S&K Pharmacy specializes in medical compounding as there are multiple benefits of medication compounding.
Taking a prescribed medication is not always as simple as it may sound. Prescriptions are not “one-size-fits-all.” Many patients need their prescriptions to be customized for them. In order to meet the individual needs of the patient, a prescription can be compounded, or altered, by the pharmacist. Compounding is the combining or processing of medication ingredients to produce a patient-friendly alternative to what would normally be dispensed. The process may be medically-necesary or optional, depending on the patient’s circumstances or health requirements.
Pharmaceutical compounding offers the option to patients to have medications modified to aid in swallowing or improve distasteful qualities. For example, adding flavorings to a liquid medication can make the taste more palatable, particularly for younger children and infants. Similarly, children who have not yet mastered the skill of swallowing pills and capsules can benefit from a pharmacist dispensing the medication as a liquid instead. Some pharmacies will process the medication to avoid a certain texture or consistency difficult for the patient to handle. Pharmacists can even change an oral medication into a topical alternative, allowing the medication to be absorbed through the skin instead of taken orally. This can reduce certain unwanted side effects, such as dizziness, stomach upset and drowsiness. Many of these same options are available for compounding veterinary medications, making them easier to administer to animals.
Pharmacies also compound medications for specific medical reasons. Patients allergic to certain ingredients can have them removed from the medication as long as the ingredients are not essential for the medication’s effectiveness, such as gluten, preservatives or colored dyes. Medications can be changed from a pill form to liquid if patients have conditions limiting their ability to swallow solids easily. Compounding medication also allows pharmacists to achieve a specific dosage tailored to a patient’s personal circumstances. For example, if an infant or elderly patient requires a exact amount of medication based on individual weight, the pharmacist can customize the medication accordingly to accommodate the patient’s need. Likewise, if an elderly patient is on multiple medications, compounding the medications make it possible to combine the drugs into one capsule to make it easier on the patient.
Pharmaceutical compounding plays a role in drug development by allowing compounding pharmacists and medicinal chemists to test new formulations of different drugs. This can lead to more effective, more stable active ingredients that meet the needs of patients. It can also create new options for patients who want to continue taking a medication that is in short supply or that has been discontinued by the manufacturer due to limited demand. Additionally, compounded hormones provide an opportunity for patients who choose not to go with conventional hormone replacement to access an alternative that provides similar benefits.
Pharmaceutical compounding is a valuable practice. It makes it possible for pharmacists to customize prescription medications to meet the individual needs of each patient rather than dispensing drugs that may or may not be exactly suited for the patient. As consumers of pharmaceuticals, patients should have the option to benefit from choices regarding their prescriptions, particularly if it promotes patient comfortability. Moreover, the ability to have medications personalized returns the pharmaceutical focus back to where it belongs: on the patients.