Medication Compounding To Fit Your Needs

Compounding allows us to tailor your medication doses to your needs and the needs of your family using the latest techniques and products.

So, if you’re interested in a more personal, targeted approach to your healthcare needs, speak to one of our friendly staff about compounding your medications to your needs.

What is a Compounding Pharmacy and What Do They Do?

Have you ever heard of a compounding pharmacy? Whether you’re looking for specialised products for specific complaints, have concerns about your medications, or just want a more personalised experience, a compounding pharmacy can help meet all of your needs.

Unfortunately, not everyone seems to know about all the health benefits of going to a compounding pharmacy. That’s why we created this post. So, here’s all the information necessary to answer the question, what is a compounding pharmacy and what do they do?

What is a Compounding Pharmacy?

A compounding pharmacy is much like an ordinary pharmacy in a lot of ways. The only difference is when it comes to medications. You’ll still need a prescription before getting medication there, but your compounding pharmacist will be able to craft a customised medication for your needs. They will mix and package your prescription on site, basically making it from scratch from raw ingredients.

The idea of compounding actually goes back to the roots of medicine in the 19th century. During that time, doctors would prescribe a medication and then make it for their patients on site. However, over the years the pharmaceutical industry became commercialised with big companies taking over medication creation. This resulted in better access to medications, but it also meant that these medications were created in specific doses and forms, usually the most popular ones, and individual requirements were ignored.

The Importance of a compounding pharmacy

Today’s healthcare landscape is often described as impersonal and mass manufactured. And this applies to your medications as well, making them expensive and not tailored to your unique medical needs and preferences. A compounding pharmacy is a good way to avoid these drawbacks and enjoy a more affordable and customised experience.

You may want to visit one of these specialist pharmacies if you:

  • Have allergies
  • Are looking for medication for someone who’s very young
  • Need a different dose of a medication than is commercially available
  • Are concerned about additives and fillers and want them removed
  • Need medications that aren’t available in Australia
  • Prefer to take your medications in a form that isn’t commercially available
  • Need medications that are out of stock
  • Are concerned about the rising cost of medications

The Difference Between a Compounding Pharmacy and a Normal Pharmacy

There aren’t actually many differences between a compounding pharmacy and a normal one. Both of them offer:

  • Medications as prescribed by a doctor
  • Toiletries
  • Vitamins and supplements
  • Non-prescription medications
  • First aid equipment
  • And more

But when it comes to medications, a compounding pharmacy is a little different. They do offer the commercially available medications, but they also create customised medications for anyone with different needs or preferences.

What is Compounding?

To understand a compounding pharmacy, you need to understand what compounding is. Pharmaceutical compounding is a science where customised medications are created by combining individual, raw ingredients in the exact strength the patient needs.

A licensed pharmacist creates these compounded medications in a safe and carefully controlled environment on site in their pharmacy.

What Types of Prescriptions Can Be Compounded?

Almost any type of medication can be compounded to better suit your medical needs. Your pharmacist can take the raw ingredients of the medications you need and turn them into almost any form, including:

  • Ointments
  • Creams
  • Capsules
  • Nasal sprays
  • Balms
  • Sprays
  • Eye or ear drops
  • Gels
  • Suppositories
  • Oral solutions or suspensions
  • Tablets
  • Lollipops or lozenges
  • Powders
  • Animal treats
  • Troches
  • Pessaries

Compounding Specialities

Your pharmacist can compound almost any type of medication. But there are certain special areas of medicine where this practice is most useful. These compounding specialities are:

Veterinary Compounding

Veterinary compounding can make it easier for you to give your pet the right medications for their needs. They can also create medications that your pet will actually be happy to take!

Paediatric compounding

Do your kids hate swallowing tablets or are unable to because of the taste of their medications? Your  pharmacist can compound their medications into a form that they’ll actually enjoy taking. They can also make sure that your child gets the exact dose they need rather than the standardised dose, helping to protect their vulnerable bodies from harm.

Sports medicine

The bodies of sports people are different to the general population, with specific needs and demands. Compounded medication can help fulfil these needs and also ensure that any harmful additives are removed from essential medications.

Palliative and aged care

Aged and palliative medication is a huge area of concern at the moment in Australia’s aging population. People in these groups are often unwell, with sensitive bodies that can react very poorly to medications. They may also take a lot of medications, which can increase the rate of interactions or reactions.

Palliative and aged care compounding can make it easier for people in these groups to remain compliant with their medications and give them the specialised care that the need.  It can also be used to fulfil palliative care needs.

Pain management

Managing pain with medications can be extremely difficult, demanding customised solutions that decrease the chances of reactions, overmedicating, and interactions from a compounding pharmacy.

Fertility and hormones

Both men and women have specific needs in terms of hormonal levels and fertility. Often, the standardised doses aren’t enough to fill these needs or end up causing additional problems.

For trouble free fertility and hormonal help for men and women, talk to your compounding pharmacist.

Read more: 5 Ways that Women Can Enjoy Better Health with Compounded Medications

Anti-aging and skin care

Your skin is not like anyone else’s, so why would your skincare be the same? Your pharmacist can craft individual skincare solutions for a range of skin problems including:

  • Acne
  • Aging
  • Rosacea
  • Psoriasis
  • Eczema

What are the Reasons for Compounding Drugs?

There are several important benefits to visiting a compounding pharmacy. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most common reasons for switching to compounded medications:

Customized medications

Commercial medications come in specific standardised dosages, usually the most popular dosages. If you need a dose that’s different to what’s commercially available, then you’re usually out of luck and may end up being overmedicated or undermedicated.

A compounding pharmacy can create dosages that are specifically customised to your weight, medical condition, medication sensitivities, age, and any other differences.

Hard-to-find medications

Pharmaceutical companies are like any other type of business, they make the products that are the most commercially viable. This can result in low stock or no stock on medications that aren’t as high demand.

COVID-19 has only worsened this situation, with many medications going out of stock. This may result in you not getting your medications or having to buy another similar one that may be more expensive or not exactly what you need.

A compounding pharmacy can actually make the medication you need, even the hard-to-find ones. This will ensure that you always have your essential medications when you need them.

Personalised care

Healthcare as a whole is becoming less and less personalised, which leaves many patients feeling like faceless cogs in a huge machine. This is a problem because personalised health care:

  • Allows you to take control of your mental health
  • Ensures that you’re getting everything you need to feel and be at your best
  • Builds your confidence
  • Increases health advice compliance
  • Leads to better health outcomes

Normal pharmacies, with their standardised medications, just don’t provide the same level of personalised care as a compounding pharmacy, where you can get medications that are tailor made to your needs.

More affordable medications

Commercially available medications have a set price and there’s usually no difference between one pharmacy and another. However, compounding pharmacists typically charge less for their services. They also create medications by hand, so don’t usually add in the fillers and additives that go in commercial blends.

Because of these reasons, you should be able to get your medications at a better price from your compounding pharmacy.

Natural remedies

Some pharmacies also provide compounded natural remedies to ensure that you get the dose and strength you need to solve your complaint. This can apply to a range of natural remedies such as skincare, haircare, or supplement products.

Too often, people assume that these products are much safer than prescription medication and take them as wanted. But natural products can and do cause health issues. They can interact with prescription products, cause side effects, cause allergies, or just be wrong for your body and health complaint.

By working with your compounding pharmacist, you can get natural remedies that are specially tailored to your health complaint. This will ensure that the product has the best chances of solving or at least reducing said complaint!

Improved outcomes

Taking compounded medications instead of commercially available mixes often leads to better health outcomes. There are several reasons for this including:

  • Your pharmacist can remove any ingredients that cause side effects
  • The dose is personalised to your needs, body, and physical condition
  • Greater compliance with medication as the taste and form can be varied to suit patient preferences

Veterinary medications

Did you know that you can get medications for your pet from your local compounding pharmacy? Pets often experience the same illnesses and health complaints as people and need the same level of modern and sophisticated pharmaceutical care.

Unfortunately, getting pets to take medication can be famously hard. Cats tend to spit out pills and eat around them in food and doses can vary widely for dogs because of weight differences. And that’s without even considering the medication difficulties that can occur when you have an exotic pet!

Your compounding pharmacy in Perth can help with all of these issues and more. They can create flavoured medications for picky pets, concentrated solutions for birds, remove ingredients that may cause reactions, and provide exactly calibrated doses for any size animal.

A compounding pharmacist can create medications for a range of animals and pets including:

  • Dogs
  • Cats
  • Birds
  • Horses
  • Ferrets
  • Rabbits
  • Reptiles
  • Zoo animals
  • Aquatic animals

Compounding Medications – FAQs

Do you still have concerns and worries about compounding pharmacies and the medications they create? Then here are the most commonly asked questions that we’ve heard at Kiara Pharmacy in our years of practice:

Compounded medications are designed for people who can’t take commercially manufactured drugs for whatever reason. So yes, anyone can take compounded medications.

Yes, you will still need a prescription for compounded medications as it will tell your pharmacists exactly how much of a medication you need. It’s also a legal requirement here in Australia.

Yes. Pharmacists are tightly regulated and trained by the Pharmacy Board of Australia. Pharmacists also have to undergo extra training if they want to do compounding to ensure that their mixes are safe and effective.

Like with most medications, the cost of a compounded medication may vary depending on:

  • The dosage and medication form
  • The cost of the raw ingredients
  • How much preparation time is required
  • The equipment needed to create the medication

So, talk to your compounding pharmacist about costs beforehand if you’re concerned.

Some medications are covered or partially covered under Medicare, just like commercial medications. So, talk to your pharmacy about the specifics.

If your prescription was purposely sent to a compounding pharmacist, then it means that your doctor prescribed a medication that can’t be bought from a traditional pharmacy and must be made from scratch.

If your medication has been discontinued, then we can still fill your prescription. Compounding pharmacies make medications from the raw, active ingredients, so you can still get the medication you need even though the original medication blend may not be commercially available.

Because pharmacists don’t make compounded medications in advance, they usually take more time to prepare depending on the complexity of the mix and other factors. However, if you need these medications quickly for urgent situations, then talk to your pharmacist about making them as soon as possible.

Your compounded product will have an expiry date on it. The expiry date will depend on the stability of the formation, whether preservatives are used, and the expiry date of each ingredient.

Some health insurance funds will cover compounded medications, so give them a call to find out whether you’re covered.

The Takeaway

Compounding for medications is having a resurgence at the moment because of the pushback against aggressive pharmaceutical companies. If you’re interested in more personalised, specialised care or have issues with your medication, then talk to the friendly staff at your local compounding pharmacy.

At Kiara Pharmacy, we want to offer every customer a more personal experience of health and wellness. That’s why we offer a range of compounding services to suit almost every patient. Talk to our pharmacist today about your medications.

More Effective Treatments

Talk to our pharmacist today about healthier living and more effective medications with our expert compounding services.
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