Pharmacy Compounding - What Is It?

Compounding is a process by which customized prescriptions or drugs are made. There are certain health conditions which can be effectively treated with medicines which are not available and widely distributed in drugstores. A compounded drug is often obtained to give equally effective formulations as the commercial formulas as well as they are delivered in the most convenient and appropriate form. Compounded medicines are useful in the following manners:


Doctors would usually refer this kind of condition as:

  • To give what the patient needs especially in times when a particular type of commercial medicine becomes scarce.
  • To give treatment to certain types of menopausal symptoms; treatment is achieved by means of a therapy for hormone replacement, made specifically for a patient's unique and natural hormone profile
  • To give an alternative to patients who cannot tolerate certain types of active ingredients like lactose and gluten which are commonly found in commercial medicines
  • To give veterinary prescriptions which are easier to be administered

What is the equipment used?

High quality compounding medicines should be produced using high-end equipment. Say for example, ointments should be processed using a special type of ointment mill to allow pulverization of active ingredients, making them micro-sized for better absorption or infusion.

Are the doctor and the pharmacist related to one another?

Determining the relationship of your doctor and the pharmacist is an important consideration. Take note that both should have an open communication with one another so that they can target the most appropriate medicine for a particular patient or condition.

Is the pharmacist knowledgeable enough to answer questions whenever needed?

You as the patient should also have a healthy communication with your pharmacist. This way, you can ask the pharmacist whatever concerns you. And make sure that the pharmacist is knowledgeable enough to answer whatever you ask concerning compounding medicines.

Are samples provided by pharmacists?

This should be determined in the first place so that you will know whether or not the medicines are tested regularly to know their significant effects.

Does the pharmacist or pharmacy make standard and pure medicines in a consistent way?

The government has required that compounded drugs should have at least ten percent worth of strength on its label. Many compounding drug manufacturers go beyond this requirement. Ask the pharmacy for their analysis certificates regarding the products they are testing.

Does the pharmacy have accreditation?

See to it that the pharmacy where you are buying the compounding medicines should be accredited by the Pharmacy Compounding Accreditation Board or PCAB. The PCAB tells you of the following important aspects:

  • The pharmacy's rigorous quality control system
  • Thorough training provided to the pharmacy employees
  • Documented procedures and policies

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