What is Compounding?
Pharmacy compounding is the art and science of preparing personalized medications for patients. Compounded medications are “made from scratch” – individual ingredients are mixed together in the exact strength and dosage form required by the patient. This method allows the compounding pharmacist to work with the patient and the prescriber to customize a medication to meet the patient’s specific needs.
Benefits of Compounding
Have you or a loved one ever had difficulty taking medication?
You’re not alone. Many people experience issues such as these:
• Stomach upset when taking oral medication
• Reluctance to take the medication due to its taste
• Difficulty swallowing pills
• Requiring a different dose of medication than that which is available from a manufacturer
• Patients who don’t want to take medication at all, especially children or pets
A compounding pharmacist may be able to provide solutions for challenges such as these. Working closely with the patient and the prescriber, compounding gives the pharmacist the means to customize medication to meet the individual needs of each patient.
Compounding Pharmacists Make Medication That is Difficult to Find or Discontinued
Sometimes a large pharmaceutical manufacturer discontinues a medication. Often this happens because not enough patients are taking the drug, so it is unprofitable to keep mass-producing it. But what about the patients who still need that drug? Hundreds or even thousands of patients still may need that medication.
A compounding pharmacist can re-create that medication by compounding it, so even if only one person in the world still needs that medication, they can have it thanks to compounding!
Compounding Pharmacists Make Medication Allergy-Friendly
A patient may be allergic to or intolerant of an ingredient commonly found in the commercially manufactured form of a medication.
Ingredients that may be allergy-inducing include:
A compounding pharmacist can create a personalized medication, formulated to give the patient the treatment they need while leaving out the problematic ingredient.
Compounding Pharmacists Make Medication
Easier to Use
Some medications have a very unpleasant flavor, which makes the patient less likely to take it as directed. A compounding pharmacist can flavor many medications to make it more palatable without compromising the medication’s effectiveness. This is especially handy when dealing with medications for patients who may refuse medication, such as young children, elderly patients, or even pets!
A patient may need their medication in a different dosage form. For instance, patients who have difficulty swallowing a pill may find it easier to take their medication in a pleasantly flavored liquid form. Some medications can be compounded in a topical form such as a cream or a gel that allows the medicine to be absorbed into the bloodstream through the skin.