Simply, it is when a pharmacist creates one-of-a-kind medications based on the unique needs of a patient as ordered by a health care provider.
Examples of compounding medication needs:
1. A child who needs a liquid version of a medicine in order to take it easier, or a medicine that has been flavored to make it more palatable for a child to take.
2. An arthritis medicine that may cause stomach ulcers when taken orally can be compounded into a gel that is applied topically to the skin, treating only the area of application and avoiding the stomach.
3. For patients who have lost the ability to swallow, compounding can convert a drug into a gel form that is also applied topically, thus avoiding the need to administer the drug by injection or suppository.
A compounding pharmacist often prepares medications unavailable in a particular form or strength and must be compounded from the raw chemicals. Unlike manufactured medications where there are only a few different dosage strengths and forms, compounding allows for endless options.
With compounding, dosages can be adjusted to meet the individual patient's needs, which is especially valuable in treating geriatric, pediatric or veterinary patients.
Compounding can also eliminate unwanted ingredients such as dyes, sugar and preservatives.