Have you ever been in a situation where the doctor prescribed you a product, you took it home, tried it, but to no avail? There are a lot of people like that. They cycle through one drug after another before they finally settle for one that works. This entire process is frustrating, time-consuming, and the drugs that the patients use sometimes have side effects that exacerbate the disease instead of helping the patient recover.
What should a patient do in this case? Do they have other options?
Simply put, yes. They have an alternative in the form of compounding. Usually, when this happens, doctors prescribe the patients with compounded medications that are created precisely according to the patient’s needs and requirements. They are made after considering the patient’s weight, metabolic system, allergies, preferences, and more.
Another thing is that the patient might need a combination of various drugs that might not be available in the market. They might need a dosage that is different from what is available in the market. That is where compounding pharmacies play their role. These medications are created to fit the bill, so to speak. They are custom-crafted by the compounding pharmacist after they have considered the physician’s prescription and the patient.
Is It a Fad or a Trend?
If we were to give you a one-word answer, it would be “no.” Compounded medicines are not a fad or a trend that might come and go with time. Before drugs were being mass-produced, compounding pharmacies were the way to go. They were called apothecaries. In 2016, around 276 million medicines were compounded for patients. There were different types of medicines like coconut-mango flavoured antibiotics for children, dye-free histamines for patients allergic to dye, and so much more. There were even anesthetizing lollipops for children and other patients who had needle-phobia. Then came mass-produced drugs, and compounding took a back seat. But now, it is back in the limelight due to custom-made medication that is exactly what the patients need.
Other reasons why compounding has become so popular are
- the increase in the geriatric population
- drug shortages
- varied dosages and formulations
What Are Compounding Pharmacies?
Let’s first take a look at a standard pharmacy and see what they do. That will enable us to discover the difference between that and a compounding pharmacy. A regular pharmacy keeps commonly prescribed ingredients. All the drugs are pre-made and pre-packaged. When you hand over your prescription, the technician takes medicine, puts it into a container with the instructions, and hands it over to you. While counseling you about medication, they may alter the treatment, but only in a limited manner.
A compounding pharmacy, on the other hand, creates medications from scratch. They have the recipe, and they can alter it to meet the needs of the patients. These are custom prescriptions that are tailor-made for the patient.
What Are Custom Prescriptions?
Pharmaceutical companies make most of the drugs that you have used up till now. These are made in several strengths and are mass-produced. They cannot be altered in any way. A custom prescription, however, is not available freely in the market. It is customized to the patient. The patient is the only one with access to it based on the physician’s prescription. Custom prescriptions can be made for any and all types of medical issues. These include
Pharmacists can compound all types of formulations like liquids, creams, ointments, gels, lozenges, and suppositories.
Can Anyone Make Custom Prescriptions?
Custom prescriptions can only be made by compounding pharmacists that are licensed and state board certified. They are highly experienced and technical experts who keep themselves up to date with the latest innovations and technologies. They use approved and safe ingredients and proper compounding methods for creating medicines.
Benefits of Custom Prescriptions
Patients go for custom prescriptions instead of being prescribed a mass-produced drug for various reasons.
Medicines don’t just contain the main ingredient that is supposed to heal you and get you back on track. They also have other materials that bind and coat it. These materials sometimes cause allergies in people. This is why a lot of doctors prescribe compounded medications to their patients. Your compounding pharmacist will consider your allergies when creating your medicine and make sure not to include that specific ingredient. They can add or remove any components based on your needs. For example, if you are allergic to gluten, the pharmacist will remove gluten from the medicine.
2. Your Preferences
What if you are having trouble taking a tablet or a pill because it is too large? What if you don’t like the flavour of the medicine and it stops you from taking it on time? This is especially true for kids and older people, and it raises compliance issues. IF you don’t take the medication on time, it will take longer to reach optimum health. A compounding pharmacist will take this into account when creating your medicine. They will change the formulation of the drug so you can take it easily. They can formulate medication in various forms like liquids, creams, lotions, sprays, ointments, and more.
3. Better Access
Commercially available products might not be available for a long time. They might get discontinued due to one reason or another. The pharmaceutical company might find out another molecule that is newer and better and start producing that instead of the previous molecule. This might become a problem for patients satisfied with the drug earlier and wanted to continue with it. If your doctor thinks that the older drug was more effective for you, they will prescribe a custom medication for it, and the compounding pharmacist will make it for you using the ingredients that they have.
4. Accurate Dosing
Commercially produced medications come in pre-set doses. You can either use them or not. For some patients, those doses might not work. They might need a smaller dose or a larger dose. Custom prescriptions can be made according to the exact quantity that you require. When a pharmacist develops a custom medication, they consider your weight, sex, allergies, and other preferences. This is not the case with commercially produced drugs.
Custom prescriptions can have a lot of benefits for you, your family and friends, as well as your four-legged friends. They are created effective, with potentially fewer allergies, and help with compliance. This might get you healthier more quickly than commercially produced drugs.
So, what are you waiting for? Reach out to your nearest compounding pharmacy today.
Ask a Pharmacist
Not close to us? No problem! Have your doctor fax your prescription and we will ship your custom compound with free overnight shipping.