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What is a Compounding Pharmacy?

If you have recently visited your doctor regarding an ongoing health concern, you have probably discussed treatment options. Many times, your doctor will recommend a prescription or two to help relieve your symptoms. But not all people are created the same, and their personal treatment plan should be individualized to fit their exact needs. This is where compound pharmacies come in!

What is Compounding?

Pharmacy compounding is the ageless art and science of preparing personalized medications for patients. It all starts with a problem: the child who can’t swallow pills, the patient with a gluten allergy, the much-needed drug that’s in short supply. For whatever reason, many people aren’t served by mass-produced medications. With new technology and techniques, compounding pharmacists are able to make customized medications to meet those specific patient needs. Compounded medications are “made from scratch” preparations. Individual ingredients are mixed together in the exact strength and dosage form required by the patient. This method allows the specially trained pharmacist to work with the patient and their practitioner to customize a medication to meet the patient’s specific needs. For patients, compounding can be life-changing, even lifesaving.

Specific Dosages

While each prescription often comes in a variety of doses, some people may need a dosage not available from the manufacturer. Unlike a regular pharmacy, a compounding pharmacy can create the perfect dose for your height, weight, and condition. This can help to decrease the existence of side effects and treat your condition more effectively.

Different Forms

With a compounding pharmacy, you can choose the form your medication comes in including:

  1. Liquid

  2. Powder

  3. Tablet

  4. Cream

  5. Ointment

With a variety of ways to take your medication you are less likely to suffer from side effects or stop taking medications before you are supposed to. Many people do not like the side effects that come with medications taken orally. A topical cream reduces the occurrence of side effects because it does not go through your digestive tract before entering the bloodstream. There are also a lot of people who just don’t want to take a pill, if they could have their prescription in liquid form instead and vice-versa.

Benefits of Working with a Compounding Pharmacy:

  1. Compounded prescriptions can be customized to different formulations that may be more efficient or easier to administer.

  2. Flavoring can be added to make drops and lozenges more palatable, if desired.

  3. Preservative-free or allergen-free prescriptions can be compounded for sensitive patients such as gluten, dyes, lactose, sugar, corn, or alcohol.

  4. Patients are less likely to experience side effects if their prescriptions can be tailored to their individual needs.

  5. Healthcare practitioners can more easily fine-tune the dose or prescription as an individual’s needs change, or match an individual’s preferences and absorption abilities.

  6. Multiple prescriptions can be combined into a single dosage form for convenience and ensure better patient compliance.

When deciding on a treatment protocol, practitioners are no longer constrained by the limited dosage forms from drug manufacturers. Like pharmacists of the past, we talk with our patients to find out how we can help them. Our ultimate goal is to create the best medication for each patient.

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