Compounding Options for Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS) Ketotifen Capsules

Ketotifen Capsules

Ketotifen is an antiallergic drug used for treating a variety of conditions including asthma, food allergies, allergic rhinitis, chronic urticaria, mast cell activation syndrome (MCAS), and chronic inflammatory response syndrome (CIRS).

CIRS often develops as a result of exposure to biotoxins such as those associated with water-damaged buildings (mold related) and Lyme disease infections. Patients with CIRS sometimes report symptoms of MCAS as well. MCAS involves overactivity of mast cells due to a trigger like mold, an infection, an irritant, or an allergen. Mast cells are an essential part of many bodily processes and are present in most tissues. However when they are overactive it can result in numerous side effects like rashes, swelling, flushing, headaches, and more. Ketotifen is an antihistamine that helps regulate the activity of mast cells.

Ketotifen is not commercially available in the United States (USA) and therefore must be compounded. When selecting a compounding pharmacy it’s important to look for a pharmacy that is familiar with MCAS.

With MCAS patients may be extremely sensitive to certain ingredients including the capsule shell itself. Some patients may respond better to a gelatin capsule while others may require a vegetarian capsule.

If you have MCAS and would like to learn more about our Ketotifen Compound call us today to schedule a FREE consultation with our compounding pharmacist. We will be happy to discuss your options and if Ketotifen is found to be a suitable option we will work to reach out to your provider to obtain a prescription.

Valentines Day...Maybe It's Love Maybe It's Chocolate


Chocolate comes from the cacao pod. Chocolate starts when beans are extracted from the pod and are then processed into cocoa and several steps later cocoa powder is produced which is utilized in baking. Cacao is packed with antioxidants and phytonutrients that promote wellness and protect the body from the effects of aging.

Dark chocolate in particular has many health benefits. Cocoa consists of flavanols (plant chemicals) which help protect the heart.  Flavanols support the production of nitric oxide which help the blood vessels relax and improve blood flow, lowering blood pressure.  In addition studies have shown that cocoa reduces inflammation which also helps reduce the risk of heart disease.

A recent study found that eating 40g (almost an 1.5 ounces) of dark chocolate daily for two weeks reduced levels of stress hormones in anxious individuals. The study showed that compounds within it boosted beneficial gut bacteria which then changed the metabolism of stress hormones reducing anxiety.

Other benefits of dark chocolate may include increasing insulin sensitivity and possibly reducing the risk of diabetes. In addition it is rich in iron, magnesium, zinc and copper. It also may naturally elevate mood and enhance focus.

So a little bit of dark chocolate can be a guilt-free snack, or a great Valentine's Day Gift!



  1. Accessed on June 1, 2020
  2. Accessed on June 26, 2020

Boosting the Immune System during the COVID-19 Pandemic

As COVID-19 continues to spread many people are looking for ways to boost their immune system. By keeping an immune system strong our bodies defense systems can be as strong as possible.

So, what does our immune system do?

The immune system is an intricate network of units that come together to fight off invaders, otherwise known as bacteria, virus and other foreign substances. Therefore, it is best to strengthen your immune system so that it may run efficiently to fight off diseases. This can be accomplished with dietary supplements, eating right, reducing stress and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

It is important to note that the Center for Disease Control (CDC) emphasizes that supplements are not meant to treat or prevent COVID-19, however it may affect the immune system’s ability to fight infections and reduce inflammation.

So, what are some important supplements that may benefit in moderation?

  1. Vitamin D: Is an important immune strengthening nutrient that may potentially reduce the risks of colds and the flu.
  2. Zinc: May help reduce the number of infections and duration of the common cold when taken within 24 hours of onset. It is important to note that high intake of zinc may deplete copper levels. If you are worried about copper levels look for products that contain both copper and zinc.
  3. Vitamin C: There are several studies that suggest vitamin C may help prevent viral, bacterial and other infections shortening the duration of colds and reducing inflammation
  4. Selenium: Is a key nutrient for immune function. It is an antioxidant that strengthens the body’s defenses against bacteria and viruses.
  5. Garlic: may reduce the severity of upper viral respiratory infections and function in preventing viral infections of the common cold.
  6. Probiotics: contain good bacteria that both support gut health and influence the function and regulation of the immune system. They also may decrease the number of respiratory infections especially in children.
  7. Mushrooms: a variety of mushroom species have been shown to help with immune function including Shiitake, Lion’s Mane, Maitake and Reishi. At Rancho pharmacy we carry the Host Defense line for mushrooms.
  8. Honey: May help relive minor pain and inflammation of the mucous membranes. It also has antioxidant properties and some microbial effects. Note that honey is not recommended for children under 1 years old due to the risk of botulism

It is important to note that these supplements are suggestions and more research needs to be done. If you want to try theses, be sure to communicate with your health care provider and take them in moderation or as your doctor recommends.

So, what are other strategies that can be done to strengthen your immune system?

  1. Regular exercise. Many experts recommend at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week
  2. Eating a healthy, balanced diet that includes fruits and vegetables
  3. Maintaining a healthy weight
  4. Obtaining adequate quality sleep
  5. Reducing stress: Chronic stress is associated with elevate4d cortisol levels. This can cause immune dysregulation that varies in severity

For more information stop by Rancho Pharmacy to speak to one of our knowledgeable staff members.



  1. Accessed on February 10, 2021
  2. Accessed on February 3, 2021
  3. Accessed on February 11 2021
  4. How to boost your immune system. Harvard Health Publishing. Published 2020. Accessed February 6, 2021
  5. Office of Dietary Supplements – Zinc. NIH Office of Dietary Supplements. Published 2019. Accessed February 6, 2021
  6. Boost the Immune System. University of Maryland Medical System. Accessed February 7, 2021