What is Compounding?

Compounded medications are “made from scratch” – with individual ingredients mixed together in the exact strength and dosage form as required. This method allows the compounding pharmacist to work with the patient and the prescriber to customize a medication to meet the patient’s specific needs.

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At one time, nearly all prescriptions were compounded. With the advent of mass drug manufacturing in the 1950s and ‘60s, compounding rapidly declined. The pharmacist’s role as a preparer of medications quickly changed to that of a dispenser of manufactured dosage forms, and most pharmacists no longer were trained to compound medications. However, the “one-size-fits-all” nature of many mass-produced medications meant that some patients’ needs were not being met.

Through technology and innovative techniques, compounding has experienced a resurgence while research has allowed more pharmacists to solve a patient’s problem by meeting specific prescription requirements that enable both prescriber and patient to develop the most appropriate therapy for each person.

Compounding allows a pharmacist to customize medication into a variety of different dosage forms, strengths, and flavors. For example, if you are intolerant to a certain preservative, with a prescription from your doctor, we can make these medications for you preservative-free.

The most important reason why compounded medications are prescribed are due to a patient being non-compliant.  Non-compliance could mean that patients have issues to the regularly available medicine and therefore need an alternative delivery system.

Compounding pharmacists can make a variety of changes to traditional medications:

  • Lower or eliminate dyes or preservatives
  • Increase or decrease dose strengths for infants or the elderly
  • Make alternative forms like sprays, creams, troches, lozenges, candies, gels and liquids 
  • Add flavor for better taste and easier ingestion 

Moreover, compounding fills in the gap for patients who need medicine that have been discontinued commerically and can help patients who are facing a supply shortage of their normal medication.