Are you familiar with the term drug or medication compounding? Possibly, you might have come across the word compounding but don’t know what exactly it means. Over the last few decades, there has been a dramatic rise in the demand for pharmacy compounding. This concept is not entirely new as the compounding practice dates back to the very beginning of the pharmacy profession. However, it is only recently that more and more people are moving towards compounding their medications. So, what does it actually mean?
What is Compounding Pharmacy?
The compounding pharmacy, also known as medication or drug compounding is a practice of preparing customized medications for a specific patient. It is a service provided by some pharmacies where the pharmacists customize the prescribed drugs to suit a specific patient. The traditional role of compounding pharmacies is to prepare unique formulations that are not commercially available.
Compounding is getting popular in the healthcare industry because it provides patients access to the perfect combination of medications for their needs. Compounded medications are made from scratch and each ingredient is mixed in specific quantity and strength to suit an individual. It is the scientific method used by the trained pharmacist to meet the specific needs of a patient. The pharmacist works with the patient and his/her prescriber to customize a medication that helps increase patient compliance. Pharmacy compounding is regulated on a state-by-state basis and compounded drugs are not FDA-approved. There are two forms of medication compounding- non-sterile compounding and sterile compounding.
What are the Benefits of Compounding?
Compounding offers several benefits to those patients who have difficulties with commercially available medication. Suppose your doctor prescribed you some medicine but you’re allergic to one of the ingredients present in the commercial version of that drug. In such a case, a pharmacist can custom-prepare your medication after consulting your prescriber. With the consent of your physician, the compounding pharmacist can also tailor the strength of your medication to suit your individual requirements. Basically, compounding creates unique drugs in the form of capsules, oral liquids, lozenges, suppositories, eye and ear drops, ointments, nasal sprays, and sterile injections.
The commercial drugs are mass-produced and not always meet the needs of all patients individually. However, with the compounding techniques, pharmacists combine, mix, or alter ingredients to create a medication to meet the specific needs of an individual patient. Another benefit of compounding is that a pharmacist can make medications without preservatives, dyes or other ingredients that might cause allergies. It also makes it possible to change medicines from tablets to liquids or capsules. Moreover, sometimes your doctor wants to prescribe you a medicine which is not commercially available. In such a case, your prescriber and pharmacist can work together to create the specific drugs you need.
Sometimes, it is also difficult to make children take their medications because of its unpleasant taste or smell. This is where a compounding pharmacy can help you. The specialist can add flavor in medicines so that children can take it easily.