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Natural Awakenings Boston

Johnson Compounding & Wellness: Personalized Medicine for Autoimmune Treatment

by Wendy Fachon

Johnson Compounding and Wellness (JCW) takes pride in its expertise in low-dose naltrexone (LDN), which is used in doses of 0.5mg to 8mg in patients with autoimmune diseases. In 1984, naltrexone was approved by the FDA in a 50mg dose to help heroin or opium addicts maintain substance abuse abstinence. In technical terms, it is an opioid antagonist. Then in 1985, Dr. Bernard Bihari discovered the positive effects of using a much smaller dose of naltrexone to treat deficiencies in the human immune system. 

At that time, the human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) epidemic was beginning to surface, and Bihari realized that naltrexone’s effects included increasing endorphins, which raise immune competence. He also discovered that individuals within the HIV-positive AIDS population were low in endorphin production compared to patients that did not have AIDS. 

Patients with autoimmune diagnoses such as systemic lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis and Crohn’s disease have all benefited from LDN. It has been seen to minimize the progression in patients with multiple sclerosis, and because of this its use has been more recently extended to other neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Although the biological mechanisms of these diseases have yet to be identified, LDN can work to support immunity and reduce inflammation, which may minimize chronic neuropathic pain. The medication has great potential for providing a low-cost, nonaddictive opioid alternative for patients living with such pain.

LDN is only available through compounding pharmacies and JCW specializes in the field. Its pharmacists are members of the LDN Research Trust and have presented worldwide on the uses and potential benefits of LDN. Unlike mass-produced drugs, compounded medications are created from scratch in small batches by mixing individual ingredients together in the exact strength and dosages specified by a patient’s provider. Compounding allows patients to avoid unwanted allergens, excipients and other harmful fillers. The pharmacy can prepare medications free of problem-causing ingredients such as sugar, lactose, dyes, alcohol, gluten or preservatives.

The art and science of compounding was the standard for providing prescription medications prior to the emergence of pharmaceutical manufacturers. Patients and health care professionals now realize that mass-produced, commercially available medications do not always meet their needs. Over the years, JCW’s offerings have grown and evolved, reflecting modern advances in pharmaceuticals. It is a premier pharmacy in the Northeast serving 15 states throughout the country, and it has earned an international presence in the world of supplements. 

This pharmacy was one of the first independent pharmacies of its kind to have a dual focus on natural medicine and now offers a full range of nutritional supplements, natural products and homeopathic remedies. The pharmacy supports the principles of integrative medicine, and its staff works closely, along with patient providers, to offer an enlightened “whole person” approach. The pharmacists ask a lot of questions and encourage the customers to ask questions, too, in order to optimize the safety and effectiveness of the prescription fulfillment. For example, patients can provide medical history and ask about contraindications of medicines or medical situations. LDN is an ideal example of this. 

Location: 577 Main St., Waltham. For more information about LDN and Johnson Compounding and Wellness products and services, call 781 893-3870 or visit 

Article Contributor Credits: Omar Allibhai, is a registered pharmacist at Johnson Compounding & Wellness. He is the first pharmacist to complete a 2 year post-doctoral fellowship in pharmacy compounding in the nation.

Wendy Fachon is a regular contributor to Natural Awakenings magazine and host of the Story Walking Radio Hour on the Dream Visions 7 Radio Network. Learn more at

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