What is Compounding?

Sometimes one size does not fit all.

Pharmacy  compounding is the art and science of preparing tailor-made medicines for patients. Its practice dates back to the origins of pharmacy, although compounding’s presence in the pharmacy profession has changed over the years. In the 1930s and 1940s, the majority of prescriptions were compounded.

in the 1950s and ‘60s, compounding declined as the pharmacist’s role as a preparer of medications quickly changed to that of a dispenser of manufactured dosage forms. However, this “one-size-fits-all” approach to medication meant that some patients’ needs were not being met. Within the last few decades, however, compounding has experienced a renaissance as modern technology, innovative techniques and research have allowed more pharmacists to customise medications to meet a patient’s unique needs.  

How does Compounding benefit me?

There are many reasons why doctors and pharmacists provide compounded medicines for patients. Many patients are allergic to preservatives or dyes, or require a dosage that is different from the standard drug strengths. With a doctor’s consent, a compounding pharmacist can adjust the strength of a medicine, add flavour to make it easier to take or easier to swallow. For those patients who find it difficult to swallow a capsule, a compounding pharmacist can prepare the drug as a flavoured suspension or gels or cream that can be absorbed through the skin, suppositories or sublingual troches.        

What kinds of prescriptions can be compounded? 

Almost any kind! Compounded prescriptions are ideal for any patient requiring unique dosages and/or delivery devices.               

Compounding applications can include:

  • bioidentical hormone replacement therapy; 
  • pain management
  • dental
  • otic (for the ear) 
  • skin 
  • medication flavouring 
  • neuropathy
  • veterinary
  • sports medicine
  • wound therapy
  • podiatry
  • gastroenterology
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