Understanding Compound Medication: Types and Purposes


Compound medication is a type of personalized medicine. Its composition, properties, dosage, and intensity are unique to a specific patient’s needs. Doctors prescribe it when a commercially available medication is unfit for their patient. Since it’s custom-made, knowledge about compounded medications is often limited to those that use or prescribe it.

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The Types of Compounded Medication

The six types of compounded medication differ based on their purpose.

  1. Pain Management

With compounded medication, people suffering from chronic pain can get drugs that are specific to their needs and condition. It’s a great solution for patients who:

  • require pain relief with specific doses
  • need pain relief in forms other than what’s commercially available (e.g., gel, sprays, etc.)
  • cannot rely on commercially available pain killers as they interfere with their current medication
  1. Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)

HRT is used to help patients maintain healthy levels of hormones. It minimizes the negative effects of imbalanced or fluctuating hormone levels, which include:

  • Fatigue
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Depression
  • Reduced libido
  • Weight gain
  • Weight loss
  • Unpleasant hair and skin changes
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  1. Geriatrics

Most people struggle with dosage and intake when they get older. Medicine dosages for the elderly are usually lower than the average adult’s, making it difficult to get the right dose. Meanwhile, taking pills is made more difficult due to dry mouth and other age-related conditions. Compounded medication addresses these issues and more.

  1. Pediatrics

Like with the elderly, doctors usually recommend compounded medication to children for intake and dosage purposes. Compounding pharmacists can develop medicines that:

  • have more pleasant flavors
  • are easier to take in (e.g., chewable form, liquid form, etc.)
  • have dosages specific to the child’s condition
  1. Dermatology

With a compounding pharmacist’s help, you can rest assured of your skincare medications’ efficacy.  You will also:

  • reduce skin irritation, whiteheads, and other unwanted side effects
  • get solutions that are tailored to your skin type
  • obtain skin medications in forms other than what’s available in the market
  1. Veterinary

Like humans, some pets are allergic to certain components in their medications. Others are picky or afraid. They will do anything to refuse their medicine. A compounding pharmacy has all these bases covered. The drugs that the pet requires can be made without the nonessential substance, with a more pet-friendly flavor, and in another form (e.g., cream instead of a tablet).

Who Can Prescribe Compounded Medications?

Any doctor can prescribe compound medications, although most prescriptions are written by those that specialize in areas related to the types of compound medications. They include:

  • Pain specialists
  • Gastroenterologists
  • Endocrinologists
  • Pediatricians
  • Dermatologists
  • Veterinarians

Why Do Specialists Recommend Them?

Here are some of the reasons health experts recommend compounded medication.

  • Custom Medication

When a patient is allergic to an inert or inactive component of an FDA-approved medication that’s crucial to maintaining their health, doctors prescribe compounded medication. These elements are called excipients and are often inessential to the drug’s potency. Common excipients that trigger the need for compounded drugs include:

Lactose – adversely affects people who are lactose intolerant

Cornstarch – adversely affects people who are allergic to corn

Barley, wheat, and other rye derivatives – adversely affect people who suffer from gluten sensitivity

  • Obtain Medications that Are Not Commercially Available

Two reasons drive this need: the pharmaceutical company has stopped producing the drug or the FDA-approved drug is in short supply. In either of these cases, a doctor may prescribe compounded medications.

  • Personalized Dose and Strength

Drug dosages are limited to what the majority needs. In cases in which a unique dose is necessary for treatment, doctors may recommend drug compounding. Preterm infants who suffer from acid reflux, for example, would require medication in extremely small doses. A compounding pharmacy can develop what they need.

  • Bioidentical Hormone Replacement

Many health specialists recommend bioidentical hormone replacement to help people with low or imbalanced hormones. Compounded progesterone, estrogen, and testosterone are among the most commonly supplemented.

  • Better Medicine Intake Experience

Not everyone can take medications in the conventional ways. Some people, for example, have digestive conditions that interfere with the effects of oral medications. To counter this issue, a compounding pharmacist may develop a transdermal gel version of the drug.

Similarly, elderly people and children often find it difficult to swallow pills. This can be a problem if the medication they need is only available in pill or tablet forms. A compounding pharmacy can produce the same drug in liquid form.

  • Improved Medicine Flavor

Although not as significant a deterrent as the inaccessibility of a drug, taste does have an impact on medicine intake. Children, for example, often refuse medication due to their unpleasant flavor. A compounding pharmacist can develop the same drug with a more pleasant taste.

Improve Health Maintenance with Compound Medication

Simplify your medication intake today. Whether you’ve been suffering from a condition with medication that’s always on short supply or cutting tablets to get a specific dosage, compounding pharmacists have you covered. Consult one in California and have them develop what you need to maintain your health!

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