Compounding Pharmacies: Who Uses Compound Medications & Why

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With Medication, One Size Does Not Fit All

After someone visits a doctor, hospital, or has surgery, medication is a critical step in recovery. The next step is to get a prescription from the doctor that the pharmacist fills. The drug dispensed by the pharmacist is usually manufactured in mass by a major pharmaceutical company. But in medicine, one size does not fit all. The drug may not be the right one to get the best results. That’s where compounding pharmacies come in.

apthorp pharmacy Compounding Pharmacies Who Uses Compound Medications & Why

What are compound pharmacies anyway?

In the realm of medicine, a compound pharmacy is truly special. These pharmacies make special formulations of a particular drug for a patient. The compound pharmacist takes the base ingredients and combines each to produce a drug in the form and dosage of choice. Compound pharmacies aren't new. In fact, the compounding process is the basis of pharmaceuticals. Many years ago, for someone to fill a prescription, the pharmacist would have to create the remedy from scratch.

Why compounding matters

With over 56,000 in America, these pharmacies can help where major institutions cannot. Today, almost all drugs are mass-manufactured. Compounding takes care of those whose needs cannot be met by white-label drugs. Today, compounding helps in various sectors, particularly pain management, dermatology, cancer treatment, and hormone therapy. Here are some key reasons why patients will choose compounding pharmacies instead of retail pharmacies.

The dose that's right for you

So why does compounding matter? For starters, most drugs come in standard dosages. While these help the majority of the population, some people need more care. The dosage may be too low or too high. A compound pharmacist can recreate the drug, adding the correct dosage of the active ingredient. This step allows the patient to get the maximum benefit from the prescription.

Avoiding allergies

People with allergies often lean on compounding. Drug allergies account for 20% of hospitalizations as there is often a harmful ingredient for that patient. Some can even be deadly. If there is a known allergy, compounding pharmacies can help. The drug can be recreated, removing the allergen.

The right form, every time

Some medicines are life-saving but only come in one particular form. Pills are a common medication medium, but not everyone can swallow pills. For instance, a young child may need a specific drug that only comes in pill form. Older adults may have dysphagia. Compounding pharmacies can create the medication in liquid, powder, spray, or ointment form. These simple changes can make treatment more convenient and effective for patients.

Acquiring specialty medications

Major pharmaceutical companies start and stop drugs every year. Unfortunately, these huge companies operate on costs and revenue. Sometimes, creating a particular medicine is no longer profitable since there aren't enough patients using the drug. Even so, the medication could be life-saving for the few that still need treatment. A compound pharmacy can still take the base ingredients and still fill the patient's prescription.

A crucial member in the medical field

The concept of the pharmacy would not exist without compounding. The drugs on the shelves of retail stores are compounded at scale. Even so, these generic brands may not be enough to help some patients. Compounding pharmacies can meet the individual needs of young and old alike. By creating the medication that matters, patients can finally see the end of the road to recovery. If finding the proper remedy in a suitable form continues to be a challenge, look for a local compounding pharmacy for help.

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