Compounding Explained

Compounding is one of pharmacy’s best kept secrets, but it shouldn’t be.  Read on and find out why you should know what it is and how it might help you.

Simply put, compounding is the practice of making a medication to suit the needs of the patient.  Compounding might be required for several reasons; such as making liquid medicines for children, avoiding certain additives or changing flavours; no commercially available product or appropriate medicines not available for animals.

Compounding pharmacies have specialised equipment, training and resources to make medicines safely and to ensure patients receive a high-quality product that is safe, reliable and consistent.

Some examples of medicines commonly compounded for children include;

  • Medicines to assist with sleeping patterns
  • Medicines to reduce painful reflux
  • Antibiotics not available in liquids
  • Pain medications as liquids or suppositories
  • Medicines of specific colours or flavours for kids with special needs, such as ASD

Some examples of medicines commonly compounded for adults include;

  • Medicines no longer available – such as for migraine
  • Unique medications for certain conditions such as hair loss, erectile dysfunction, hormone imbalance or pain
  • Medicines absorbed through the skin, to reduce side effects
  • Medicines to help reduce side effects from treatments such as chemotherapy
  • Personalised vitamins for those with absorption or metabolic issues
  • Personal care products for very sensitive skin, such as shampoos, creams and washes

Some examples of medicines commonly compounded for animals include;

  • Behavioral medications not available in liquid or capsule form
  • Antibiotics in very large, or very small doses
  • Medications flavoured to suit the animal – such as liver, chicken, tuna or beef

At the very core, compounding is about providing solutions to for unique cases that might otherwise go without appropriate treatment.