You may have driven past a compounding pharmacy in your own hometown. Do you think it’s not a real pharmacy? You’re wrong. Compounding pharmacies are real pharmacies with their own pharmacist. What’s the difference? Think of it as a tailor shop for medicine. A compounding pharmacy can customize your prescriptions. They can make them gluten-free or sugar-free. They can match the size of the dose to your size – or the size of your child. They can even make the medicine in a form that works for you like a liquid or a lotion or combining 2 medicines in one pill.
Here are 5 things that are simply not true. They are myths so don’t let one stop you from visiting your hometown compounding pharmacy and getting the help you need. If you have a problem with medicine, maybe it has a base ingredient that you are allergic to or it’s a medicine that is no longer available, a compounding pharmacy may be the right answer.
1. They’re not Regulated. FALSE: A compounding pharmacy is governed by the State’s Board of Pharmacy, just like the pharmacy in your big box store or drugstore. They are staffed by pharmacists who have not only earned their degree and the right to be a pharmacist; they are expert at creating the right medicines for each individual’s specific needs. The FDA oversees the compounding operations and makes sure they meet all regulations. The individual drugs are not FDA approved because they are individual, made the exact specifications of the drug prescribed by your doctor.
2. You don’t need a Prescription. FALSE: A compounding pharmacy requires a prescription from a licensed physician. The compounding pharmacy and the doctor work together. For example, a doctor may identify a compound in a pill that is causing an adverse reaction and work with the compounding to create the medicine without the offending ingredient, but one that is both effective and safe for the patient. You can’t go in an “order” a drug without a script from your doctor.
3. It’s Alternative Medicine. FALSE: The drugs from a compounding pharmacy are not a “natural” remedy, supplement or elixir. They are true prescription drugs prescribed by a doctor, but with a difference. The medicine has been customized to the needs of the person whether that need is to combine two or more medicines into one pill for convenience and better compliance or to create a flavorful liquid a child will take without a fuss.
4. Compounded Drugs might be more Dangerous. FALSE: Actually, they are safer. Mass-produced drugs are made for the majority of people and that majority may take them without problems. However, others may not be able to take the drug for one reason or another. Compounding solves the problem by individualizing the drug so the person can benefit from the medicine they need.
5. I won’t know What I’m Getting. FALSE: The FDA makes sure that no compounding medicine may be mislabeled or misrepresented. The State Board of Pharmacy also insures that every compounded medicine is available only with a prescription. You are getting the medicine your doctor prescribed.
Simply, a compounding pharmacy works with doctors to provide medicines that work for a patient. That can be an easier to swallow pill or liquid. It can be medicine that is made so a child will get the right dose and the preferred flavor. It can be a prescription prepared as a lotion. If you have questions, visit a compounding pharmacy or talk to your doctor. Take advantage of the very special services of a compounding pharmacy and know you are getting the right medicine for you.