The Art and Science of Compounding
Compounding is the creation of a personalized pharmaceutical drug by a licensed pharmacist in accordance with a licensed practitioner's prescription or medication order to meet the unique needs of an individual patient. The preparations offered by compounding pharmacies can be nonsterile (ointments, creams, liquids, or capsules that are used in areas of the body where absolute sterility is not necessary) or sterile (usually intended for the eye, or injection into body tissues or the blood).
Compounded medications are “made from scratch” in the exact strength and dosage form required by patients when:
- they are not able to tolerate the commercially available drug,
- the exact preparation needed is not commercially available, or
- they require a drug that is currently in shortage or discontinued.
This kind of personalized medication allows the compounding pharmacist to work closely with a prescriber to meet each patient’s specific needs.
Today, compounding is both an art and science, requiring specially trained professionals able to prepare customized medications using the latest medical knowledge and state-of-the-art technology. The demand for professional compounding has increased as healthcare professionals and patients realize that the “one-size-fits-all” nature of many mass-produced drugs does not meet the needs of many patients.
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