Beyond one-size-fits-all: How compounding pharmacies address allergies with precision

compounding pharmacies

When it comes to selecting a medication for a patient, there's a growing awareness that one size doesn't fit all. What works for one patient may not for another and allergies are often a key reason for this, whether you are aware you have an allergy or not.

Thankfully, compounding pharmacies are revolutionising personalised medicine. Unlike traditional pharmacies, compounding pharmacies don’t settle for generic solutions. Instead, they delve into the intricacies of individual allergies, crafting bespoke treatments that cater precisely to each patient's unique needs.

Benefits of compounding pharmacies

Working with a compounding pharmacy means that only the highest quality ingredients are incorporated into a medication. Compounding allows for the thoughtful consideration of how active pharmaceutical ingredients are best suited in a specific vehicle, thereby maximising efficacy and tolerability and providing the flexibility to customise treatments according to the patient’s concerns. The dosage strength of the active ingredients can be adjusted to meet patient requirements and unique combinations of active ingredients can be developed in physiologically relevant ratios. Additives or ingredients to which the patient is allergic/sensitive can be removed and the base can be changed - for example, if a patient prefers a cream to a gel - creating a superior product in terms of patient satisfaction and results.

The tailored approach is very often driven by the patient and their personal preference and will provide the best dose and form and deliver the benefits needed, with a far reduced risk of any side effects and improved adherence to therapy.1 One example of this could include thyroid medication, which often includes lactose ingredients. Patients on thyroid medications that have a lactose intolerance could therefore be aggravating their allergy symptoms as a result of certain medication ingredients that may not be necessary to treat a condition.

Therefore, pharmacists can play a crucial role in helping patients manage allergies, as they can help develop a personalised treatment plan that can offer a more effective and targeted approach to managing the condition.

Five ways in which pharmacists can help manage allergies include:

Genetic testing: Genetic testing can help identify specific genetic variations associated with allergies and reveal specific biomarkers, which will dictate whether a particular medication will be effective for that patient or not.

Allergen testing: Pharmacists can offer advice on allergen avoidance or testing strategies. This may include information on hypoallergenic products, like detergents and soaps, and guidance on identifying and minimising exposure to common allergens, such as dust mites, pet dander, and certain foods. Allergen-specific IgE blood tests or skin prick tests can pinpoint the specific allergens that trigger a person's symptoms. This information can guide allergen avoidance strategies.2

Signposting and referrals: Pharmacists can assist in monitoring a patient's progress in managing their allergies. They can help patients track their symptoms and the effectiveness of their treatments. If a patient's allergies worsen or do not respond to over-the-counter treatments, pharmacists can refer them to a relevant healthcare provider for further evaluation and management.

Expert medication information: For patients with more severe allergies, pharmacists can provide information about prescription medications commonly used to manage symptoms that avoid these allergens. They can also explain the potential side effects, proper application methods, and adherence strategies.

Condition education: Pharmacists can provide information on potential allergen triggers, such as dietary or environmental factors and how to manage the condition. They can also advise on over-the-counter products where it could potentially be indicated for the patient. Engaging patients in their care and educating them about their condition is a fundamental aspect of personalised medicine. Understanding the individual's needs and preferences is key to designing a successful treatment approach.3

Pharmacists play a key role in the management of allergies. Not only do they provide emotional support for what can sometimes be an incredibly distressing condition, which may drastically impact their quality of life, but they can also answer questions and provide guidance to help patients effectively manage their condition. Some patients may prefer natural remedies, while others may want pharmacological interventions. The treatment plan should be aligned with the patient’s preferences and priorities and a pharmacist can help make this personalisation happen.

Compounding pharmacies, in particular, are invaluable in tailoring allergy treatments. They can customise medications by removing allergens such as gluten, lactose, or dyes, which are commonly found in commercially available drugs. This precise customisation ensures that patients receive medications that are safe and effective for their specific needs.

Moreover, compounding pharmacies can adjust dosages and forms of medication, such as creating liquid versions for those who have difficulty swallowing pills, or topical formulations for localised treatment. By collaborating closely with patients and healthcare providers, compounding pharmacists play a pivotal role in enhancing the efficacy and safety of allergy treatments, ultimately improving patient outcomes and satisfaction.

This personalised approach not only addresses the unique needs of allergy sufferers, but also fosters a deeper trust and rapport between patients and their healthcare team, leading to better adherence to treatment plans and overall better health management.


  1. Dr Ghazala Aziz-Scott posted on LinkedIn [Internet]. [cited 2023 Oct 23]. Available from:
  2. 5 Ways a Pharmacist Can Help People with Allergies and Asthma | Allergy & Asthma Network [Internet]. [cited 2023 Oct 23]. Available from:
  3. Berk Cayci A, Pattison Rathbone A, Lindsey L. Practices and Perceptions of Community Pharmacists in the Management of Atopic Dermatitis: A Systematic Review and Thematic Synthesis. 2023 [cited 2023 Oct 23]; Available from:
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Paaven Patel