Compounding 101: What You Should Know

Sometimes, healthcare providers need to prescribe medicine at strengths that are not manufactured by drug companies, or need to create products with a different method of ingestion.

Pharmaceutical compounding provides a way for physicians and compounding pharmacists to customize a prescription to meet the specific needs of a patient. From combining multiple medications into a single convenient dosage for hospice patients to making children’s cough medicine flavored, compounding can help to make the medication-taking process much easier.

At Saenz Medical, we specialize in compounding. We understand that there are some patients who don’t respond to traditional methods of treatment and need alternatives.

Allow your McAllen pharmacists at Saenz Pharmacy to help you learn more about pharmaceutical compounding.

The Basics Of Compounding

The formal definition of compounding is:

The preparation, mixing, assembling, altering, packaging, and labeling of a drug, drug-delivery device, or device in accordance with a licensed practitioner’s prescription, medication order, or initiative based on the practitioner/patient/ pharmacist/compounder relationship in the course of professional practice.

Compounded medications are ordered by a licensed physician, nurse practitioner, veterinarian or another prescriber, and mixed by licensed compounding pharmacists in a safe and carefully controlled environment.

Most often, a physician will provide the recipe and your compounding pharmacist will check the recipe against standard drug information for accuracy.

Uses And Examples of Pharmaceutical Compounding

There are many varying reasons why a healthcare provider might prescribe a compounded medication. Some of which include:

  • Different Manner Of Delivery

From flavor to consistency, some patients will need their medication modified to make it easier for them to take.

Others may be elderly or have a condition that won’t allow them to swallow a pill, so a powder or syrup would be a better option in these instances. Oftentimes for children, adding a flavor and/or color to their medication makes it easier to administer.

  • Custom Dose

In certain cases, brand-name medication may not be available in the right dose a patient needs. So, instead of forcing a patient to cut up a pill into small irregular pieces, a doctor may prescribe a compound drug. This way, the medication will be provided in pills of the right dose.

  • Combining Medications

This does not mean the medications are mixed, but, similarly to changing the way of delivery, allows a patient to take more than one medication at once.

This can be convenient for forgetful patients or patients with a large number of prescribed medications.

  • Allergies

Sometimes, patients have allergies not related to the active ingredient of a medication, but to dyes, coatings, preservatives, or binders.

This means they need these inactive ingredients removed from their medication. Allergies to artificial dyes, wheat, or lactose can merit a compounded drug.

Safety and Benefits

Pharmacy compounding is regulated on a state-by-state basis, but the United States Pharmacopeia (USP) sets the standards that are also integrated into the practice of drug compounding.

A pharmacy compounding large amounts of medication must be accredited by the Pharmacy Compounding Accreditation Board (PCAB).

The standards and accreditations set by the organization are what render compounding safe and effective. Every pharmacist must be trained extensively before being allowed to practice compounding. Compounding is not something done carelessly or completed by any regular pharmacist.

The safe process of compounding allows a major percentage of the patient population to safely consume their vital medications.

Get the Compounded Medication You Need When You Visit Your Local McAllen Pharmacy!

At Saenz Pharmacy, we understand the path to health is not the same for everyone. Get your medications refilled and make sure to ask your McAllen pharmacist all the questions you have about your compounded medication.