Compounding

 

What is Compounding?

Compounding is the Art and Science of Creating Personalized Medications

Pharmacy compounding is the art and science of preparing personalized medications for patients. Compounded medications are “made from scratch” – individual ingredients are mixed together in the exact strength and dosage form 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.
Alternative Medication Forms
Unique medication delivery for your unique needs
Compounding enables prescribers and pharmacists to meet the special needs of patients. One of its most important benefits is to those patients who have difficulties with commercially available medication. With the prescriber’s consent, pharmacists can custom-prepare medications in a variety of unique dosage forms, including:
  • Capsules
  • Oral liquids
  • Troches or lollipops
  • Topical preparations
  • Suppositories
  • Eye and ear drops
  • Nasal sprays
The result? A way to take medicine that helps increase patient compliance.
Capsules
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Medication can be compounded into customized capsules, especially in cases where an alternate strength is required or to omit potential allergens or irritants, such as dyes, preservatives, or gluten. To lessen the number of doses to be taken, multiple medications often can be combined into a single dosage or made into sustained-release capsules. Vegetarian capsules made from cellulose are available for patients who do not want to take a gelatin capsule.
Oral Liquids
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Many medications can be compounded as oral liquids for those patients who have difficulty swallowing tablets and capsules. Some patients may have problems tolerating the taste of a commercially available liquid, but a compounding pharmacist can make a pleasant-tasting, custom-flavored oral solution or suspension which can be administered easily and accurately.

 

Topical Preparations
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Topical methods of delivery also are widely used because they allow the absorption of medicine directly through the skin, and may help avoid potential side effects such as stomach upset or drowsiness. Topical medications often are prescribed for pain management, inflammation and nausea/vomiting. They are easy to use and are effective delivering the medication as needed. Topical medication forms include:
  • Gels
  • Creams and lotions
  • Sprays
  • Foams
  • Stick applicators, such as lip balms
Suppositories
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Patients who cannot take medications orally are ideal candidates for compounded suppositories. Available in various shapes depending on the route of administration, suppositories can be given rectally, vaginally or urethrally. By melting or dissolving into the body cavity, they allow the medication to pass quickly into the bloodstream. They can be used for bio-identical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT), to fight nausea, or to treat local conditions such as hemorrhoids, infections, or inflammation.
A compounding pharmacist working closely with you and your physician can prepare medication in a dosage form that has been customized to your particular needs.

 

A Brief History of Compounding
At one time, nearly all prescriptions were compounded. With the advent of mass drug manufacturing in the 1950s and ‘60s, compounding rapidly declined. The pharmacist’s role as a preparer of medications quickly changed to that of a dispenser of manufactured dosage forms, and most pharmacists no longer were trained to compound medications. However, the “one-size-fits-all” nature of many mass-produced medications meant that some patients’ needs were not being met.