What Does a Compounding Pharmacy Do?

Most people have never heard of a compounding pharmacy, yet for many they are a vital resource for special medications. If you need to utilize these services, there is a compounding pharmacy in Arkansas that can fulfill your needs.

Pharmaceutical compounding is a specialized practice utilized by patients with unique needs. Simply defined, a compounding pharmacy prepares customized drugs and medications that are not available commercially or over-the-counter. If you have any issues with a doctor’s prescription, a compounding pharmacist can contact your physician and educate them on the compounding options for that particular drug. Together, they can make an educated decision so the pharmacist can then prepare and dispense the compounded drug like any other prescription.

History of Compounding Pharmacies

At one time, compounding pharmacies were actually the norm across the country. Most prescriptions were compounded until the 1950s, when large pharmaceutical companies began to mass produce drugs and medications. Pharmacists began dispensing a pre-formulated product, rather than preparing them in-house. This was a huge benefit for most people, for whom a standardized form of a drug worked, but it also meant that many people weren’t having their individual needs met.

In recent years there has been a resurgence in compounding pharmacy. New research and technology and have made compounding more versatile and controllable than ever before. Additionally, not all individual drug needs are currently being met by a commercially manufactured drug on the market, making compounding a very necessary need for patients with unique medical conditions.

According to the International Academy of Compounding Pharmacists (IACP), 76% of independent pharmacies compound medications in the nation today. This upsurge in pharmacies offering compounding services has been accompanied by the incorrect perception that some compounding pharmacists can ignore drug laws, and aren’t regulated as closely as other pharmacists. The practice is actually regulated more than ever before to safety control the use of compounding technologies.

Each state has a State Board of Pharmacy (in Arkansas, all pharmacists are licensed and regulated by the Arkansas State Board of Pharmacy) with strict standards that regularly inspects pharmacies for compliance. All licensed pharmacists also follow the United States Pharmacopeia (USP) legal standards of pharmacy practice.

What Do Compounding Pharmacies Make?

Compounding pharmacies can prepare alternative drug doses, alternative forms of drugs, preservative-free or sugar-free drugs, and more. Some examples include:

  • Adjusting the dosage of a medication to a level not offered in a commercial product, most often to make a lowered dose of a drug for a child.
  • Preparing a form of a medication without an ingredient, like dyes, that a patient is allergic to.
  • Changing the form of a drug to make it easier to take, for instance making a solid pill into a liquid form for a geriatric person who has difficulty swallowing
  • Adding a flavoring to a medication to make it more palatable, most often for children.
  • Creating customized creams, suppositories, and ointments for specific conditions

At Smith-Caldwell Drug Store, we often compound special preparations of female and male hormones, dieting supplements, and modified-release drugs as well as a range of lozenges, nasal sprays, oral sprays, lip balms, etc.

If you have a medical need that requires the services of a compounding pharmacy in Arkansas, contact the phamarcy at Smith-Caldwell Drugstore in Benton at 501-392-5470. Use us as your resource! Drop by anytime or call us to learn more about compounding pharmacy.