We have discussed the details of pharmaceutical compounding on other pages, but we should also offer some information on the alternative forms that compounded medications can take. It is amazing how many different ways can be developed by a trained compounding pharmacist to make taking medications as easy as possible for patients. Let’s take a look.
An important part of compounding is making drugs palatable, which means pleasing to the taste or smell. Some medications can be very unpleasant for children or elderly patients, so the art of flavoring a compounded medication can overcome a patient’s dislike of a particular drug.
Capsules can be useful for patients who can take pills orally but need special dosages or medications free of allergens. They can take advantage of multiple medicines placed into a single capsule to help reduce the number of daily pills. Some patients also find a smooth capsule easier to swallow than a pill.
Compounded liquid medications are useful for patients who have trouble swallowing pills or capsules. A tasty liquid might also be more acceptable to a child. Infants can have prescribed medications added to liquid formula. Some medications can be added to effervescent powders, creating a sparkling or fizzy drink when added to water.
Some medications can be dispensed in a lozenge or hard candy that the patient then dissolves in their mouth. Lollipops have also been developed for children or even adults that can’t tolerate pills. This is a case where knowledge of flavoring and sweetening also comes into play with a trained pharmacist.
“Topical” refers to anything applied to the skin. Medications can be compounded into lotions, creams, gels, skin patches, sprays, foams, and even stick applicators similar to lip balms. The advantage of skin delivery of medication is it bypasses the gastrointestinal system, preventing drug-induced indigestion or other complications for patients with stomach issues.
Suppositories can be a drug delivery method if patients are unable to accept any drugs by mouth, and need a different method than a topical application. Urinary or vaginal suppositories can help treat infections in those areas, and also supply drugs quickly into the blood stream for other conditions. They should be considered as another method when looking at compounded drug options.
As with all compounded drugs, our pharmacist at Slater Pharmacy will work with your physician or other health care specialist to create specific drug therapies to suit your medical conditions. Contact us today for a drug compounding consultation.