Compounding is one of the oldest pharmacy traditions. Defined as the science and art of preparing a medication from a health care practitioner’s prescription order to meet the specific needs of a patient, it has been around since the origin of pharmacy. Compounding pharmacists and technicians are trained to prepare medication dosage forms from pharmaceutical grade chemicals, utilizing state of the art equipment. Custom compounding allows the standard methods of delivery, such as dosage, strength, flavor, and form to fit individual needs. This provides an array of personalized formulated preparations that are not available elsewhere. Physicians and patients are realizing the benefits of customized medications and the compounding pharmacist is the link to providing these medications. You now have access to the benefits of custom prescriptions that are tailored to a person’s unique characteristics like size, symptoms and tolerances.
Compounding allows more flexibility with regard to dosage strength and route of administration. Concentration can be changed, and flavoring can disguise unpleasant aftertastes. Medication can also often be reformulated, so that it is more convenient to administer. Side effects such as GI distress can be eliminated by changing the route of administration. Unique containers and devices also provide many options for medication administration.
Products become commercially unavailable for many reasons, such as decreased drug utilization or declining manufacturer profits. However, some of these products provide the best remedy for certain patients. Using pharmaceutical-grade chemicals, a specially trained pharmacist with the proper equipment can compound a medication containing the same active ingredients as the unavailable product.
Hospice, geriatric, pediatric, and veterinary patients often have unique needs, and we can provide specific solutions for their medication problems. Children are especially suited for custom compounded prescriptions as commercially manufactured drug forms are often not easy for children to take. Dozens of flavors are available to compounding pharmacists who can enhance the taste and color of medication. A compounding pharmacist can also assist physicians properly dose a child's medication with regard to weight. Hospice patients may need several medications that could be combined into one capsule. If the patient is unable to swallow, we can make transdermal medications to be applied topically or troches to be dissolved in the mouth.
Many patients are allergic to preservatives or dyes in standard drugs, or are lactose intolerant. A pharmacist can compound prescriptions that are preservative, dye, and lactose free. Many patients may have difficulty taking medicine in the prescribed form. Working with your physician, we can change the strength of a medication, alter its form to make it easier to administer, or add a flavor to make it more palatable. Children and the elderly in particular may have difficulty with flavors of commercial medications. Compounding pharmacists can work directly with the physician and the patient or the patient’s family to select a more palatable flavor and mask any unpleasant aftertaste.