Compound medication refers to drugs that have been specially customized for an individual patient. Ingredients are mixed through scientific formulas, without interfering with the most important and functional components of the drug.
This is different from drug manufacturing because, in the latter, drugs are produced in masses and distributed to different pharmacies and hospitals. Medication compounding, on the other hand, involves adding or removing some components of a drug to make it suitable for an individual.
It is a legal practice that is taught in all pharmacy schools across the country. With the compound medication industry rising exponentially, it is always important to ensure that your pharmacist is approved by relevant state boards before purchasing any customized drugs.
Below are the benefits of getting compound medication:
Achieving the Right Dosage Amount
Physicians prescribe medicine, especially tablets, in milligrams (mg) form. This amount is dependent on factors like your symptoms, age, and other drug interactions. Sometimes, these circumstances may necessitate a 40mg prescription for a drug that is only available in 15mg and 30mg dosages.
This leaves you at the mercy of splitting tablets in the hope that you will achieve the right dosage amount. For vulnerable populations such as infants and geriatrics, underdosing or overdosing can have significant health effects.
Through compounded medications, a patient gets any type of drug in the exact prescribed dosage amount.
Recreating a Discontinued Drug
Medication discontinuation can happen for a variety of reasons, including low demand and insufficient profits from the drug. But what happens when your doctor finds this specifically discontinued drug best suited for your treatment? Or you suddenly become allergic to other variants of the drug? It is uncommon for original drug manufacturers to produce a discontinued product unless there is significant demand.
A certified pharmacist can develop a compound medication that matches the active ingredients of the discontinued drug for your use.
Increasing Convenience When Taking Your Prescription
Are you taking 2 different vitamin supplements? Or using different types of treatments for a common problem? Compound medications can make it more convenient for you by combining these active ingredients so that you only take one tablet, but with the same benefits.
Another example is when a particular drug, especially those that are long-term, has an unpleasant taste. You can request a compounded medication that retains the functional properties of the former, but comes with a pleasant taste and is customized to your preferences.
Making a Drug Available in Alternative Forms
In the previous section, compounding of medications is done for convenience purposes only. However, there are instances where a particular form of the drug is difficult to swallow or absorb in the bloodstream. Here compounded drugs are made out of necessity.
Children and older adults might have a problem in swallowing medicine that is only in tablet form. While crushing it is always a solution, the resulting taste might discourage the patient from taking it correctly. In addition, other adults might have a digestive problem that makes it hard to absorb tablets.
Compound medications can be created in alternative forms such as gels, lollipops, liquid, and gummy bears, for easy administration of drugs.
Getting Rid of Allergens
While drug allergy incidents aren’t so common these days, one can be allergic to some of the components often added in drugs for additional benefits. These include dyes, preservatives, sugar, lactose, gluten, and so on.
For instance, some components in hormonal imbalance medication have been found to cause additional problems due to specific drug components. In such cases, compound medications for sexual health are developed through customization to eliminate the harmful element.
Before proceeding, ensure that you have checked for an FDA-approved variant without the allergen.
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