In today’s world, most people fill their prescriptions at large retail chain pharmacies. Many retail stores have become a convenient option for many. However, these pharmacies are not always the best choice for every patient’s pharmaceutical needs. There’s a lesser-known type of pharmacy that offers a more personalized approach – compounding pharmacies.
Compounding pharmacies are specialty pharmacies that customize medications to meet individual needs. They combine, mix, alter, and formulate drugs tailored to patients. The pharmacists at compounding pharmacies are trained to create customized dosage forms, strengths, and formulations based on a physician’s prescription. They go beyond the limited commercially available medications that retail pharmacies dispense. Here are eight key benefits in detail of using a compounding pharmacy instead of a retail pharmacy.
- Customized Medications
One of the biggest advantages of compounding pharmacies is their ability to customize medications based on a patient’s specific needs. For example, if someone is allergic to certain inactive ingredients like lactose, gluten, or preservatives in a medication, the pharmacist can formulate a compound without those problematic ingredients.
Compounding pharmacists can also alter dosages to meet a patient’s needs. For instance, they may prepare a lower dose for a pediatric patient or increase the strength for someone needing a higher amount. They have the flexibility to make doses not commercially manufactured.
This high level of customization and personalization is not possible at large retail chain pharmacies. For those needing such personalized solutions, looking up the keyword local compounding pharmacy near me will prove worthwhile. This search will ensure you find specialists near your neighborhood who can provide medications tailored to individual needs.
- Unique Dosage Forms
Compounding pharmacists have the expertise and equipment to make unique dosage forms that are not commercially available. For example, they can prepare transdermal gels, lollipops, flavored tablets or suspensions for pets, and other novel formulations tailored to the patient’s preferences and needs.
Transdermal gels allow medication absorption through the skin for patients who can’t take oral doses. Lollipops and flavored tablets can increase compliance in pediatric patients and make taking medications more pleasant. Custom-flavored suspensions are useful for pets or patients with tubes who need liquid forms.
This versatility in creating customized drug delivery methods can significantly improve compliance in patients who have difficulty swallowing pills or need alternate routes of administration.
- Hard-to-Find Medications
Certain drugs become unavailable for various reasons. Sometimes, older generics get discontinued as patents expire. Brand-name drugs may be back ordered due to manufacturing problems. Specific strengths or combinations of ingredients may no longer be produced.
Compounding pharmacies, on the other hand, may continue making those hard-to-find medications so patients who rely on them don’t skip essential treatment. Common examples include unavailable generics, out-of-stock brand-name drugs, and therapies that require ingredients no longer manufactured.
Being able to compound these medications provides a lifeline to patients left scrambling when their medication gets discontinued or back-ordered. Compounding pharmacists can fill the gap and continue providing medications that patients have been stabilized on for years.
- Hormone Replacement Therapies
Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) is an area where compounding pharmacists excel and specialize. They can prepare customized doses of hormones like estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, DHEA, and thyroid hormone in multiple strengths and dosage forms.
The ability to tailor doses and hormone combinations is extremely beneficial. Women going through menopause can get properly balanced estrogen and progesterone matched to their needs. Men with low testosterone can get personalized treatment not limited to standardized doses. Thyroid hormone can be adjusted to optimal levels.
Compounding these bioidentical hormones allows precision dosing that can be tweaked over time based on the patient’s symptoms, lab values, and feedback. This individualized approach leads to better patient outcomes than the limited doses and options available commercially.
- Pain Management
For patients with complex chronic pain conditions, compounding pharmacists can offer customized analgesic preparations that target pain receptors through different mechanisms of action.
These specialized combinations are not commercially available. However, they may provide superior pain relief compared to a single analgesic drug by hitting multiple pain pathways simultaneously.
Compounding pharmacists can formulate topical pain creams containing various analgesics like lidocaine, ketamine, gabapentin, baclofen, and more. The pharmacist can adjust the ingredients and doses based on the patient’s specific pain profile and sensitivities.
- Pediatric Formulations
Getting children to take medications can be challenging. Bitter tastes and large pills deter pediatric patients. Compounding pharmacists can reformulate medications into child-friendly dosage forms like flavored syrups, lollipops, gummies, or orally disintegrating tablets.
They can also alter strengths for smaller doses tailored to a child’s lower body weight. For example, they may adjust a pill to 1/4 strength for a toddler. Retail pharmacies do not offer this degree of customization for children.
In addition, compounding pharmacists can mix multiple pediatric medications in one formulation so the child doesn’t have to take several separate medicines. The customized flavors and forms make it easier for parents to give medications, improving compliance.
- Veterinary Medications
Pet owners know how extremely difficult it can be to get an animal to take a pill or bad-tasting liquid medication. Compounding pharmacists can flavor veterinary medications with tasty flavors like strawberries. They can also alter formulations specifically for animal patients, like making a medication into a transdermal gel to apply to the pet’s ear. For small pets, doses can be adjusted for the animal’s size and species.
Compounding enables customized medications for veterinary patients that increase compliance for pet owners struggling to medicate their furry companions.
- Dermatology Preparations
Compounding pharmacists can make specialty topical skin medications for conditions like eczema, psoriasis, wounds, and infections. By altering bases, adjusting pH, and adding or removing specific ingredients, they can develop optimal preparations tailored to the patient’s unique needs.
For example, they may compound an antibacterial or antifungal cream with a custom base that penetrates the skin better. Or they can formulate medications without common irritants like fragrances, dyes, and preservatives. Compounding allows pharmacists to produce custom dermatology preparations patients often can’t find through commercial manufacturers.
Compounding pharmacies provide an invaluable resource for patients whose medication needs are not met by standard commercial products. The ability to customize and tailor therapies offers solutions for those seeking alternatives due to allergies, intolerances, discontinued drugs, and dosage constraints. By working closely with patients and prescribers, compounding pharmacists can overcome the limitations of manufactured pharmaceuticals and create optimal treatment regimens. For personalized medicine that goes beyond one-size-fits-all, compounding pharmacies are an excellent option over retail.