Compounding Pharmacy vs. Regular Pharmacy: What's the Difference?
You're probably already familiar with a pharmacy. The concept is simple. Your doctor writes you a prescription, then you pick it up at your local pharmacy.
But what if you need something more complex than that? What if your medicine isn't offered at the right dosage? What if you are struggling with side effects?
A regular pharmacy won't be able to offer you the options you need to feel better. If you aren't familiar with a compounding pharmacy then you might be missing out on a better alternative for certain situations.
Learn more about the differences between a compounding pharmacy versus a regular pharmacy in this easy guide!
What is a Compounding Pharmacy?
You may be surprised to know that while a compounding pharmacy is similar to a regular pharmacy, they are more different than the same.
This is because a compounding pharmacy is able to custom make medications using base ingredients. Because of this, they are able to prepare medicines that fit your individual needs.
A compounding pharmacist doesn't combine a pre-mixed formula that was commercially made. Instead, they will use base drugs adjusted in very small ratios. This allows for a more customizable medication.
Regular pharmacies can only provide you with a pre-manufactured dosage. These are based on pre-set formulas and dosages that were set for mass-scale manufacturing.
Why Use a Compounding Pharmacy?
A compounding pharmacy is able to create the perfect dose for your specific weight, height, and condition. This could lead to fewer side effects along with more effective treatment of your condition.
The compounding pharmacy also provides you with more ways to take your medications. For example, if your medications are taken orally you may choose to take them topically as a cream. This could reduce side effects on your digestive tract.
You may also be able to take certain medications in other forms such as a liquid, powder, or tablet. These other options provide you with alternatives to reduce certain side-effects.
Compounding Pharmacists' Expertise
There is yet another difference between a compounding pharmacy and a regular pharmacy. It is the pharmacists themselves. The pharmacist at your local pharmacy and a compounding pharmacist both graduated from pharmacy school. They are licensed to fill prescriptions. Yet, compounding pharmacists have actually received extra training.
Compounding pharmacists continue their education in the specialized art and science of compounding. They understand the process and effects of medications at a deeper level.
So they are able to assist you with your unique circumstances. These could be problems or concerns that you are having with your medication. Compounding pharmacists also specialize in veterinary medications to assist with your pets' medicine.
Find Solutions to Common Medication Problems
A compounding pharmacy is able to assist with problems that you are having with medications. This could include the form that it is being offered at your local pharmacy.
For example, you may be struggling to give medicine to your child because of the taste or type of pill. A compounding pharmacy would be able to offer you alternatives such as a powder or cream to make it easier to take.
Compounding pharmacists can help you with supplements and vitamins to improve your health. Each individual person's body is unique and different.
Taking the same ratio of medications doesn't always have the same results. That's when a compounding pharmacy can step in and work with the base ingredients of your medication to make it perfect for you.
Origins of Compounding Pharmacies
Before medications were mass-produced and the FDA existed, all pharmacies used compounding methods. Pharmacies back then were known as apothecaries. They assessed each individual patient. Consulted their doctor's recommendations. Then provided a hand-created formula for that particular patient.
Today, some compounding pharmacies lack FDA approval, but, compounded medications, when done professionally, are completely safe! Compounding pharmacists and pharmacies should be registered and licensed by state licensing boards. That means they are working with safe substances using methods based on empirical evidence.
What to Expect at a Compounding Pharmacy
When you go to a regular pharmacy, you simply hand your prescription over to the clerk and a pharmacist put together your medications using the pre-made commercial dosages.
At a compounding pharmacy, you will have the opportunity to consult with a compounding pharmacist about your unique circumstances. They want to take the time to get to know your individual situation.
Your compounding pharmacist will combine ingredients precisely to fit your specific needs. From a chemical perspective, the ingredients are the same. But the compounding pharmacist is able to make more customized adjustments and dosages.
In some cases, a patient may need a dosage of 25mg when only 75mg is available commercially. Unfortunately, a regular pharmacy is unable to help you when this occurs.
At a compounding pharmacy, you can also speak to the pharmacist about any side effects you are struggling with. A compounding pharmacist can adjust your dosages to help avoid these side effects. Some patients will stop taking their medications to avoid side effects.
A compounding pharmacist can help you treat your condition faster and avoid missed medicine. They specialize in areas such as dermatology, hormone therapy, pain management, cosmeceuticals, sports medicine, and animal or veterinary medicine.
Is a Compounding Pharmacy Right for You?
Are you tired of coping with the side effects of your medication? Do you wish you could take medication without having an upset stomach?
Maybe you are looking for a better way to give your child medicine that won't be a struggle every time. Perhaps an elderly loved one needs a different dosage than is available at your neighborhood pharmacy.
Do you have specific needs that a regular pharmacy can't meet? A compounding pharmacy is a personalized alternative. Contact our compounding pharmacy to speak to a professional. We want to assist you on your journey towards better health!