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What is Compounding

The art and science of preparing personalized medications

Pharmacy compounding is the art and science of preparing personalized medications – from scratch – to meet a patient’s specific needs. Individual ingredients are mixed together in the exact strength and dosage form required by the patient.

The pharmacist works with the patient and the patient’s physician to customize a medication that makes taking it a more positive experience and enables the patient to obtain the most benefit from it.

A brief history of compounding

Compounding is a long-standing practice that goes back to the time when pharmaceutical businesses first began. Back then, nearly all prescriptions were compounded. But in the 1950s and 1960s, with the advent of mass drug manufacturing, the need for compounding quickly declined.

However, the off-the-shelf convenience of mass-produced medications meant that the unique needs of many patients were not being met when they took their medication.

Thankfully in recent years, compounding has been seeing a resurgence. While the concept of compounding is the same, modern technology, advanced research and innovative techniques means that compounding today is better than ever. You can trust in the quality consistency, content uniformity, purity and stability of the compounds.

Why is there a need for customized compounding?

Compounding allows a medication to be tailored to the specific needs of individual patient. There are a wide range of situations where compounding makes sense. Some examples include:

  • Medications are shortlisted/unavailable or discontinued
  • Required dosage forms are not available from the manufacturer
  • Patients have allergies, intolerance to particular ingredients, or physical barriers such as difficulty swallowing
  • Children or pets are unable to or refuse to take medication
  • Patients suffer with adverse side effects of medication such as pain or skin problems