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Allergic Reactions To Inactive Ingredients In Drugs Can Be Avoided With Compounded Medication

By Stephen Daniels

A compounding pharmacy may sound like it belongs to a bygone era. Even so, as more and more evidence shows custom-made prescriptions cause fewer medication allergies than their generic equivalents, consumers are beginning to take a second look. This is especially true now that insurance companies actively direct patients to ask for generic drug equivalents to name brands in order to keep down the overall costs to the carriers.

The U.S. National Library of Medicine explains that allergies to medications are actually quite common. Nausea and vomiting are considered mild side effects, while the most serious is potentially deadly anaphylaxis. The most common allergies are skin rashes, swelling of the face or tongue, and hives.

While patients often assume that they are allergic to an active ingredient in the drugs, allergies to medications may actually be due to the inactive components, such as gluten, artificial colorings, preservatives and other chemicals that maintain the appearance, but do not serve any medical purpose.

This difference sometimes becomes glaringly obvious when a patient switches from a name-brand drug to its generic counterpart. While the active ingredient is bio-equivalent in both and designed to produce the same effect, the rest of the formulation is not. Any formula changes that generic medicine producers make in their medications can affect the proper dosage or how they are absorbed and processed in a patient’s body. People who only try the generic form of a medicine may not realize that the problems are with the inactive ingredients until – in the wake of a bad drug reaction – the patient turns to compounding pharmacies and orders custom-made prescriptions to avoid a recurrence. Because the primary ingredient can be isolated, medications from these pharmacies do not require the use of non-essentials, such as dyes or flavorings.

Granted, custom-made prescriptions may differ in presentation. For example, compounding pharmacies may deliver a dose as a liquid, to avoid allergic reactions for a patient. This dose would require refrigeration and would not have the long shelf life one might find in a pill. However, the absence of the chemicals that stabilize the pills has the potential of making the drug more useful for the allergic consumer.

While it appears that compounding pharmacies can solve a lot of problems, there is a downside to the re-emergence of this industry. The cost associated with customization is high. For others, their allergies to generic medications may not be severe enough to convince them to switch to compound mixes with more complex storage and dosage requirements.

In addition, provisions in the recently passed health reform legislation define compounding pharmacists as “manufacturers,” placing them under an entirely different regulatory system. Some pharmacist groups are lobbying to change that, voicing concerns that the new definition could make patient’s access to the medications more difficult.

But for consumers who have the money and desire to avoid ingesting bodily offensive binders and fillers, this option is sure to be worth every penny. Some insurance companies are even making it easier for patients to use compounded medicines by allowing them to pay the difference between the customized and generic medication prices.

Reproduction permitted only when all active hyperlinks are included. 2010 All Rights Reserved.

Stephen Daniels is an acclaimed NetBiz SEO 2.0 researcher. If you need a licensed compounding pharmacy in Los Angeles that can formulate custom medications according to your needs, he recommends Advanced Compounding Pharmacy. They offer nationwide shipping and compounded drugs for everything from pediatrics to pain management.

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Daniels, Stephen "Allergic Reactions To Inactive Ingredients In Drugs Can Be Avoided With Compounded Medication." Allergic Reactions To Inactive Ingredients In Drugs Can Be Avoided With Compounded Medication. 22 Jun. 2010. 28 Jul 2014 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Daniels, S (2010, June 22). Allergic Reactions To Inactive Ingredients In Drugs Can Be Avoided With Compounded Medication. Retrieved July 28, 2014, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Daniels, Stephen "Allergic Reactions To Inactive Ingredients In Drugs Can Be Avoided With Compounded Medication"

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