Pain Management Compounding
Chronic pain can be treated with compounded medications that are customized for each patient, and chronic pain is a major problem that commercial medications often don’t adequately treat. Compounded medications offer pain relief that is personalized for each individual, and it can be used to treat several different chronic pain conditions. Pharmacists can work with the patient’s physician to come up with pain management treatments that are the best suited for the patient. Compounding medications are often much more effective because the dosage, method of medication delivery, and other factors can be controlled by the compounding pharmacist and the physician. The “one size fits all” approach often does not work with many types of medicine, and pain medicine is no exception to this.
Pain treatments are commonly sought by people of all ages, including pain related to sports, chronic pain, pain related to arthritis and joint pain, headaches, migraines, fibromyalgia, and other types of muscle pain and chronic nerve pain. Although patients commonly suffer through their pain unnecessarily and may have tried commercial pain medications without much luck, there are several different types of topical creams, gels, and other pain relievers that can be created at a compounding pharmacy that may be effective for the patient. Those who have suffered from chronic pain for several years should consider talking with their physician about trying compounded medications, which may prove to be much more effective than commercial medications, and may provide an ongoing solution for treating pain symptoms.
Types of medications for pain management
Several different types of medication can be created at a compounding pharmacy with specific doses including the following:
- NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatories) including Ibuprofen, Ketoprofen and others. These can be compounded into topical creams for more effective administration.
- Local anesthetics such as Lidocaine, Tetracaine, Bupivacaine and many others can be prepared in topical gels and creams.
- Muscle relaxants such as Baclofen, Orphenadrine, and Cyclobenzaprine can be prepared with a wide range of different methods of administration.
- Analgesics and opioids such as Morphine, Hydrocodone, Oxycodone and others can be prepared in capsule or liquid form for pain management.
- Other pain medications such as Menthol, Camphor, and Capsaicin can be included in each compound as needed.
- And others
There are hundreds of common pain medications that can be combined in unique formulas for each patient’s needs. Often times patients will require several different pain medications, and compounding pharmacies can create one compound that has multiple pain medications so that separate doses are not required. This can often be much more cost effective than maintaining multiple commercial prescriptions. Also the method of delivery can be controlled at compounding pharmacies which can be beneficial for the patient and reduce side effects. For example, a topical NSAID compound can be more effective than a capsule, and topical NSAID compounds are often preferable because they avoid gastrointestinal distress and other common symptoms when NSAIDs are taken in capsule form, or for patients that may have difficulties swallowing capsules.
Benefits of topical pain medications
A growing body of evidence suggests that compounded topical pain medications are not only safer than capsules or oral commercial pain medications, but they are also more targeted and effective. Often times pain medications are much better absorbed in topical formulas, and these formulas can be created at compounding pharmacies. Topical formulas often work well because they treat pain directly at the source, and they are far more targeted than oral pain medications. These pain medications including analgesics and local anesthetics are only available through prescription, and some of them may also be administered directly by a physician or medical professional. Topical pain medications have proven to be useful in many clinical circumstances including treating elderly and pediatric patients, sports medicine, and neuropathic pain conditions.
Often times commercial pain medications have a wide range of negative side effects, and there are serious concerns about system toxicity with certain oral pain medications like acetaminophen. Liver toxicity for these medications can be more pronounced and serious for pediatric and elderly patients. Compounded topical pain medications avoid these toxicity issues, and they treat pain directly at the source. Topical preparations have also proven to be useful at treating neuropathic pain which is often times resistant to opioid treatments. Tricyclic antidepressants have shown to be effective at treating neuropathic pain in recent studies, and they can be created at a compounding pharmacy to be delivered in topical creams or gels. Other studies have shown that topical pain compounds can reduce local inflammation and topical anti-histamines can reduce the release of histamine and serotonin which results in a lower inflammatory response.
Iontophoresis and phonophoresis with pain medications
A growing area of research for pain medications and treatments is the use of iontophoresis and phonophoresis to treat different pain conditions. In particular the field of sports medicine has studied the use of both treatments in order to alleviate a wide range of pain conditions and symptoms that regularly occur in sports. Phonophoresis involves the use of ultrasound to help transmit pain medication molecules through the skin, and iontophoresis uses a low level electric current instead of ultrasound to accomplish the same purpose. Both treatments have been used to treat a wide range of inflammatory and pain conditions including tendonitis, carpal tunnel, bursitis, arthritis, and many others.
The compounds used for iontophoresis and phonophoresis are normally created at compounding pharmacies, as the physician can carefully control the dosages of each compound and the ingredients for the cream or gel that is used. Iontophoresis has shown to result in medication penetration anywhere from 20 to 50 times higher than topical compounds, and it is currently a growing field of research in pain management treatment. Iontophoresis is commonly used by physical therapists and sports trainers to deliver anti-inflammatories, while phonophoresis has been used in sports medicine for over five decades. Both treatments have shown to be highly effective at managing a wide range of pain conditions, however the quality and the preparation of the pain medication compound are very important considerations to ensure that the treatments are effective. If you are a physician or other medical professional interested in how Absolute Pharmacy can create compounded pain medications for use in your practice, click here for information.