The result is an allergic reaction. Some people are allergic to only one substance; others are allergic to many.

Allergens may cause an allergic reaction when they land on the skin or in the eye, are inhaled, are eaten, or are injected. An allergic reaction can occur as part of a seasonal allergy (such as hay fever), caused by exposure to such substances as grass or ragweed pollen, by eating certain foods, or breathing in dust or animal dander. Of course, allergic reactions are known to occur with medications as well.

For the patient with a true allergy to a medication, most often it means the selection of an alternative medication by the physician. Less often there is the attempt at what is referred to as a desensitization process. However, this procedure does have risks. If no other therapeutic options exist, then the patient is often left to either suffer through the allergic reaction or more often to go without treatment at all.

As frustrating as an allergy to a medication can be, it is even more frustrating when the patient isn't in fact allergic to the drug itself, but to another non-medicinal ingredient in the product such as fillers, binders, colors, or preservatives. But it doesn't have to be frustrating if they are dealing with the problem-solving-pharmacists at Lorraine's Pharmacy!

At Lorraine's Pharmacy, we specialty compound medications without the offending agent(s). The result is a newfound freedom for the patient who was previously unable to take a medication because of often unnecessary ingredients.

Although not all commercial compounds can be compounded, many can be compounded quite successfully. All it takes is a willingness to work around the problem, rather than letting the problem prevent the medication from working for the patient.

The following are examples of solutions we have used to "work around" the problem of hypersensitivities to non-medicinal ingredients. If you or someone you know suffers from a sensitivity to non-medicinal ingredients, or even if you are not sure if it is indeed an allergy, please contact us to speak with one of our knowledgeable pharmacists. We will be happy to discuss your questions and concerns.

Examples of Problem-Solving Solutions:

  • Substitution of a filler with a non-allergenic one
  • Removal of dyes
  • Removal of preservatives
  • Change in dosage form to minimize "reactions" (ex. for "intolerances" to anti-inflammatory medications, but not true allergies, we can compound a transdermal form of the anti-inflammatory)
  • Compounding of hypoallergenic non-prescription products such as soaps, deodorants, shampoos, hair gels, etc.