Medication compounding is the process of preparing personalized medications for patients. Compounded medications are custom prepared from individual ingredients which are mixed together in the exact strength and dosage form as 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.
There are several reasons why prescribers and pharmacists provide compounded medications for patients. The primary reason for compounding is to avoid patient non-compliance, which means the patient is either unable or unwilling to use the medication as directed. Many patients are allergic to preservatives or dyes, or require a dosage that is different from the standard drug strengths.
With a physician’s consent, a compounding pharmacist can:
- Adjust the strength of a medication.
- Avoid unwanted ingredients, such as dyes, preservatives, lactose, gluten, or sugar.
- Add flavor to make the medication more palatable
- Prepare medications using unique delivery systems. For patients who find it difficult to swallow a capsule, a compounding pharmacist may prepare the drug as a flavored liquid suspension instead. Other medication forms include topical gels or creams that can be absorbed through the skin, suppositories, sublingual troches, or even lollipops.
Compounding pharmacists can also help patients who experience chronic pain. For example, some arthritic patients cannot take certain medications due to gastrointestinal side effects. Side effects associated with oral administration can often be avoided when medications are used topically. With a healthcare practitioner’s prescription, a compounding pharmacist may be able to provide these patients anti-inflammatory or pain-relieving medications with topical preparations that can be absorbed through the skin. This targeted approach can provide high local concentrations at the site of application, or in a base that will allow a slower systemic absorption.
With a wide range of options including oral liquids, lollipops, gummy troches, suppositories and topical preparations, we, along with your doctor, are able to create solutions for you and your child.
Medication compounding can also include hormone replacement therapy for menopause and veterinary compounding for your pets.