5 Things to Understand About a Compounding Pharmacy
For many people, medications are the difference between life and death. However, in today’s complicated world of healthcare and insurance, it can be harder and harder to get the medications needed for a variety of illnesses. While many people continue to rely on traditional pharmacies for their medicinal needs, more and more people are now turning to compounding pharmacies for a variety of reasons. Whether you need the services of these pharmacies for yourself or a loved one, here are five things you’ll need to understand about a compounding pharmacy.
1. Discontinued Medications
For anyone who has been taking an important medication for their illness, finding out it has been discontinued can be incredibly stressful. In most cases, this is done because the traditional medication has been deemed to be unprofitable for the pharmaceutical company. However, in cases such as these, all hope is not lost. By using a compounding pharmacy, you can work with a pharmacist who has been specially trained in compounding. While all states require pharmacy schools to include compounding in their basic curriculum, many pharmacists opt for additional training. Therefore, if you need compounded medicine, most pharmacists can help with this matter.
2. Patient Allergies
If a patient is allergic to certain ingredients found in a prescription or over-the-counter medication, a compounding pharmacist may be able to remove that ingredient and still keep the medicine effective. This happens often if a dye or binder used in a standard medication is the cause of the allergy, allowing the pharmacist to use alternative ingredients to help achieve the same effect.
3. Flavor Additives
For patients such as children or seniors who need to take medication, one of the biggest obstacles is often its flavor. When this is the case, they often refuse to take their medicine, or skip doses now and then. To solve this problem, a compounding pharmacist can often analyze the medication and add flavor additives to the medication. By doing so, the medication can be made to taste much better, enabling patients to take their medication without getting sick in the process.
4. Different Forms of Medication
For some patients who are prescribed a medication in one form, they may take it for awhile and then discover they cannot tolerate it for one reason or another. Whether it makes them nauseous or has them break out in a rash, the need may arise for them to have the medication in a different form. When this happens, a compounding pharmacy can usually come to the rescue. Using a pharmacist trained in compounding procedures, a patient can usually get the medicine they need made into a different form that they can tolerate. For example, if they were prescribed a medication in liquid form but found it made then nauseous, the pharmacist can make it in a cream that can be applied to their skin, which would eliminate the side effects. Likewise, if they were prescribed a cream but found it gave them a rash, the pharmacist could compound the medicine into pill or liquid form, making it possible for the patient to tolerate the medication without problems.
5. Combining Medications
For patients who have to take several types of medications on a regular basis, trying to keep these medications separate can be troublesome. In these situations, a compounding pharmacist may be able to combine several medications into one single pill, enabling a patient to take their medications in a much simpler manner while still getting the full benefits of all medications. This is used often by seniors who are taking many types of medications, and helps not only with just having to take one pill, but also cuts down on the chances they will forget to take a vital medication.
By taking advantage of the many services a compounding pharmacy can provide, patients who have trouble taking certain medications or who need medications that have been discontinued may discover options they never thought possible. From combining medications into one pill or removing ingredients that are leading to allergic side effects, a compounding pharmacy can make all the difference.