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What is Compounding?

c1Pharmacy compounding is the art and science of preparing customized medications for patients. Its practice dates back to the origins of pharmacy.

A compounding pharmacist prepares customized prescription medication to meet individual patient needs. Compounding pharmacies are different than typical drug stores in that they regularly compound prescriptions, often using specialized equipment and tools not found in the typical chain drug store.

There are several reasons why pharmacists compound prescription medications. The most important one is called "patient non-compliance", meaning that the patient refuses to take their medications. Many patients are allergic to preservatives or dyes, or are sensitive to standard drug strengths. With a physician's consent, a compounding pharmacist can change the form of a medication to make it easier for the patient to ingest, or add flavor to it to make it more palatable.

Prescription compounding is a rapidly growing component of many doctor's practices. However, because of aggressive marketing by drug manufacturers, some physicians may not realize the extent of compounding's resurgence in recent years. Through the triad relationship of patient, physician and pharmacist, all three can work together to solve unique medical problems.