What exactly is a compounding pharmacist?

There’s nothing mysterious or particularly complicated about what a compounding pharmacist does. They make medicines. They do this in just the same safe and orderly way as the big pharmaceutical companies. The key difference it that pharmaceutical companies produce medicines en masse for the mass market, while a compounding pharmacist produces medicine, to order, for each individual patient.

Compounders make medicines from scratch for each patient, in much the same way that a chef in a five star restaurant prepares dishes from scratch for each patron. And like a restaurant meal, you can have compounded medicine tailored to meet your specific health needs and personal preferences. In much the same way you might ask the chef for sauce on the side or the gluten-free option, a compounding pharmacist can make up medication to a range of specifications as ordered by your prescribing physician.

Medication without the additives and preservatives

Many medications contain colours, fillers and artificial flavours to make the medication’s active ingredient remain stable for longer or to make the medicine look more presentable and taste better. For most people this isn’t a problem, however a very small percentage of people are allergic to these additives. A compounder can make up medications without all the extras and allow the patient to keep taking their medication without risk of an allergic reaction.

Unavailable and discontinued medicine

Sometimes large pharmaceutical companies experience an increase in demand that they’re unable to keep up with. Sometimes there’s a disruption to supply at factory level caused by a technical mal-function or natural disaster like a cyclone. And sometimes large pharmaceutical companies simply stop making a certain drug because it’s no longer profitable to make, or has been superseded by a new drug. Whatever the reason, when a safe and legal drug suddenly becomes unavailable or in limited supply, a compounding pharmacist can make up that medication, thus ensuring patients can continue with their treatment plan uninterrupted.

Hard pill to swallow

A study conducted by the University of Queensland last year found that up to 24% of a tablet’s active medicinal ingredients can be lost when it’s crushed. If you’re regularly crushing tablets to make them easier to swallow, you could be missing out on a quarter of the active ingredients.

The solution is to  talk to your doctor about getting you medication made up as a liquid or a troche by a compounding pharmacist. That way you have peace of mind that you’re getting the exact dose of medication you need without the guesswork.

Combined medications

If you’re taking a large number of pills every day, you’ll know what a chore this can be. You’ll also know how easy it is to forget one or more of your pills, or accidently double-up. Solve this problem by having a compounding chemist combine several of your medications in the one pill and make ‘pill-time’ much easier to manage.

All in good taste

Some of our littlest patients can be stubborn when it comes to taking medicine – especially when it tastes like medicine! The solution is to have a compounding pharmacist make up your child’s medication with an added flavour they’ll find hard to resist. Strawberry, chocolate, caramel, banana and bubblegum are just a few of the flavours to choose from. Yum!

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