What is compounding?
Compounding is the method of creating customized medication to meet a person’s needs. The compounding process takes the raw ingredients that make a particular drug and produces a new dose or form. This practice stretches many disciplines, including dermatology, veterinary, and hormone health. Sometimes, a pharmacist will combine multiple prescriptions into a single pill for easy use. Compounded medications can come in pills, liquids, topicals, troches, patches, suppositories, injectables, inhalers, infusions and drops for eyes, ears and nose.
Why would someone need a compounded solution? Some patients have allergies or unpleasant side effects from medications. Compounding can remove any ingredients or additives in the mass-produced brand. Some brands also fail to provide prescriptions in different forms. Compounding can change medication from a pill to liquid or topical, so people who struggle with oral drugs can still get treatment. When patients have customized medicine, the chance of adherence increases significantly.
Is compounding safe?
No medical technique or procedure is without risks. Accuracy is the biggest concern, as the pharmacist must mix the ingredients in precise quantities. If the compounding is inaccurate, the patient may not receive enough medicine or get too much of a drug, and serious side effects can occur. In some cases, the compounded medication can become contaminated during this process, leading to illness. Despite these concerns, compounding is a safe and regulated way to receive medication.
Making medicine safer
Compounding pharmacies often go the extra mile to ensure the accuracy and safety of medicine. These facilities have clean, safe spaces designed to decrease contamination. The compounding pharmacist will have tools and even software to ensure the formulation is accurate. Some pharmacies even include checks like quality assurance to ensure the patient receives the best product. Finally, pharmacies adhere to state policies and can provide patients with safety information if requested.
Better health through compounding
People choose to compound to improve medication adherence. People with customized medication are often more motivated to stick to the therapy with fewer side effects and simpler forms. Compounding is also convenient and even cost-effective way to manage multiple medications. While there is a possibility of complications through human error, compounding continues to be a safe, effective form of medication management.