One of the many concerns that patients have during a nationwide drug shortage is getting their medications if their pharmacy runs out. While there may be no guarantee that your pharmacy will have your medication in stock, you can take steps to make sure you can continue taking your medication without interruption. Compounding pharmacies can create custom formulations of your prescription drugs so that you have a backup supply on hand in case of a shortage. Talk to your pharmacist today about having a custom formulation created for you.
What is Compounding and What Does a Compounding Pharmacy Do?
Compounding is the process of creating a particular medication just for you by mixing, heating, cooling and/or adding ingredients to your prescription. Compounded medications are usually available in smaller quantities than commercially manufactured medications which could help if your pharmacy runs out of stock. In some cases, compounding can allow you to receive medicine that may not be available in your area.
What are Some of the Reasons for Compounding Medications?
There are many reasons why you may need a compounded medication. Some of the most common reasons include:
- You are allergic to one of the ingredients in your medication
- The dose of your medicine is not available in a commercially manufactured product
- You need a liquid form of your medicine because you have difficulty swallowing pills
- You need a dosage adjustment because of your age, weight or health condition
Reasons for Shortage of Medications in Canada
There are many reasons why medications may be in shortage, including delays in obtaining raw materials, manufacturing problems and loss of the supplier. The reasons are not always reasons that have to do with the drug itself but sometimes have to do with the manufacturing process. For example, a manufacturer may need to change equipment or change the supplier of one of the components. There are other reasons as well. The raw materials may become less available due to increasing demand, shortages in other countries or environmental issues. Medications are usually only on shortage for a short period, but the length varies depending on the reasons why.
Shortages can lead to some pharmacies not having some medications in stock at all times. Your pharmacist may recommend an alternative medicine in the event of a shortage. In most cases, a compounding pharmacist can compound your medications to help you maintain control over your health. It may be essential to communicate with your pharmacist about compounding your medicines by phone or email if convenient.
What Can You Do In Case of Medicine Shortage?
- Keep your regular schedule of medication intake. Do not stop taking a medication without consulting with your doctor first.
- Contact your pharmacist to find out if they have alternative medicines that you can use in the event of a shortage or if they compound medication for their patients.
- Talk about how long supplies will last and whether storage is an issue.
- Do not share your medication with anyone else. It may not be safe for them, which is against the law.
- If you have a history of allergies, check if the alternative medicines your pharmacist suggests are safe for you. Tell them about any other medications or supplements you take, including vitamins and natural health products. This is important even if you have previously used the alternative medicine without a problem.
- Contact your doctor about your concerns to find out what they recommend. In some cases, they may be able to authorize emergency refills or another course of action for when the medication shortage ends.
- Consider switching from a brand-name drug to a generic drug if your doctor thinks it will be helpful.
- Collaborate with your compounding pharmacist and physician network about shortages to help manage future shortages more effectively.
If you are concerned about drug shortages and how they may impact your ability to get your medications, talk to your pharmacist. They can help you contact a compounding pharmacy in your area that can create a custom formulation of your prescription drugs. Having a backup supply of your medications can help ensure that you continue taking your medication without interruption.
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Not close to us? No problem! Have your doctor fax your prescription and we will ship your custom compound with free overnight shipping.