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The Advantages of Compounding Medications for Chronic Pain

Most people experience some type of physical pain during their lives. Sometimes, it is bearable, and you go ahead with your life without noticing it much. But sometimes, it becomes extremely uncomfortable and unbearable. It doesn’t allow you to carry on with your routine tasks. You feel burdened, not only physically but also mentally. Not only that, but it could also result in more ailments for us.

Pain comes in various types. It could be acute pain or chronic pain. It could be manageable or create problems for us. That is why when we visit a healthcare provider, they ask us different questions and find out what type of pain it is. Once they know that, they can find a suitable treatment for us and help us get back to our lives.

What is Chronic Pain?

One type of pain that we might suffer from is chronic pain. It is a pain that lasts for many months. It could be three months or six months, as long as it is beyond the “normal healing” period; it is called chronic pain. You might think that it is uncommon, but it is not. According to the Government of Canada, more than 8 million Canadians are either living with it or have lived with it. People who suffer from chronic pain have problems with:

  • Physical health
  • Mental health
  • Everyday life activities

Another thing that we have to know about chronic pain is that its causes are not always known. It could happen all of a sudden, after an injury or after a disease has ravaged your body. Even WHO has finally recognized it as a disease and not just a symptom of another ailment.

Chronic pain is further categorized into two categories:

Chronic primary pain

Primary chronic pain happens when the pain is there without any identifiable cause. If you had an injury or a disease, the tissues have completely healed, and they still hurt—for example, non-specific lower back pain, fibromyalgia, and more.

Chronic secondary pain

Secondary chronic pain happens in relevance with some other ailment or disease. For example, many cancer patients feel chronic pain. The same is true for people who have had surgery recently. Another example of chronic secondary pain is when it happens due to rheumatoid arthritis.

Who Does Chronic Pain Affect the Most?

Most people who suffer from chronic pain experience various problems. Firstly, it is an invisible condition, and you don’t have any way of proving it to anyone. People who suffer from chronic pain experience a dip in their quality of life. They often feel alone and stigmatized when others don’t recognize or acknowledge their pain. This can lead to other mental conditions of depression, stress, and anxiety. Furthermore, it might also lead to a lack of support and proper treatment. This impacts:

  • physical health
  • mental and emotional health
  • finances and job security
  • social interactions
  • sense of self and spirituality

People who suffer from chronic pain the most are:

  • seniors
  • women
  • people who use drugs
  • people with mental illness
  • persons with disabilities

Current Chronic Pain Treatments

Currently, when a patient comes with the problem of acute or chronic pain, most healthcare professionals prescribe one or more oral pain medicine. Which medicine they prescribe depends on the type, nature, severity, area of pain, patient size, medical history, and more. These oral medications could include Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatories Drugs (NSAIDs) like diclofenac, naproxen, ibuprofen, and more. They could also prescribe muscle relaxants like baclofen, cyclobenzaprine, etc., or they could go for anticonvulsants like gabapentin, pregabalin, and more. Physicians could also prescribe antidepressants like amitriptyline, nortriptyline, and opioids like codeine and oxycodone in severe cases.

The problem with all of these drugs is that when a patient uses them for a long time for chronic pain, it could result in adverse side effects. These side effects could include cardiovascular diseases, gastrointestinal ulcers, drowsiness, dizziness, constipation, and dry mouth. If the physician has prescribed more than one medication, it could become quite challenging for patients to remember to take the drugs. Some patients might have a problem swallowing the medicines. Some patients might take less than what is required or more. All of this creates a compliance nightmare and interferes with the patient’s quality of life.

Compounding Medications For Chronic Pain

Due to all of these factors, compounding pharmacies are quickly coming to the forefront for pain prescriptions. Patients have a lot of options when it comes to pain compounding. One of the options is topical pain compounding. That is when a compounding pharmacist creates a cream or lotion for the patient that can be directly applied to the target area. That’s not all. There are more benefits of compounding your pain medications:

Customizable and Individualized

A compounding pharmacy can easily combine multiple medications in the same cream or lotion for you. This method will help with compliance, and you wouldn’t have to take the drug orally.

Less systemic absorption

Because you will be applying the topical cream, ointment, gel, or lotion directly to your skin, the absorption in your system will be far less than oral medicines. This means fewer side effects.

Convenience in dosing

As we mentioned earlier, creams and lotions are easy to apply, and some patients could prefer them over taking multiple pills multiple times a day. It also helps reduce drug interactions.

Minimization of Addiction and Abuse

When we talk about opioids, we know that there is a chance of addiction, leading a patient to abuse that drug. When you contact a compounding pharmacy for a topical solution, these chances become fewer.


As far as topical pain compounding is concerned, there are various benefits that a patient can have over oral medication. They are easy to apply, may have fewer side effects, fewer drug interactions, and the chances of addiction and drug abuse go down as well.

If you are dealing with chronic pain or have a loved one experiencing it, do not hesitate to contact us and discuss your pain management treatment. Our expert consultants are always ready and willing to help you out.

Also Read: How Compounding Pharmacists Help Give Medicines To Your Pets Effectively

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