Benefits of Compounding

What is compounding?

Pharmacy compounding is the art and science of preparing customized medications for patients. Its practice dates back to the origins of pharmacy, although compounding’s presence in the pharmacy profession has changed over the years. In the 1930s and 1940s, the majority of prescriptions were compounded. With the advent of mass drug manufacturing in the 1950s and ‘60s, compounding declined as the pharmacist’s role as a preparer of medications quickly changed to that of a dispenser of manufactured dosage forms. However, this “one-size-fits-all” approach to medication meant that some patients’ needs were not being met.

Within the last few decades, however, compounding has experienced a renaissance as modern technology and innovative techniques and research have allowed more pharmacists to customize medications to meet a patient’s unique needs.

Have you or a loved one ever had difficulty taking medication?

  • You’re not alone. Many people experience issues such as these:
  • Stomach upset when taking oral medications
  • Reluctance to take the medication due to its taste
  • Difficulty swallowing pills
  • Requiring a different dose of medication that that which is available from a manufacturer
  • Patients that don’t want to take a medication at all, especially children or pets.

A compounding pharmacist may be able to provide solutions for challenges such as these. Working closely with the patient and the prescriber, compounding gives the pharmacist the means to customize medication to meet the individual needs of each patient.

Is compounding legal? Is it safe?

Compounding has been part of healthcare since the origins of pharmacy, and is widely used today in all areas of the industry, from hospitals to nuclear medicine. Over the last few decades, compounding’s resurgence has benefited largely from advances in technology, quality control and research methodology. The Food and Drug Administration has stated that compounded prescriptions are both ethical and legal as long as they are prescribed by a licensed practitioner for a specific patient and compounded by a licensed pharmacy. In addition, compounding is regulated by state boards of pharmacy.

Veterinary compounding – making medication a treat for your pet.

The practice of pharmacy compounding is becoming a popular solution to veterinary problems. Compounding is the art and science of preparing customized medications for patients. Its resurgence in recent years extends valuable benefits to today’s pet owners. Animals often have variations of the same diseases humans can have, including skin rashes, eye and ear infections, heart conditions, cancer, and diabetes. Medicating pets presents unique problems that often are best dealt with through compounding.

The Compounding Solution

As any pet owner is well aware, animals can be extremely difficult to treat with medications. Cats are notorious for refusing to swallow pills, and usually will eat right around one disguised in food. Dosages can be very tricky with dogs – a dose of medication that works for an 80-pound Golden Retriever may be far too much for a six-pound Yorkie to handle. Large and exotic pets pose many unique medication challenges. A compounding pharmacist is equipped to help them all!

Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) Compounding

Are your hormones out of balance?

Anyone who has been through puberty knows that hormones have a powerful effect on one’s body. Hormones affect many areas of your health, including your mood, your metabolism, and your sexual and reproductive function. If your hormones become unbalanced, whether due to menopause or other factors, you may end up feeling like a stranger in your own skin. However, bio-identical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) is a way to restore balance and help you feel like yourself again.

Hormone therapy designed specifically for your body

BHRT is most often prescribed to ease the symptoms of menopause, but it also can be used to treat a variety of conditions that women of all ages may experience, including:

  • Pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS) Irregular menstrual cycle
  • Moodiness Infertility
  • Post-partum depression
  • Weight gain
  • Endometriosis
  • Fibrocystic breasts
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Hot flashes
  • Night sweats
  • Decreased libido
  • Painful sexual intercourse
  • Vaginal dryness

These conditions affect millions of women. As the number of women seeking hormone-related treatment has grown, so has the mass production of pills, patches and creams by the drug industry. However, each woman’s body is different and has its own unique needs, but commercially manufactured products tend to be “one-size-fits-all,” and do not always account for the differences between individuals.

No two women are alike, of course, and compounding pharmacists understand this fact.

Pharmacy compounding is the art and science of preparing customized medications for patients. The advantage of compounded BHRT is that it can be adapted specifically to fit each individual’s body and hormone levels. Bio-identical hormones have the exact chemical structure as the hormones in the human body. The body recognizes them and allows them to mimic the function of the hormones the body produces on its own.

Working closely with a woman and her healthcare provider, a compounding pharmacist can help a woman start and maintain a bio-identical hormone replacement regimen that brings her hormones back into balance and closely mimics what her body has been doing naturally for years. The healthcare provider, compounding pharmacist, and the patient can determine a course of treatment which will give the patient the exact amount of hormones her body needs. With a healthcare provider’s prescription, the pharmacist can prepare hormones in a variety of strengths and dosage forms, including:

Capsules, topical or vaginal creams, gels, suppositories and troches (dissolve in the mouth dosage form)

Once the therapy is begun, the pharmacist will continue to work with the woman and her prescriber to make sure the BHRT is working correctly, adjusting the dosage if necessary, ensuring that the medication is just right for her body. It’s your body…why not give yourself the option of a customized, bio-identical hormone therapy? Talk to your healthcare provider, or ask us about bio-identical hormone replacement therapy.

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