Pharmacy compounding is the art and science of preparing customized medications for patients. Its practice dates back to the origins of pharmacy; yet, compounding’s presence in the pharmacy profession has changed over the years. In the 1930s and 1940s, approximately 60 percent of all medications were compounded. With the advent of drug manufacturing in the 1950s and ’60s, compounding rapidly declined. The pharmacist’s role as a preparer of medications quickly changed to that of a dispenser of manufactured dosage forms.
However, within the last two decades, compounding has experienced a resurgence as modern technology and innovative techniques and research have allowed more pharmacists to customize medications to meet specific patient needs.
There are several reasons why pharmacists compound prescription medications. The most important one is what the medical community calls “patient non-compliance.” Many patients are allergic to preservatives or dyes, or are sensitive to standard drug strengths. With a physician’s consent, a compounding pharmacist can change the strength of a medication, alter its form to make it easier for the patient to ingest, or add flavor to make it more palatable. The pharmacist also can prepare the medication using several unique delivery systems, such as a sublingual troche or lozenge, a lollipop, or a transdermal gel or cream that can be absorbed through the skin. For those patients who are having a hard time swallowing a capsule, a compounding pharmacist can make a liquid suspension instead.
At our McComb pharmacy location, we can compound medications for multiple types of patients and medical conditions. Our compounding solutions include, but aren’t limited to:
- Customized oral medications
- Topical preparations such as creams, ointments, and gels
- Suppositories that can deliver medication to a specific location in the body.
- Oral solutions and suspensions that are easy to swallow
- Nasal sprays that deliver medication directly to the nasal passage.
- Sterile medications, such as eye drops and injectables.
In addition to our wide range of compounding solutions, Guy’s Pharmacy also offers specialized compounding services for patients with specific needs.
Yes. Children and the elderly are often the types of patients who benefit most from compounding. Often, parents have a tough time getting their children to take medicine because of the taste. A compounding pharmacist can work directly with the physician and the patient to select a flavoring agent, such as vanilla butternut or tutti frutti, which provides both an appropriate match for the medication’s properties and the patient’s taste preferences.
Compounding pharmacists also have helped patients who are experiencing chronic pain. For example, some arthritic patients cannot take certain medications due to gastrointestinal side effects. Working with their physician’s prescription, a compounding pharmacist can provide them with a topical preparation with the anti-inflammatory or analgesic their doctor has prescribed for them. Compounded prescriptions often are used for pain management in hospice care.
Prescription compounding is a rapidly growing component of many physicians’ practices. But in today’s world of aggressive marketing by drug manufacturers, some may not realize the extent of compounding’s resurgence in recent years. Ask your physician about compounding. Then get in touch with Guy’s Pharmacy – we are committed to providing high-quality compounded medications in the dosage form and strength determined by your prescriber.
Through the triad relationship of patient, prescriber and pharmacist, all three can work together to solve unique medical problems.