What is Pharmacy Compounding?

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We often get the question from a new patient, “What exactly is a compounding Pharmacy?”

And my other conversation begins as below.

“I never knew this was still being done, I seem to recall my grandfather talking about the pharmacist in the back room stirring something up that looked messy.”

Our premier compounding supplier, Professional Compounding Centers of America,(PCCA) has put together a short, informative video giving some insight into the specialized field of pharmacy compounding.

My other question is “don’t they teach this in pharmacy school?” Well yes and no, the pharmacy schools provide a very basic introduction to compounding, but the vast majority of the programs are to train pharmacists to work in community pharmacies and hospitals. While the training is very relevant and intense, the specialty of compounding is like any other discipline of medicine, where our skills are taught beyond what is taught in pharmacy school.

Translated in plain english, a compounding pharmacist can provide options to your health that may not be apparent to your prescriber. Suppose you are looking to give a blood pressure medication to an infant, well we would work with your doctor to formulate this into a liquid. Or maybe you need to give your cat an antifungal drug, how about a chicken flavored liquid designed in a concentrated form for ease of administration. Or maybe you have knee pain and an stomach ulcer and you can’t take anti-inflammatory drugs by mouth. How about a topical gel designed to reduce your swelling and reduce pain thru the skin avoiding the stomach: Problem Solved!!!

Bottom line: we use our knowledge to help solve problems for you or your family members. Ok my last question I get is “doesn’t my doctor know about this?” Some do and some don’t. I often get calls from providers asking our help with a medication need. Our job, as compounding pharmacists,is to help with alternatives, formulation expertise, and advising the doctor on safe, efficacious methods to customize that specific medication need.

So with the help of the video I trust this will answer some of your questions. We look forward to hearing from you and how we can help to solve your medication problems.