Have you ever had a patient who had difficulty taking the medication you prescribed?
You’re not alone. Patient non-compliance is a familiar challenge, and can result in the treatment being less effective than it should be.
Common reasons for patient non-compliance may include:
- Stomach upset when taking oral medication
- Reluctance to take the medication due to its taste
- Issues with the route of administration, such as difficulty swallowing pills
- Requiring a different dose of medication than that which is available from a manufacturer
- Difficulty keeping track of multiple medications
- Patients who don’t want to take medication at all, especially children or pets
A compounding pharmacist may be able to provide solutions for challenges such as these. Working closely with the patient and the prescriber, compounding gives the pharmacist the means to customize medication to meet the individual needs of each patient.
Benefits of Compounding
Compounding allows a medication to be personalized for an individual patient. The ability to create these personalized medications allows compounding pharmacists to help patients with a wide variety of needs.
Compounding Pharmacists Make Medication That Is Difficult to Find or Discontinued
Sometimes a large pharmaceutical manufacturer discontinues a medication. Often this happens because not enough patients are taking the drug, so it is unprofitable to keep mass-producing it. But what about the patients who still need that drug? Hundreds or even thousands of patients still may need that medication.
A compounding pharmacist can re-create that medication by compounding it, based on availability.
Alternative Medication Forms
Unique medication delivery for your unique needs
Compounding enables prescribers and pharmacists to meet the special needs of patients. One of its most important benefits is to those patients who have difficulties with commercially available medication.
With the prescriber’s authorization, pharmacists can custom-prepare medications in a variety of unique dosage forms, including:
- Oral liquids
- Troches or lollipops
- Topical preparations
- Ear drops
- Nasal sprays
A way to take medicine that helps increase patient compliance.
Custom flavoring is available for most oral medication forms, and unique delivery systems may be employed to help give medication to finicky patients.
Medication can be compounded into customized capsules, especially in cases where an alternate strength is required or to omit potential allergens or irritants, such as dyes, preservatives, or gluten. To lessen the number of doses to be taken, multiple medications often can be combined into a single dosage or made into sustained-release capsules. We use vegetarian capsules made from cellulose, not a gelatin capsule.
Many medications can be compounded as oral liquids for those patients who have difficulty swallowing tablets and capsules. Some patients may have problems tolerating the taste of a commercially available liquid, but a compounding pharmacist can make a pleasant-tasting, custom-flavored oral solution or suspension which can be administered easily and accurately.
Troches and lollipops are used to keep drugs in the mouth when local action is needed there. Troches also may be placed under the tongue and allowed to dissolve, which allows the medication to enter the bloodstream quickly and easily.
Some troches can be chewed and swallowed by a patient who cannot or will not take a capsule or tablet. These dosage forms can be enhanced with natural sweeteners and pleasant-tasting flavors, making them ideal for geriatric and pediatric patients.
Topical methods of delivery also are widely used because they allow the absorption of medicine directly through the skin, and may help avoid potential side effects such as stomach upset or drowsiness.
Topical medications often are prescribed for pain management, inflammation and nausea/vomiting. They are easy to use and are effective delivering the medication as needed. Topical medication forms include:
- Creams and lotions
- Stick applicators, such as lip balms
Patients who cannot take medications orally are ideal candidates for compounded suppositories. Available in various shapes depending on the route of administration, suppositories can be given rectally, vaginally or urethrally. By melting or dissolving into the body cavity, they allow the medication to pass quickly into the bloodstream. They can be used for hormone replacement therapy (HRT), to fight nausea, or to treat local conditions such as hemorrhoids, infections, or inflammation.