What is a Compounding Pharmacy?

alchemyThe practice of compounding medications is as old as the knowledge that combinations of animal, vegetable and mineral elements can be administered to cure various ailments. Modern day compounding came with the advent of the pharmacy in the early nineteenth century, as a science separate from medicine, although many physicians continued to compound medications themselves well into the later years of the century.

However, by the beginning of the twentieth century there was a clear distinction between doctor and pharmacist. The doctor prescribed the medicine and the pharmacist “created it” by compounding or mixing certain ingredients. Dispensing medicine continued in this personalized way until the rise of the pharmaceutical industry in the 1950s. After this, the pharmacist primarily became a dispenser of manufactured medications.

It is only until recently that the need for compounding ingredients to meet specific requirements has become valued again, and many pharmacists are once again compounding customized medications.

Compounding medications allows the physician to prescribe customized medications, and the pharmacist to compound the ingredients in the exact dosage that the patient requires. Creating medications this way is thought to be more effective than a one-size-fits-all commercial preparation.

The most common types of compounding that pharmacists are creating today include:

*Topical medication – Stomach upset and other side effects can be avoided by compounding the required medication as a cream, lotion, foam or gel and allowing the medication to be absorbed by the skin rather than the stomach. This is especially applicable to pain management and inflammation.
Oral Liquids – Medications can be customized as oral liquids for patients who have difficulties swallowing pills or commercial liquids, or as effervescent powders to mix with water.

*Suppositories – When patients are unable to take medication orally, various suppositories can be compounded for rectal, urethral or vaginal delivery to create a fast means of dissolving them quickly to be absorbed into the bloodstream. This is useful for hormone replacement, bowel and bladder conditions, and hemorrhoid treatment.

*Nasal sprays, ear or eye drops and injectable medications – Compounding required ingredients to enable them to be delivered in liquid form to specific locations is necessary in cases where delivery systems are not met by commercial pharmaceutical manufacturers.

*Flavored Dosages – Lollipops and pacifiers can be used to administer oral medications to infants and young children when they have a more desirable flavor.
Troches/lozenges – Medicines compounded for pediatric or geriatric patients as a flavored troche that can be dissolved under the tongue or as a flavored chewable lozenge meets needs where swallowing is an issue.

Other Ways the Compounding Pharmacy Adds Flavor

Compounding to meet the challenge of situations from small children who refuse medication and pets who spit out capsules is perhaps the most widely adopted solution to administering medications.

*Children – Flavoring children’s medications to taste like chocolate or bubblegum is the simplest way to customize them. Natural flavors are mostly used to avoid adding sugar to the child’s diet and the pharmacist can work with the doctor to avoid allergens and other sensitivities that may be a problem with manufactured drugs.

*Adults with Chronic Conditions/Geriatrics – Sometimes specific flavors become undesirable and may even cause nausea and vomiting. Compounding medication that is not palatable to mask the taste is the answer.

*Pets and Livestock – Medication for animals often needs to be flavored with something that they are familiar with – meat, liver, or cheese for dogs, fish for cats, apples or carrots for horses. The compounding pharmacy can work with the owner and veterinarian to customize the flavor.

The Compounding Pharmacy Meets Consumers’ Needsaphothecary

There are numerous ways in which the compounding pharmacy works directly with health and wellness professionals to customize consumer products.

*Cosmeceutical creams can be custom-made to solve skin problems that mass-produced preparations just don’t – or further irritate.

*Compounded hormone replacement therapy can restore balance and ease menstrual and menopausal symptoms.

*Men’s health problems from hair loss to erectile dysfunction may all benefit from working with a compounding pharmacist.

*Customized pain management medications will prevent the side effects associated with commercial headache, arthritis, backache pills, capsules and topical gels and creams. Acute pain due to sports or accident injuries is also better controlled with a compounded medication, especially in terms of customizing it for the size and body type of the patient.

*Dental applications for compounded medication range from reducing anticipatory anxiety to decreasing discomfort.compounding capsules

*Topical anesthetic for patients with needle anxiety can be compounded, as can pain relievers, dental rinses and gum disease formulations.

*Children, older adults, athletes, whether injured, diagnosed with a chronic condition of being proactive in terms of achieving wellness can all benefit from consultation with a compounding pharmacist.

*End-of-life care can be improved with compounded pain relief and symptom management.

As you can see, the benefits of compounding pharmacies are numerous. At Ray’s Pharmacy, we create custom medications for our patients. To learn more about compounding and how it can benefit you, talk your doctor and your pharmacist.

Tips for Saving on Your Medicare Prescription Drugs with your Particular Plan

When it comes to saving on prescription drugs with Medicare, knowing everything about your particular plan is what really matters.  A survey recently done by Market Insights Group targeted 37 percent of 31.5 million Medicare Part D beneficiaries found that 1 in 5 people with either put off refilling a prescription or will even skip a dose here and there to save money on their prescription drugs.  This is a dangerous way to try and save money and consumers should be urged instead to know everything abut their plan, including which pharmacies offer the lowest co-pays and other out-of-pocket expenses.


According to the results, “This latest survey reinforces the need to educate beneficiaries about how plans and coverage can and do change from year to year, as can a person’s health and prescription needs. It’s critical for people to be able to get the medications they need, at prices they can afford. One of the ways we’re helping to address this need is through participation in preferred pharmacy networks with most of the leading, national Part D plan sponsors. Our pharmacists are also a valuable community resource to help people understand Part D information and their coverage options.”

Know if Your Pharmacy is Preferred

To save money on prescription drugs, your Medicare prescription plan will typically include a preferred pharmacy for you to use when filling your prescriptions.  Just like saving money by staying in-network with preferred doctors. the same can be done by selecting a preferred pharmacy.  As a Medicare prescription subscriber, especially for part D, you can change pharmacies whenever you want to, thus always taking advantage of the lowest personal costs whenever possible.  This is especially helpful for consumers on a fixed budget, however 30% of those survived didn’t know they can change pharmacies according to their individual preferences.

Carefully Read Your Plan and Ask Questions

It is important to know all the details about your Medicare prescription plan, in particular these are:
  • Be sure your prescriptions are covered.
  • Be aware of the amount of copays, as well as premiums and deductables.
  • If your plan has one or more preferred pharmacies, be aware of this.

To learn more about your Medicare prescription plan, you can call them at 1-800-MEDICARE or visit them at www.medicare.gov to review and compare plans.


Ways to Alleviate Allergies in North Texas

What makes North Texas so beautiful – mountain cedar, Arizona cypress, and ash, for example – can also make Texan’s miserable.  Allergies are a big deal in Texas, especially since Texas can experience long allergy seasons or even more severe allergic reactions to extreme weather patterns that can hit the state.  So what is a North Texan to do to combat suffering from allergies this spring?  Read on to find out.

Avoid Allergic Triggers

Instead of treating your allergies once they hit, try to prevent them in the first place. To do this, you need to know what you’re allergic to.  Having an allergy test will help confirm exactly what causes your allergies. Once you know the cause, you can avoid exposure to these things.

Non Prescription Medicine

There are plenty of treatments available at your local pharmacy that can help to alleviate mild to moderate spring time allergies. These include nasal sprays, antihistamines and other over-the-counter treatments. Talk to your Pharmacist about your symptoms and which products will work best for you.

Natural Remedies

If you’re looking to fight nature with nature, then there are a couple of natural allergy relief remedies you can try. The first is Stinging Nettle Leaf, a natural antihistamine that grows in the wild and can be taken as a tincture or in capsule form and it won’t make you drowsy.  The second is called Quercetin, which can be found naturally in foods like tomatoes, apples, and citrus fruits. You can take it in supplement form to stop your cells from producing histamines.

Talk to Your Doctor

If you suffer from severe allergic symptoms to the Northeast Texas spring time allergy season and over-the-counter medications and/or natural remedies are not working, then you should talk to your doctor.  Allergy medications have come a long way so make an appointment with your doctor today to discuss alternatives to treating your spring time allergies.