What is compounding?
Compounding is the practice of preparing personalized or custom medications by mixing, combining, and/or altering the ingredients of a drug or several drugs to create a medication tailored to the needs of an individual patient. Compounding pharmacists work together with prescribers such as physicians, veterinarians, and dentists and their patients to develop the most appropriate therapy for each individual.
All compounded medications must be prescribed by a doctor.
Why are compounded medications so unique?
A compounded medication is a drug that is currently not being made by a pharmaceutical company and therefore doesn’t have a brand name like other prescriptions you would normally fill at a pharmacy. They are not commercially available, hence the need for a compounding pharmacy to combine ingredients to create a medication that is customized for your specific needs.
Compounding offers numerous advantages in medication compliance. For instance, the dosage can be more carefully controlled and can even be adjusted during the course of treatment. We can eliminate any unwanted components that may cause side effects or are unnecessary fillers and additives.
Why do some patients need compounded medications?
There are many reasons a patient may need a compounded medication. Some examples include:
- When an individual is allergic or sensitive to commercial products that contain dye, sugar, alcohol or lactose, we can solve the problem by compounding a customized dosage form which contains the needed medication but not the problem-causing additive.
- If a child or adult has trouble swallowing pills, the medication may be put into a liquid that can be taken by mouth, or could even be placed into a transdermal gel that can be rubbed into and absorbed by the skin.
- If a patient needs a reduced strength of medication or a special dosage that is currently unavailable commercially, we may be able to compound a custom medication for their individual requirements.
- For patients who must take a large number of medications every day, we sometimes are able to prepare special compounds containing more than one medication to simplify a confusing dosage schedule and reduce the potential for medication errors.
- For children who have difficulty taking prescriptions that have an unpleasant taste, we have a variety of flavors we could add to the medication and/or put the medication into a liquid that can be easily administered.
- If you have problems giving medicine to your pets, we can help by compounding the drug into a form and flavor that the animal will devour! Cats LOVE our “triple-fish” flavor!
- For our vegetarian customers, we also offer non-gelatin capsules… just ask for “Veggie Caps”!
Do all pharmacies compound?
No. Compounding requires specialized equipment, bulk chemicals, and specially trained compounding pharmacists and technicians that most traditional pharmacies do not have. Our pharmacists have received extensive training in modern compounding techniques and regularly attend continuing education seminars. We also have a support network that continually generates new ideas and formulations.
What steps does Central Pharmacy take to ensure quality control for compounded medications?
Central Pharmacy’s compounding lab is fully equipped with the highest quality equipment and our staff members have special training and credentials for compounding to guarantee that your customized prescriptions are prepared accurately every time. We also use only the finest chemicals and powders from the most respected labs in the industry.
In addition, Central Pharmacy stands out from many other compounding pharmacies because we routinely send samples of our compounded medications to a laboratory for potency testing to ensure that we are dispensing the proper dose of medication that has been ordered by your physician. (Many other compounding pharmacies do NOT do potency testing due to the high cost of this process!)
What type of doctors typically write prescriptions for compounded medications?
Compounded medications can only be filled with a written prescription from your physician. Any doctor can write a prescription for a compounded medication, but the majority of these prescriptions usually come from:
- Endocrinologists (hormone replacement therapy, endocrine disorders)
- Dermatologists (skin)
- Veterinarians (pets)
- Pain specialists
- Dentists (teeth)
- Podiatrists (feet)
- Gastroenterologists (digestive system)
- Pediatricians (children)
Are there specific physicians you work with or recommend I go to for my compounded prescription?
Please see our links page for several local doctors we recommend. In addition, Central Pharmacy currently works with many veterinary clinics in the Santa Monica and West Los Angeles area.
I’m a physician and would like to learn more about the benefits you can offer through compounding.
Great! Please scroll to the bottom of this page and watch our special video, “Compounding For Physicians.”
Compounding allows us to meet unique needs
that traditional medications cannot
These unique needs include:
- Creams, lotions, ointments, sprays
- Dental preparations
- Dermatology (skin care)
- Ear drops
- Medicated lozenges
- Medicated shampoos
- Oral suspensions
- Podiatry (foot) formulations
- Preservative free compounds
- Rectal suppositories
- Sugar-free formulas
- Vaginal creams and suppositories
- Veterinary capsules, suspensions, ear gels