Pharmaceutical compounding is the science responsible for the creation of customized medication. Compounded medications are created by combining individual ingredients in the exact strength and dosage form required by the patient and their own unique needs.
There are benefits associated with compounding, many of which focus on providing patients with pharmaceutical products that have been customized to fit their own unique needs when standard marketed drugs fail to do so.
Compounding is often required for medical reasons; some patients require a particular non-essential ingredient to be removed from their medication to prevent an allergic reaction. Others require compounded medication to acquire an exact dosage amount that is unique to their own personal needs and which may not be available in the available marketed drugs.
Compounding pharmacies are also used for more optional reasons. Often times, patients will need their medications in a different form. For example, if an elderly or pediatric patient has difficulty taking their medication in capsule form; a compounding pharmacist can provide the same medication in a cream base form to allow the patient to apply the medication topically, or in a syrup or solution form for easier administration. Pharmaceutical compounding is also used to change the taste and color of medications, to make it more palatable and aesthetically appealing to patients, especially with children and even animals.
Compounded medications are ordered by a licensed physician, veterinarian or other prescriber, and must be mixed in a safe and carefully controlled environment by a licensed compounding pharmacist.
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