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What is compounding?

Compounding is the art of preparing medications that are customized to meet the specific needs of each individual patient. This is especially important for those patients who are unable to take commercially available medications due to difficulty swallowing pills, allergies to dyes and/or fillers, or poor medication response, to name a few. Compounding also allows physicians to modify dosing for patients who may need more or less of the drug than what iscommercially available.

There are numerous reasons for pharmacists to compound medications. One of the most important issues today deals with patient compliance. It doesn't matter how effective a medication is if a patient can’t take it. The reasons for "non-compliance" can vary from allergies to dyes and fillers, patients' sensitivity to the components of commercially available medications (e.g., GI upset, nausea), an unpalatable taste, or difficulty swallowing oral pills.

What are the Advantages to Compounding and How Can it Benefit Me? »

Some advantages of compounding are improving patient compliance and by decreasing side effects - by changing the dosage strengths of medication with the approval of the physician, removing dyes and/or fillers, or changing the medication delivery system. Medication delivery systems available by compounding include lollipops, gummy bears, sublingual troches or lozenges, suspensions, injectables, ophthalmics, oral rinses, nasal sprays and rinses, and transdermal gels and creams.

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Who is a Good Candidate for Compounding? »

Anyone who is having difficulty taking any medication, or those patients who are not being appropriately treated by the commercially available products is a candidate for compounding. All patients, from premature children to the elderly, can benefit from compounding.

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Is Compounding Covered by my Insurance? »

Many insurance plans cover compounds. Some that do not will reimburse patients when a claim forms is submitted. In these cases, it is common for patients to pay the pharmacy the full price for the compound, and if the claim is approved, the insurance will reimburse the patient for the amount covered.

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In What Specialties of Medicine Would Compounding be of Use? »

Compounding applies to any medical specialty, including bio-identical hormone replacement therapy, veterinary medicine, hospice, pain management, oncology, otolaryngology, dermatology, ophthalmology, dental, pediatrics, sports medicine, infertility, geriatrics, podiatry, gastroenterology, and endocrinology.

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How do I Get More Information about Compounding? »

Information on compounding can be obtained from many reputable sources. One of these sources is the Professional Compounding Centers of America (PCCA). Another good source is your compounding pharmacist.

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