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Commercially-produced medications might not be the best option for everyone. They may not work for you, or they may trigger unwanted side effects and allergies that make you feel even worse. Thankfully, pharmacies like Fort Worth Pharmacy can customize compounded prescription medication to meet your needs. Here’s what you need to know about compound prescription medication.
What are Compounded Prescription Medication?
The formulas of compounded medications are customized by pharmacies according to prescription specifics and the healthcare needs of patients. The preparation of compounded prescription drugs is supervised through licensed pharmacists and state boards of compounding pharmacies. Compounded medications also come in many forms and they are not limited to oral medication only. Compounding pharmacies can create a sterile formulation for eye or intramuscular injection in addition to non-sterile formulation (topical cream/lotion or oral medication).
Drug manufacturing by pharmaceutical companies is usually done in large quantities and while they meet specific standards specified in the FDA guidelines, they are only made in certain dosages or strengths that might not meet the needs of an individual patient. A patient might thus have to turn to customized medications if the commercial drug they are taking is not meeting their needs.
Why is Medication Compounded?
Often times health professionals prescribe compounding medications for many reasons including:
- Allergy or intolerance to the commercially available drug
- The prescription provided by the doctor requires different medications to be combined into an exact dosage
- The compounded medication isn’t available as a commercial drug or is limited in its local availability to meet the patient’s needs
- The patient is unable to tolerate the method of delivery or standard dosage forms for the medication
Often a health care provider may use compounded drugs for prescription medication when there is a specific dosage required, for sensitivity formulation, or for physical conditions that preclude a patient from taking commercially available medications. Although traditional drugs do not counteract, certain patients prefer compounded medications.
Compounding pharmacies offer a range of the best product options available. For example, older adults or young children that may have difficulty swallowing a pill may need compounded pharmaceutical preparation. The compounded pharmacy would use liquid medication in this case. Another instance is when preterm infants need custom doses of medication to treat ailments like acid reflux.
Patients with compounded prescriptions are less likely to experience side effects of the ingredients since the prescriptions are customized to their needs. The dose form can be fine-tuned to match their absorption abilities or preferences. Multiple prescriptions and drugs can be combined into the exact dosage form and strength the patient needs for better patient compliance and convenience.
What is a Compounding Pharmacy?
While most pharmacies do offer some compounding services, most compounding is done through specialized pharmacies such as Fort Worth Pharmacy that have invested in the proper training and equipment to do so efficiently and safely. The compounding pharmacy can create medication for non-sterile applications (topical creams, ointments, capsules, or liquids) or sterile applications (usually injected into the blood or body tissues).
Every licensed pharmacist will undergo education and training to perform basic compound medications. Most pharmacies have compounding tools like mortar and pestle for grinding material, balances for weighing solids, graduated cylinders for measuring liquids, and spatulas for mixing materials.
Who Regulates Compounding Pharmacies?
Compound pharmacies are not regulated by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA). However, compounding pharmacists and pharmacies are regulated by state and federal authorities. Pharmacists who work with patients in hospitals may also be excluded from certain FDA restrictions. However, outsourcing facilities are inspected by the FDA.
The FDA also has oversight on the safety of active pharmaceutical ingredients used in compounded prescriptions and compounded drugs. The Drug Enforcement Administration regulates any controlled substances used in compounded medications.
Frequently Asked Questions About Pharmaceutical Compounding
Here are some common questions that patients typically ask about compounded medications.
Does My Health Insurance Cover Compounded Medications?
It’ll largely depend on your specific health insurance plan and the type of coverage it offers. Some health insurance plans cover the entire cost of compounded medications, others cover a partial amount and some don’t cover any compounded prescriptions.
This can also depend on the compounded formulation. Your health insurance plan will have a drug formulary that lists out all approved drugs that it covers.
Are Compounded Drugs Safe?
Yes. Compounded medications are held to strict standards and pharmacists are held liable by state boards. Before medications were mass-produced and became commercially available, pharmacists used to formulate prescription medications on their own.
What Quality Standards Apply To Compounded Medications?
The quality standards can vary based on the health care facilities. Any medications compounded in outsourcing facilities are held to Current Good Manufacturing Practice (CGMP) standards.
Drugs compounded by state pharmacist-licensed facilities are exempt from CGMP compliance. However, these pharmacies are regulated by state pharmacy boards. Whether it’s pharmacy compounding or an outsourcing facility, all drugs must be prepared, packed, and held under sanitary conditions.
What Kind of Training Does a Compounding Pharmacist Have?
Approximately 40% of pharmacists are trained under the supervision of a pharmacological school system and must be trained in the US. A pharmacist’s professional compounding abilities would also usually need to be assessed before they can obtain a license. Most pharmacists receive intensive training to further enhance their ability as compounding medication practitioners, but there is no specific training requirements for compounding.
What Are Custom Prescriptions?
Most standard mass-produced drugs are only produced in a few strengths. A patient who has customized needs that can’t be met by the strength or dosage of standard drugs would thus need a custom prescription. More commonly, custom prescriptions can be made for the following conditions:
- pain management
- skin issues
- hormone therapy
- podiatric issues
- and much more
Custom prescriptions can only be produced by compounding pharmacists that are state board-certified and licensed. These pharmacists are highly experienced experts that use safe and approved ingredients along with proper compounding methods for producing medications.
Choose Fort Worth Pharmacy
Fort Worth Pharmacy is a compounding pharmacy that provides customized prescription services to meet your needs. Our nationally-accredited team of highly-trained compounding pharmacists is proud to serve patients in Fort Worth, Texas who have specific individual needs and medical conditions that are suited for compounded drugs.
We use innovative state-of-the-art medical equipment and techniques to produce compounded medications for your unique needs. If you’re having trouble with the medications you’re already taking, consider compounded medications. We can replace allergens in standard formulas so that you get allergen-free medication to meet your needs. Fort Worth Pharmacy can also reformulate tablets into oral solutions, gummies, or other forms that a child might prefer. If there is a shortage of a drug you have been prescribed by your health care practitioners, our pharmacists can take ingredients from regular medication, then combine those ingredients into appropriate medication for patient needs
Speak to a pharmacist to find out more about high-quality custom-made medications to help you receive the care you need.