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Frequently Asked Questions About Pharmaceutical Compounding

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People think very little about the process of making and preparing a medication. They think it is just a matter of visiting the pharmacy and picking it up. It makes sense that so few people actually put much thought into the process of pharmaceutical compounding. These FAQs will help establish a basic framework of understanding for pharmacy compounding.

What is pharmaceutical compounding?

Pharmaceutical compounding refers to the creation of a new drug when existing ones do not meet patient needs. This is performed by licensed pharmacists.

How can a pharmacist make changes to existing medication?

There are several ways compounding pharmacists can make adjustments to medication. They may be able to change the dosage or strength of a pill. They may also add a flavor to medication, making it much easier to drink. This is often performed for children. In some cases, a patient may express that they have an allergy to a certain ingredient. The pharmacist may be able to remove allergens, like gluten or dyes. Finally, the pharmacist may choose to combine two medications into one capsule.

Which pharmacies do compounding?

For the most part, all pharmacies will do compounding to some extent; however, there are some pharmacies,Camelback Pharmacy, who specifically work with compounding. They may create ointments, creams, capsules, liquids or injections.

Who is in charge of regulating compounding pharmacies?

Federal and state organizations are both involved in regulating compounding pharmacies. Pharmacists are subject to regulation by state boards, and the FDA also oversees some operations. Still, compounded drugs are not approved by the FDA. Involvement by the Drug Enforcement Administration and United States Pharmacopeial Convention is also considered.

Should I treat compounded medications differently than others?

This is definitely something to ask your pharmacist about. You can always ask if your medication has been compounded and if there is anything you should be aware of as a result.

Can a compounding pharmacist turn a pill into a liquid?

Yes, there are many cases in which an elderly or very young patient is unable to take a pill and requests a liquid medication. Fortunately, this is possible thanks to compounding. Compounded medications may be easier to take than other options, especially for children. The flavoring may also help.

Ultimately, the choice to take compound medications is yours. Talking to your pharmacist is a great place to start, especially if you have reservations. Gathering information about the medications you take is never a disservice.