Compounding: What you need to know
Pharmacy compounding is the process of preparing personalized medications to meet the unique needs of individual patients. This process involves combining and preparing different pharmaceutical ingredients to create a medication that is tailored to a patient's specific needs.
Pharmacy compounding has a long history dating back to ancient times when physicians would prepare individualized remedies for their patients. Today, pharmacy compounding is still an important practice that provides patients with access to customized medications that are not available commercially.
The Need for Compounded Medications
There are many reasons why a patient may require a compounded medication. For example, a patient may be allergic to a certain ingredient in a commercially available medication, or they may require a specific dosage or formulation that is not available through standard drug manufacturers.
Compounded medications are also frequently used in pediatric care. Children may require a lower dosage of medication than is commercially available, or they may need a medication in a different form such as a liquid or flavored tablet.
The Compounding Process
The compounding process begins with a prescription from a physician that specifies the patient's individual needs. The pharmacist then selects the appropriate pharmaceutical ingredients and combines them in the exact dosage and form specified by the physician.
The compounding process can take many different forms, depending on the needs of the patient. Compounded medications can be prepared in the form of capsules, creams, gels, ointments, suppositories, and even troches.
Quality Control and Safety
Quality control and safety are important considerations in pharmacy compounding. Pharmacists who engage in compounding must adhere to strict guidelines set forth by regulatory agencies such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
In addition, compounding pharmacists must ensure that the ingredients they use are of the highest quality and that their equipment and facilities are properly sterilized and maintained.
Benefits of Compounded Medications
Compounded medications offer many benefits to patients. By providing personalized medications, compounded medications can improve patient compliance and satisfaction. Compounded medications can also offer a more effective treatment option for patients who cannot tolerate commercially available medications.
Pharmacy compounding is a valuable practice that provides patients with personalized medications that meet their unique needs. Whether a patient requires a specific dosage or formulation, or they have an allergy or intolerance to a commercially available medication, pharmacy compounding can provide a safe and effective alternative. If you believe you may benefit from a compounded medication, speak with your physician or pharmacist to see if this option is right for you.