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By Compass Immunology, Nov 13 2014 03:20AM

Chronic urticaria has a lifetime prevalance of about 1%, and hence is a very common disorder that we see and treat every day at Compass Immunology Clinic. In a recent article in the World Allergy Organisation Journal, some treatment options are discussed.

Chronic Urticaria: New management options. Dr. P. Greenberger.

Fortunately, we are able to access and prescribe these treatments when indicated, as well as a number of newer and novel treatments when required.

By Compass Immunology, Nov 11 2014 04:08AM

Just a reminder that Compass Immunology Clinic will be closed this Friday due to the G20 public holiday in Brisbane. Normal hours will resume on Monday 17th November.

By Compass Immunology, Oct 25 2014 01:01AM

Researchers from James Cook University, Qld, have shown that deliberately infecting coeliac disease sufferers with hookworms results in improved tolerance of gluten. Click here to read more.

By Compass Immunology, Oct 9 2014 01:35PM

We are excited to welcome Jillian Dimock, Accredited Practising Dietitian, to the Compass Immunology Team. Jillian commenced work with Compass in October 2014, She has an interest in food allergies and intolerances in patients of all ages including low FODMAP diets. Jillian also sees children with a range of nutritional and gastrointestinal issues including fussy eating, faltering growth, coeliac disease, constipation and weight management. Jillian takes over from Paula, who is currently on maternity leave.

By Compass Immunology, Oct 4 2014 05:32AM

Researchers at the University of Manitoba are working on a rapidly disintegrating sublingual tablet (RDST) for delivery of adrenaline which could potentially offer an alternative to adrenaline autoinjectors for the treatment of anaphylaxis.

To read the abstract from the recently published article in Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, click here.

By Compass Immunology, Sep 19 2014 01:35PM

Although not a "new" treatment, allergen immunotherapy (or desensitisation) is becoming more widely recognised as a highly effective and potentially long lasting treatment for patients with symptoms of allergic rhinitis (hay fever) and asthma.

Immunotherapy involves giving gradually increasing doses of allergen extracts over time so that the patient's immune system learns to tolerate the allergen and not react to it. Treatment usually lasts for 2-3 years and can be given in the form of injections or sublingual drops. Most patients experience a significant improvement in their hay fever symptoms with immunotherapy which is maintained for several years after stopping treatment.

On 17th September, one of our Allergists, Dr Paul Campbell, featured in a Nine News story discussing the benefits of immunotherapy. To watch the video click on the link below.

Nine News: Hayfever treatment immunotherapy may cut symptoms

By Compass Immunology, Sep 6 2014 01:11PM

Chronic spontaneous urticaria is a condition characterised by chronic daily hives and angioedema (swellings). The cause is largely unknown and research into more effective treatments is desperately needed. The 1st October 2014 is the first International Urticaria Day to raise awareness of this disabling condition. Visit the Urticaria Day website to learn more.

By Compass Immunology, Jul 27 2014 07:38AM

The anti-malarials particularly hydroxychloroquine (brand name Plaquenil in Australia) are the cornerstone of treatment of SLE. The history of the anti-malarials is a fascinating tale of serendipity and observation.

The bark of the Cinchona tree was used as a traditional medicine in Peru for the treatment of fevers (due to Malaria) from earlier than 1600AD. The use of Cinchona bark extracted compounds for malaria, especially quinine followed from about the 19th century. After 1900, chemical derivatives of quinine – chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine became available. These have much improved tolerability compared to quinine. During WW2 patients treated for malaria with rheumatological symptoms were noted to have improvement, and clinical trials followed.

In SLE, hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) is a first line therapy. It is particularly effective for skin and joint inflammation. It has additional interesting benefits:

- Reduction in cholesterol and atheroma

- Safety in pregnancy

- Reduction in SLE flares and visceral organ disease

- Reduction in thromboembolism in the SLE associated Anti-phospholipid syndrome

HCQ is usually very safe and is well tolerated by the majority. However like any medication side-effects are possible and a minority will not tolerate SLE due to nausea for example. Rare but important side-effects include retinal toxicity and skin pigmentation. In Australia HCQ is a prescription medication and must only be taken in consultation with a medical doctor and with regular follow-up.