What is compounding?
Used by pharmacists throughout the country, compounding is the practice of preparing customized medications for patients. These specially created drugs meet individual needs or preferences. Compounding pharmacists typically create drugs using combinations of raw ingredients unavailable in any commercial form. This customization differs from manufactured brands that have a set formula. With compounding, the dose and form can be customized, and people can remove ingredients that cause harmful side effects or allergic reactions.
Customization vs manufacturing
Well-known manufactured brands have helped people for decades, so why customize? Everyone is different and has unique needs for the same ailment. Manufactured brands take a one-size-fits-most approach. These commercial drugs are easily accessible and trusted by insurance companies. However, a more measured approach is required in many cases. Patients often report better health when using compounded medication than commercially available drugs. Customizing can also help develop a drug that is no longer in circulation due to low demand. Without compounding, many patients will not receive life-saving treatment. Here are some other fantastic benefits of customization.
What’s your flavor?
Medication adherence is a typical problem with manufactured brands. For instance, some patients complain of difficulty taking medicine due to poor taste. In these cases, a compounding pharmacist can modify the taste of the drug by adding flavored syrup, making the prescription more palatable. This feature is very beneficial for pediatric patients, who may resist bitter medicines.
Adjust the strength or dosage
Compounding pharmacists can also adjust the strength of medication through dilution or concentration. In other words, the dosage can also be increased or decreased to accommodate the patient’s unique needs. For example, some patients may be more sensitive to a particular drug, requiring a lower dose to be effective. In contrast, others might need a higher dose to experience the desired effects. A compounding pharmacist can help determine the correct amount of medication for each patient. Compounding prevents underdosing or overdosing issues that occur commonly with standard manufactured brands.
Change the form
Most manufactured medication comes in a single-size pill. Sometimes, the patient may prefer to take the medication a different way. For example, someone with difficulty swallowing pills may request the medication in liquid form. Compounding can also convert prescriptions into tablets, capsules, topical ointments, suppositories, or injectable forms.
Shifting to compounded medications
Doctors typically prescribe commercially manufactured medications to treat various health conditions. However, there may be a better approach than medication straight off the shelf for some patients. Compounded medications provide improved results with fewer side effects. By customizing a prescription, precise treatment can be within reach for many who require a specialized approach.