When the medicine your child needs only comes in adult doses; when your aging parent is having a hard time swallowing their maintenance pills; if you have allergies and need a gluten-free formula: What do you do? Compound medication is here to help!
Compounding is an especially useful process and has helped patients in varying situations. However, some people are still in the dark about what compounding is, is it safe, and what benefits does it have over traditional medications.
Let us dive into these questions for further understanding:
1. What is compounding?
Simply put, compounding is the process of mixing, preparing, combining, or altering formulas and ingredients to create a medication customized for an individual patient’s needs.
2. How is compounding different from manufacturing?
As mentioned above, compounding is the preparation of medication specifically for an individual’s needs or prescription. In contrast, manufacturing is the mass production of drugs that have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use and marketing.
Manufactured drugs are dispensed in pharmacies, health care practitioners, hospitals, and other institutions licensed to do so. Unlike manufacturing, compound medication is not made to be sold in bulk or stocked. As such, it is created in small amounts and is dispensed immediately.
3. Why are compound medications given?
Usually, compound medications are introduced in a patient’s regimen because he or she is having problems with commercially prepared medications. It can be that the patient is experiencing adverse side effects or allergic reactions to a specific medicine.
Other times, the dose and formulation of commercially available medicine are not suited to the needs of the patient. In other cases, the administration of the medication needs altering as the patient might not be able to swallow pills, might not like the taste of the medicine, or might have absorption issues.
Compound medications are also used for veterinary medicine usually giving traditional medication food flavors so that animals would more likely ingest them.
Some treatments that require individualized formulation also deal with compound medication, such as pain management, hormone replacement therapy (HRT), or chemotherapy.
4. Who can compound drugs?
Some pharmacies have experience compounding drugs. There are also licensed institutions that specialized in compounding medicine. These institutions have made a significant investment in training and equipment to guarantee the efficacy and safety of their products.
5. Who inspects these compounders?
Compounding is a practice regulated by state boards of pharmacy. Laws such as the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act of 1938 Section 503A outline regulations that govern compounding practices. Compounding pharmacies and institutions are registered, overseen, and regularly inspected by the FDA.
6. What are the types of compound drugs?
Since one of the reasons compound medications are introduced in a patient’s drug regimen is the method of administering the drug, they come in a variety of forms. Most compound medicines are in a topical preparation, or a cream, for skin use. Some others are compounded into an injectable form, while others are still into capsules, solutions, suspensions or lozenges.
7. How do I choose my compounding pharmacy?
Choose your compounding pharmacy as you will any healthcare provider. Ask your physician for recommendations. Check their credentials. Have they been penalized? Read reviews.
Do you need compound medications?
Whether you are undergoing HRT or just simply want an easier way to take your medicines, check your nearest compounding pharmacy and ask them how they can help.