Creams, Patches & Troches: How Compounding Helps With Medication Adherence

Don’t Forget Your Medication

Medicine is crucial for managing symptoms of chronic conditions and treating illnesses. However, the effectiveness of treatment is only as good as medication adherence. Medication must be taken as advised, as inconsistency can lead to worsening symptoms and even hospitalization. To help patients with adherence, pharmacists may recommend compounding.

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Can compounding help with adherence?

For decades, pharmacists have used compounding to create custom medication. Compounding is the process of creating medication for the patient's specific needs. The compounding pharmacist takes individual ingredients or multiple drugs and makes a new, singular form. The pharmacist can remove ingredients like dyes, fillers, and other harmful additives, helping patients avoid allergies and side effects. Compounding can also create specific doses of a medication that may have been discontinued or no longer exist. For polypharmacy patients, multiple drugs can be combined into one form, increasing the chances of adherence. Best of all, the pharmacist can change the formulation to cream, patch, or troche form, which boosts compliance even more.

Can you depend on creams?

Topical or transdermal creams are a common form created by compounding. Topical creams are applied to the skin and are great for superficial skin conditions or anti-aging purposes. Transdermal medicine is absorbed deeper into the skin tissue and reaches the bloodstream. One of the most significant benefits of creams is that patients can avoid treatment in pill form. Some patients can’t swallow medicine or have unwanted side effects from pills, and creams can help. However, the effectiveness of creams varies by the location of the skin and the amount of product applied.

Patch things up

Some patients request medical patches instead of pills or liquid. Patches are adhesives containing concentrated forms of a drug. The patient applies the patch to a part of the body, like the abdomen. The patch gradually dispenses the medicine into the circulatory system, usually over several days. This form is excellent for medication adherence as the patient can wear the patch without worrying about compliance. Like creams, the patch can also help people avoid side effects. Skin patches are an excellent option for contraceptives, hormone replacement therapy (HRT), or pain medication. However, allergic contact dermatitis is possible where the patch is applied. Excess heat can also cause the patch to dispense excess medications at the wrong times.

Dissolve your medication

Medicines in troche form are another popular compounding option. Troches are lozenges, drugs in a dissolvable form. The compounding pharmacist will create a batch of medication in small squares. The patient will place one troche between the gum and the inner cheek or under the tongue. The medicine goes into the bloodstream over a short timeframe, usually 30 minutes. The pharmaceutical effects begin immediately, and swallowing concerns can be avoided.

The power of compounding

Creams, patches, and troches help the patient avoid digestive side effects and are a great alternative for people with swallowing concerns. These options are all excellent ways to help patients with medication adherence. The choice of compounding will depend on the condition treated, cost, and personal preference. Pharmacists and patients can use compounding for improved health and wellness.

Prescription Refills

For added convenience download our app for Android or iPhone. RxLocal is an easy-to-use app that allows pharmacy customers to manage their entire family’s prescriptions, communicate with the pharmacy via secure messages, order refills, set medication reminders and find pharmacy location information.

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