Compounding is a method of preparing medications that are individualized for a patient’s specific needs. Compounding is when a licensed pharmacist, a licensed physician, or a person under the supervision of a licensed pharmacist, combines, mixes, or alters ingredients of a drug to create a medication tailored to the needs of an individual patient.
Compounding allows prescribers (such as doctors and other medical professionals) and pharmacists to create medications that are the exact strength, dosage, and ingredient mix best suited to treat an individual patient. Compounding allows prescribers and pharmacist to customize medical treatment depending on an individual’s allergies, age, medical background, and even flavor and delivery preferences.
Decades ago, almost all medications were compounded to account for each individual’s unique needs; however, after the emergence of mass drug manufacturing in the 1950s and 60s, patients have often been subjected to a “one size fits all” approach to medicine.
Unfortunately, commercially available drugs do not always meet the needs of every unique individual and doctors and patients are once again realizing the need for individualized medicine. This has led to a resurgence in the demand for compounded medications in recent years, allowing children, the elderly, people with dietary restrictions, and even groups such as athletes, to reap the benefits of individual medicine.
The ability of medical professionals to tailor treatment to an individual patient’s needs is a critical part of the doctor-patient relationship and empowers individuals to seek treatments that will be the most beneficial to their health and well being.
Below are just some of compounding’s many applications:
- Pain management
- Otic (for the ear)
- Sports medicine
- Wound therapy
- Hormone replacement therapy (HRT)