Suffolk County Pharmacy | Islip Natural Supplements
Have you had trouble taking commercially-produced medications? Perhaps you or someone you care for has trouble swallowing pills, or gets an upset stomach from the medications they must take. You may be a perfect candidate for pharmaceutical compounding. We will provide you answers below for the most common questions we are asked about compounding.
What is compounding?
Compounding is the science and art of taking pure medications and blending them into forms that are easy for patients to use, or will result in a better effect than taking a pill. It is a practice that had fallen into disuse after mass-produced medications became popular in the mid-20th century. Medications can be formulated into creams, lotions, gels, lozenges, liquids, skin patches, and suppositories just to name a few methods. Many medications, particularly for pain, are just as effective if not more so if applied to the skin, which is the human body’s largest organ.
How can compounding be a benefit to me or someone I care for?
The biggest concern of health professionals is when patients can’t or won’t take their medications, either because of difficulty taking them or a dislike of the taste or texture of the commercial products. Patient improvement depends on routine use of the medications prescribed by the physician, so they and pharmacists are coming back to compounding as a way to solve these problems.
Compounding allows physicians to be extremely flexible in medications for their patients:
It is very easy to adjust doses by compounding small quantities until a patient responds positively to a medication Dyes, starches, sugars, and other unneeded additives can be avoided The pharmacist has a range of delivery methods rather than just a pill Flavoring can be added to make a medication easier to take
Can compounding be used with children and the elderly?
Both children and the elderly benefit greatly from Drug compounding. Children find many medicines unpleasant and will refuse to take them. Compounding with flavors can overcome the unpleasant factor and help the child feel better. The elderly often suffer from nausea or other side effects of medications, plus the sheer number of medications needed by some patients is overwhelming to them. The pharmacist can experiment with different flavorings to find one or two that the patients prefer, and in many cases drugs can be combined into a single or few doses rather than a large handful of pills. The elderly may also benefit from liquids that are easier to swallow than pills. Discuss your needs with our pharmacist and we will be happy to help you.
Is compounding safe and is it legal for a pharmacy to perform?
Compounding is extremely safe, and current quality control and improved laboratory equipment has allowed for pharmacists to create compounded drugs having excellent quality control. Compounding is not new, and has been used in nuclear medicine and hospitals for many years. It is simply becoming more common at the pharmacy level as patients, physicians, and pharmacists realize its benefits. Drug compounding is perfectly legal when the pharmacist is working with a prescription from a licensed health care professional. Drug compounding is also regulated and controlled by state boards of pharmacy.
Will insurance cover the cost of compounding?
You should always check with your insurance company about your available coverage, but many insurance companies are allowing for the cost of drug compounding as part of a medical treatment plan. You may also have coverage that allows you to pay for the medications, then submit the charges for reimbursement by your insurance company.
How expensive is drug compounding?
Drug compounding may be more expensive than a commercial drug, simply because of the economics of mass-producing medications. However, compounding also uses refined raw materials that could be less expensive than a brand-named expensive drug. Each drug compound is a specific issue, and you should discuss your drug compounding needs with our pharmacist before you decide. The ease of using compounded drugs, or getting a difficult patient to take them, may outweigh the exact cost considerations.
What kinds of drugs can be compounded?
Compounding can create a variety of drug delivery methods to treat a wide range of medical conditions. Drugs can be prepared to treat:
- Skin irritations and rashes
- Dental pain or diseases
- Ear problems
- Hormone replacement therapy
- Ophthalmology and other eye problems
- Neurological issues
- Joint and muscle pain
- Gastrointestinal issues and diseases
- Flavoring to overcome taste issues
- Avoidance of allergic additives or dye sensitivity
- Veterinary medicine for domestic pets and other animals
- Sports medicine
- Reproductive or urinary problems
- And many others
Does Slater Pharmacy know about compounding?
Yes, we do, and we take pride in being able to offer drug compounding as another method to assist our pharmacy customers. We consider compounding to be an important part of the overall tools we use to help our customers regain and retain their good health. Please contact us today if you have any interest in or questions about drug compounding.