When a person walks into a pharmacy with a prescription, staff members typically dispense medications they obtained from a manufacturer and provide use on the proper use of these medications. They rarely mix ingredients to make a medication, but this is called for at times. Compounding pharmacies remain less common today, but they serve a vital role in healthcare. What is a compounding pharmacy, and what are the benefits of using this type of pharmacy today?
What is a Compounding Pharmacy?
A compounding pharmacy creates prescription medications using various delivery systems. The pharmacist combines ingredients, remixes them, or changes the active ingredients and additives of an existing medication to meet the needs of a patient. This allows patients to get the medication they need in a form they can take. The pharmacist draws on their knowledge of medicine to create these medications, and they benefit from state-of-the-art technology when doing so.
When is Compounding Necessary?
Mass-produced medications may not come in a dose appropriate for a specific patient. The pharmacist uses compounding to provide the correct dosage or combine it with another medication to make it easier to administer. When may a pharmacist use compounding as opposed to ready-made medications?
Individuals turn to compounding pharmacies when they need a medication that is not available commercially. The patient may need a customer dosage because of their body chemistry, age, or size. A person might not be able to take certain medications because they are sensitive to one or more ingredients, such as a dye or preservative. A compounding pharmacist creates the same medication without the allergens.
A compounding pharmacy becomes of great help with medication that is needed in a form that isn’t commercially available but will be easier to administer. For instance, a person with a swallowing disorder may not be able to take pills. The pharmacist can provide the same ingredients found in the pill in lollipop form. They may also change the flavor or texture of a medication to make it more appealing or combine several medications into one for convenience. Therapeutic outcomes often improve when a person uses a compounding pharmacy, as the pharmacist customizes the medications to meet the specific needs of the patient.
How Does the Pharmacist Create These Medications?
Pharmacists must consider multiple variables when formulating medications. They must determine the appropriate dosage for the patient and the medication being administered. In addition, they need to consider the active ingredient’s chemical and physical properties along with those of the other ingredients.
Types of Compounding Pharmacies
Traditional compounding pharmacies focus on creating medications for individuals. Known as 503A pharmacies, traditional compounding pharmacies abide by state regulations. In contrast, batch compounding pharmacies remain regulated by the federal government. Referred to as 503B pharmacies, these facilities produce formulations in bulk and sell them to healthcare facilities, pharmacies, and physicians.
Types of Medications Created by Compounding Pharmacies
A compounding pharmacy may be asked to create a hormone replacement drug specifically for a patient or one for someone suffering from an autoimmune disorder. They often formulate medications for thyroid issues, sexual wellness, or sleep support, among others. The custom formulation supports the individual’s health while easing their symptoms.
While regular pharmacies play a crucial role in America’s healthcare system, the one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t always work. Compounding pharmacies ensure every patient gets medication that meets their unique needs while taking their differences into consideration. If you need a medication that isn’t commercially available, turn to a compounding pharmacy for help.