Compounding vs. Oral Medications

1.   Description of compounding
Pharmacy compounding is the art and science of preparing personalized medications for patients. Compounded medications are “made from scratch” – individual ingredients are mixed together in the exact strength and dosage form required for the patient. This method allows the compounding pharmacist to work with the patient and the prescriber to customize a medication to meet the patient’s specific needs.

Everyone experiences some sort of pain in their lives. It can take the form of a stress-induced headache, a muscle group strained from sports activities, or the result of an injury at work or an automobile accident. For some, pain can be chronic in nature and something they live with on a daily basis. Struggling through chronic pain or the side effects of pain medication does not have to be a daily activity. Pharmacy compounding offers patients customized options for pain medication. It provides valuable benefits to those for whom pain management has become a way of life.

2.   Completely CUSTOMIZED medication for patients with targeted ingredients
Many patients experience stomach irritation or other unpleasant side effects from taking pain medication. Some have difficulty taking the medication in its commercially available form. Pharmacy compounding can provide alternate methods of delivery to make the process easier. Instead of a capsule or tablet, pain medications often can be compounded as dosage forms such as:

  • A topical gel, cream or spray form that can be applied directly to the site of the pain and absorbed through the skin.
  • A custom-flavored troche that dissolves under the tongue, a nasal spray, or a suppository.

Such dosage forms may bypass the gastrointestinal tract, providing optimal results with less GI irritation, and help patients who have difficulty swallowing pills, removing yet another source of aggravation.

3.   Localized increased effectiveness
Pain can be debilitating, whether it’s acute muscle or nerve pain resulting from an accident, or a chronic condition such as arthritis or fibromyalgia. Pharmacy compounding may help improve a patient’s quality of life by providing relief with potentially fewer side effects and less overall medication.  The ingredients are all FDA approved chemicals, and we provide an alternative way to deliver them to them.   Many of our patients have found relief that they haven’t found before.

4.   Side effects Minimized
Since a lower dosage of medication is used and applied topically, the blood levels are fractions of what is seen following oral dosing.  Due to this, the number and severity of side effects is limited as well as the potential for organ toxicity. Additionally, our transdermal creams are non-opioid so they are non-addicting.

5.   Formulations are tested for shelf life and potency.
A portion of our actual formulations are sent to an independent lab where they are tested for their potency and shelf life.  In addition, many of our formulas are guided by various BUD (beyond-use-dating) studies run on common formula through our compounding partners at PCCA.

6.   Synergistic Components  
Our transdermal pain creams have several ingredients that work together to provide unique and synergistic action with a low side effect profile. For example, for Musculoskeletal Pain and Inflammation, it could contain a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication, (Ketoprofen) a local anesthetic, (Lidocaine) a muscle relaxant, (Cyclobenzaprine) and a anti-spasmodic, (Baclofen).