Ask any compounded pharmacist, and they will tell you that the most common request they receive is for compounded creams and other topical medications. There’s a reason for that. Compounded medications enable patients to get the treatment that is easier, more directed, and with possibly less adverse effects. They can ensure that the rest of the body is minimally affected by the treatment and that the medication is precisely according to what they need.
What Are Compounded Creams?
So what are compounded creams? These are medications that are used topically, meaning on the skin. They can be used for various purposes like pain, swelling, and other systemic skin conditions. They can be used directly to treat a skin condition like eczema, or they can be used indirectly like a topical cream for menopause and more. Here, when we say cream, we mean a topical compounded medication that is water-based. Usually, creams are sub-divided into two categories: Those made with a water-in-oil mixture and the ones made with an oil-in-water mixture. Both these categories are pretty standard and are heavily used. Still, they are not the only form of dermatological compounds that compounded pharmacists work with. There are other options as well like:
- Topical gels
Just like creams, these topical medications are also applied directly to the skin or the target area. They differ in the ingredients that they contain.
What are the Benefits of Compounded Creams?
Compounded creams are known to be more beneficial for the skin as compared to their counterparts. They are more effective when absorbed and are known to have fewer side effects. They are precisely what is needed for localized issues. But that’s not all. Here are some more reasons why compounded creams are better for the skin:
1. Avoid First Pass Metabolism (FPM)
Confused? Don’t be. First-pass metabolism or the first pass effect refers to the rapid uptake of any active compound by the liver and turn into an inactive compound. This happens right after the enteric absorption but before it reaches the bloodstream. So, for example, if you take an aspirin for a headache, it would go through your Gastrointestinal (GI) system and reach your liver. After that, it will be broken down into its compounds and then reach your bloodstream. This is when you will start feeling its effects. Some of the active ingredients would be lost at every step of this process, especially in the liver.
Topical creams don’t have that issue. They can be applied directly to the affected area and ensure that it receives the amount of drug it needs. Another reason why topical creams are preferred is that they pose a reduced risk to the liver. This is why they are recommended.
2. Lowered Allergy Risk
Most mass-produced drugs that are commonly available have various side effects. You must have experienced this when you had to change medications repeatedly because of irritation, redness, contact dermatitis, or more. These are only some of the risks that you might have to face. This is where compounded creams show their true potential. First of all, your pharmacist will find out what allergies you have. Once they have the complete information, they will reformulate the medication by removing the allergy-causing ingredient. If you are allergic to more than one ingredient, compounded pharmacists can even create entirely new formulas.
3. Improve Usability
Another reason why compounded creams are beneficial is the increased compliance. Most treatments fail due to patient compliance issues. This especially happens with patients who are afraid of the side effects or who have a problem with the medicine. Compounded creams have less potential for side effects as commercially produced drugs. Also, they are easier to apply than taking pills or capsules. That is why patients tolerate them better.
4. Combine Medications
Combining multiple medications in one formulation is a common practice in a compounding pharmacy. The same is true for compounded creams. Patients find it easier to take multiple treatments and save their time. Instead of remembering to take multiple doses at certain intervals, the patient can just use a single cream with all its ingredients. In some cases, where a patient might need to be discreet with the treatment, compounded creams have the answer.
5. Can Improve Effectiveness
Compounded creams can combine multiple agents for the patient’s convenience or do it for better treatment options. For example, a patient might need both a numbing agent and something to reduce the pain. They might also need something to relieve muscle spasms in the affected area. A compounding pharmacist can easily combine multiple ingredients to achieve the desired result. The patient will not have to take multiple drugs for it.
Topical creams have various benefits for the skin as compared to other forms of medications. They increase compliance, reduce allergy risks, and combine multiple ingredients. If you suffer from a skin condition, talk to your healthcare provider about a compounded cream treatment. If you have any more questions about the topic, feel free to contact us. Our consultants are more than willing to help you out and answer any and all of your questions.
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