Sports Medicine Compounding

14 / 09 / 2020 | Compounding | AbsoluteRx

Compounded medications are very useful for athletes as they can be used to provide several different medications and treatments that are based on their unique needs. Sterile Pharmaceutical compounding has been used more recently by athletes, and formerly compounded medications were mainly used by professional athletes, however they are now available to athletes of every skill level. Athletes can recover from injuries and inflammation more quickly with the use of compounded medications. The athlete’s trainer, medical doctor and pharmacist work together to come up with customized medication plans. Compounded medications can be used to treat a wide range of conditions for athletes, and many athletes would prefer to have a customized compounded medication created specifically for their unique condition, because compounded medications can often times be much more effective for the athlete than commercial medications.


Compounded medications are often times more effective than over the counter medications


Few medications can compare to what compounded medications provide to athletes, and they can be used to treat both major types of sports injuries: acute injuries caused by trauma (ligament damage, cuts, abrasions, broken bones) and chronic injuries resulting from repetitive stress (arthritis, joint pain, inflammation). Both types of injuries are regular in sports, and the type of injury will depend on the sport. For instance, baseball players, tennis players, and swimmers usually have more chronic injuries rather than acute injuries, but those who play rugby or football or other contact sports are more likely to have acute injuries.


Sports trainers have an obligation to keep their athletes healthy and reduce their recovery time as much as possible following an injury. Many sports trainers keep a wide range of compounded topical treatments on hand because they are more effective for treating injuries since they are specifically designed for the injured person. Topical compounded medications are used regularly in sports medicine in combination with some of the more common first line treatments like ice packs, physical therapy, and muscle stimulation. Creams or gel compounds can be used for anti-inflammatory treatments and treatments to reduce the development of scar tissue.


Iontophoresis and phonophoresis are used to deliver topical compounded treatments


In sports medicine, phonophoresis and iontophoresis are used to enhance the absorption of topical compounded treatments. Phonophoresis uses ultrasound to enhance delivery of topical compounded treatments while iontophroesis uses a small electric current to administer a compounded medication in an aqueous solution.


Several different medications are regularly created at compounding pharmacies for sports medicine uses, and the additional benefit of using a compounding pharmacy is that the method of administration can also be customized for each particular patient’s needs including sprays, aqueous solutions, gels, creams and more. Some examples of medications include acetic acid which is used to reduce scar tissue formation, lidocaine, tetracaine or epinephrine which can be used to treat bruises or cuts following an injury, guaifenesin which is used for muscle strain treatments and works as a relaxant, dexamethasone which is used to reduce inflammation and more.


Most if not all of the customized medications that are created by compounding pharmacies for sports medicine treatments are not available otherwise, because they are unique to each patient. Sports trainers usually need to have a consistent supply of compounded medications available for injury treatments, and by having customized compounded medications such as the ones mentioned above and others readily available, athletes can have their injury time (and thus their time away from practicing and playing) reduced as much as possible.


Compounded medications that are used in sports medicine have other applications


Compounding pharmacies play an important role in sports for helping athletes recover using specialized treatments. Also, the benefit of some advances made with compounding medications for sports medicine purposes have made their way into other fields of medicine that treat physical problems such as podiatry, orthopedics, and physical therapy. The same treatments that are used on athletes to reduce joint inflammation for instance, are often effective at treating arthritis and people with chronic pain. Physical therapists also often borrow treatment ideas from sports medicine treatments. As a result compounded treatments have a wide range of purposes in various fields of medicine that are involved in physical therapy or rehabilitation.


Electrolyte drinks can be created at a compounding pharmacy


Special electrolyte drinks with ingredients that can be controlled by a physician can be created at compounding pharmacies. These drinks may include a combination of magnesium, potassium chloride, calcium carbonate, and sodium chloride and created in a flavored powder form that can be mixed with liquids. The benefit of creating these drinks at a compounding pharmacy as opposed to buying a premade electrolyte drink is that the amount of electrolytes can be carefully selected based on a particular athlete’s needs. Other capsules and powder drinks can also be created such as magnesium glycinate which can improve sleep and reduce muscle stiffness following a game.



New treatments can be safely tested


With the supervision of a physician, new treatments for sports medicine can be safely prepared and tested at compounding pharmacies, which is a major advantage in many different types of sports due to the requirement for rapid rehabilitation. Treatments that can be improved in terms of their effectiveness by altering the route of administration, active ingredients, or dosages can be tested at compounding pharmacies.


For example, medications like ketoprofen or other NSAIDs may be more effective or beneficial when administered through iontophoresis as opposed to oral administration which is not as targeted. Solutions that can be administered with iontophoresis for ketoprofen or other NSAIDs can be prepared at compounding pharmacies, and similar treatments for sports medicine are regularly being developed through sports medicine research and based on the unique needs of athletes. Ketoprofen is also regularly used as a highly effective cream in sports medicine, and ketoprofen creams are mostly only available through compounded pharmacies.


Compounding pharmacies clearly play a major role in developing effective sports medicine treatments and offer physicians who treat sports related injuries and conditions a way to create customized and highly effective treatments that can lead to faster recovery times and a better treatment result safely. Compounded medications remain a valuable tool for trainers and physicians to combat sports injuries, inflammation, acute pain, cuts, bruises, fungal infections, and more without major side effects.