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A Guide to Understanding Compounding Medication

A Guide to Understanding Compounding Medication

There was a time when almost all medications were compounded. Back in the 1940s compounding prescriptions was a common practice. However, as pharmaceutical companies were established, mass production of drugs began. At present, mass-produced commercial medication is the primary source of manufacturing drugs on a large scale. While the majority of the population relies on these commercially produced medications available at retail pharmacies, many others prefer compounded medication. Recently, compounding has experienced a resurgence as more and more people are recognizing its benefits. Many medical professionals are prescribing compounded medications to provide better treatment to patients. Compounding has become a great alternative to discontinued or hard-to-find medications. So, let’s find out more about compounding and why some people prefer customized medication rather than pre-mixed formulas available at retail pharmacies.

What is Compounding Medication?

Compounding is described as the process of customizing medication by mixing or altering ingredients. It is the practice of tailoring medication to suit the specific needs of an individual patient. These personalized drugs are created in a specialized compounding pharmacy under the guidance of a physician. Although compounded medications are not FDA-approved, they are widely used for the treatment of various health issues. These are specifically mixed and prepared for individual patients based on a prescription from the doctor. This process of customizing medication to fit your needs provides a range of benefits. The specialized compounding pharmacy uses advanced tools and skilled pharmacists to create drugs for patients when an FDA-approved drug fails to treat them.

Uses of Compounded Medication

Compounded medications are prescribed by doctors to treat a range of health conditions- from thyroid and hormone-related issues to skin diseases and pain management. Compounded drugs are commonly prescribed by doctors like:

  • Gastroenterologists (digestive system)
  • Dermatologists (skin)
  • Endocrinologists (hormone imbalances and other endocrine disorders)
  • Pain specialists
  • Podiatrists
  • Veterinarians
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Compounding Medication Safety

Compounded medications created by pharmacists are not FDA-approved. Commercial medications are regulated and approved by the FDA which ensures the safety or effectiveness of those drugs. The lack of FDA regulation raises some concerns about the safety of compounding medication. However, licensed compounding pharmacies are regulated by some organizations that oversee their production. They also perform drug testing to ensure the safety of the medication.

Reasons for Using Compound Medication

You may wonder why get medication customized when almost every medicine is easily available at retail pharmacies. There are many reasons why patients might need compounded drugs. Some patients are allergic to some ingredients found in commercial medications while others may need a different dosage. In all such cases, custom-creating allergy-free medication or specific dosage becomes necessary. When FDA-approved medication is difficult to consume or causes allergies, compounding can help. It can be used for elderly patients or children who find it difficult to swallow a tablet or capsule. Compound pharmacies can create the same formulas in different forms and even add flavors to improve the taste. Whether a commercial production of a drug is discontinued or a patient needs preservative-free medication, compounding is the best choice.


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