How a Compounding Pharmacy Differs From a Retail Pharmacy

by | Oct 9, 2014 | Healthcare

While many people view pharmacies as simply a place to have their prescription filled, they may be unaware that there are actually different types of pharmacies with different purposes. From a compounding pharmacy to a retail pharmacy, there are several notable differences between the two, distinguishing them from one another. Understanding the strengths of each pharmacy will help you determine which pharmacy to take your prescriptions to.

While retail pharmacies dispense medications that have been manufactured in FDA approved drug warehouses located around the world, compounding pharmacies make their own medications in addition to dispensing pre-manufactured drugs. Every person has a unique genetic makeup, enabling them to produce varying amounts of essential body chemicals. This creates the need for customized prescriptions tailored to each person’s unique requirements. For instance, if a woman is experiencing estrogen depletion, a compounding pharmacy will be able to design an estrogen replacement that has the exact amount of hormone that she needs to bring her to the right levels. Of course, her specific formulation will be different from anyone else’s. A pre-manufactured medication, on the other hand, is extremely helpful but may not have the exact dose needed to specifically treat each individual.

Since they are creating their own medication formulations, a compounding pharmacy is held to different regulatory standards by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This is to ensure that each medication is safe for the intended user. Compounding pharmacies must adhere to strict recipes in order to provide uniformity between products. If the prescription is slightly off, the medication may cease to be therapeutic or even have negative effects on the patient. Also, if the medication is handled improperly, serious fatalities can occur from bacterial generation and other harmful impurities in the medication.

Pharmacies that compound medications also have the ability to produce formulations in various dosage forms that are not available by the manufacture. For example, a patient suffering from throat cancer may not be able to swallow their oral medication. The compounding pharmacist will be able to transform that tablet into a liquid or lozenge so that the patient can take the medication and receive the intended benefits.

A compounding pharmacy provides an essential service to the public. They help to ensure that medication are safe to take and can be taken by everyone, regardless of their condition.

Next time you have a prescription, consider taking it to a compounding pharmacy. Not only do they dispense manufactured prescription medication, but a compounding pharmacy can customize your prescription as well. For more information Click Here.

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