Compounding pharmacies are responsible for making drugs for patients who have specific needs – needs that a typical commercial pharmacy cannot meet. For example, a child may need a particular medicine suited for adults, but a specific dosage can be given to children. Or someone who is allergic to commercial drugs might need a different type of medicine that can only be made by a compounding pharmacy. These types of pharmacies produce certain types of medicines from scratch.
The role of compounding pharmacies has vastly expanded over the past few years. The pharmacist present at the compounding pharmacy usually customises medications for every individual according to their needs and requirements. There are several ingredients kept on hand which the pharmacist uses to customise the dose according to the patient’s needs. This is why the drugs produced by compounding pharmacies are exempted from FDA approval and are regulated by other regulatory boards. The type of medication that is compounded usually includes lotions, creams, and capsules. Pills and tablets are not usually compounded. There are several factors that determine the use of compounded drugs. The following are some of the reasons when compounded drugs are required:
When Are Compounded Drugs Required?
One of the most common reasons for using compounding drugs is due to allergies. There are many different types of allergies, and most individuals require different treatments and a varying type of drug that is custom made for them.
Prescription for children
Children usually require a different dose, depending on the type of condition they have. As already mentioned in the example above, normal medication may not work with several types of conditions that children develop. Therefore, they require a couple of doses of adult medication.
There are several types of ingredients used in pharmaceutical drugs. For example, ointments and creams have several ingredients that some patients might be allergic to. Therefore, the compounding pharmacies create special medication with fewer ingredients in order to suit the skin type of certain patients.
Sometimes the medicine may not be commercially available for patients. The compounding pharmacies then get these medicines made for patients who cannot find them at normal pharmacies. It is not advisable (or easy to remember) to apply too many creams or ointments or eat different types of capsules every day in the right order. Thus, customising medicines is integral for ointments and creams.
Off Label Medications
Sometimes patients might get prescribed medicines that are not FDA approved for the required purpose. The dosage of this medicine might need to be adjusted, which would require it to be compounded. These types of drugs are known as off label medications.