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Compounding FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions about Compounding

How does pharmacy compounding benefit me?

There are several ways. The primary reason for compounding is to avoid patient non-compliance, which means the patient is either unable or unwilling to use the original prescribed medication as directed. Many patients are allergic to preservatives or dyes or require a dosage that is different from the standard drug strengths.

With a physician’s consent, a compounding pharmacist can:

  • Adjust the strength of a medication
  • Avoid unwanted ingredients such as dyes, preservatives, lactose, gluten, or sugar
  • Add flavour to make the medication more palatable
  • Prepare medications using unique delivery systems such as a flavoured liquid for patients who find it difficult to swallow a capsule, topical gels or creams that can be absorbed through the skin, troches that dissolve under the tongue, or lollipops that are eagerly consumed by choosy children

Can my child or elderly parent take compounded medication?

Absolutely! Children and the elderly are the types of patients who benefit most from compounding.

Getting children to take their medicine is a constant challenge because of the taste. A compounding pharmacist can use a flavouring agent such as bubblegum, grape, tutti-frutti or vanilla butternut, which provides both an appropriate match for the medication’s properties and the patient’s taste preferences. In addition, we can make oral tablets into the more acceptable liquid form for children who have difficulty swallowing tablets.

Compounding makes sense for the elderly as well. Some patients can’t take certain pain medications due to gastrointestinal side effects. A compounding pharmacist may be able to provide these patients with anti-inflammatory or pain-relieving medications in a topical preparation that can be absorbed through the skin. Compounded prescriptions are often used to ease pain, nausea, and other symptoms for hospice patients as well.

Is pharmacy compounding safe?

Part of healthcare since the origins of pharmacy, compounding is widely used today in all areas of the industry from hospitals to nuclear medicine. Over the last few decades, the resurgence of compounding has benefited largely from advances in technology, quality control and research methodology.

Wellness Pharmacies compound all of our medications in accordance with NAPRA Guidelines to Pharmacy Compounding, Health Canada Policy on Manufacturing and Compounding Drug Products in Canada and College of Pharmacists of BC Guidelines to Pharmacy Compounding.

Will insurance cover compounded medications?

In BC, PharmaCare covers some of the compounds. For some other compounds, Special Authority may be granted for coverage. This means both your doctor and the pharmacy should send documents to PharmaCare explaining the need to use a compound and the cost involved to obtain approval.

Some extended medical insurance plans allow the patient to be reimbursed for a compounded prescription. Please reach out to your insurance provider if unsure.

Is pharmacy compounding expensive?

Compounding may or may not cost more than conventional medication. The cost depends on factors such as the type of ingredients and equipment required, plus the time required to prepare the medication.

How do I get a prescription for compounded medications?

Prescription compounding is a rapidly growing component of many physicians’ practices, but some may not realize the extent of compounding’s resurgence in recent years. Ask your healthcare practitioner about compounded medications or get them in touch with us. Through the relationship of patient, prescriber and pharmacist, all three can work together to solve unique medical problems.

Is custom compounding right for you? Ask your healthcare practitioner or call us today about the benefits of customized prescription compounding.