Compounding a prescription specifically to a unique patient’s needs can be easy or complex — depending on that patient’s needs. A compounded prescription can be be something as simple as a pill crushed in a mortar and pestle to create a liquid solution, or as remarkable as a transdermal cream that can be rubbed on the skin. Every year, compounding pharmacists learn more and more about their trade, and compounded prescriptions become more and more useful to the patients who need them.
What’s a compounded prescription, you ask? It’s medicine that’s been altered from its original form to fit the specific medical needs of individual patients who may react negatively to commercial medications or have special needs. It isn’t a new drug — just a modification of an existing one.
A compounded prescription can take many forms:
A Different Dosage Strength. Pills generally only come in a set number of dosage strengths, and if you need something that isn’t commercially available, you may think you’re out of luck. But a compounded prescription can address this problem easily — compounding pharmacists regularly create specific dosage strengths for specific customers.
A Different Flavor. Kids generally don’t like the taste of medicine. But a good compounding pharmacist can make a new compounded prescription for your child — one that tastes better. Your pharmacist can simply alter the flavor, or create an entirely new form of your medicine that your child will love — like gummi bears or lollipops. The same goes for your pets — medicine can be compounded into a meat paste or liquid that they’ll beg for.
A Different Method of Administration. If the flavor can’t be changed, your pharmacist may need to change how the medicine is administered, such as turning it into a gel or cream. Changing the method of administration is a key component of both pediatric medicine — where kids react badly to taking pills orally — and sports medicine, where pharmacists must prevent side effects from occurring on the field.
A New Course of Treatment. If you and your doctor have decided that you’re ready for a course of bio-identical hormone replacement, or if you need nutritional supplements, your compounding pharmacist can help recommend what you need.