A compounded product is considered the combining of two or more ingredients to form a final product. In the pharmaceutical industry it refers to the practice of customizing medication to meet individual patient needs based on the specifications set by the physician.
In conjunction with the patient, the physician, dentist or veterinarian, the pharmacist can help determine a sensible formulation for the treatment of a health condition.
The pharmaceutical industry is geared to doing things in large volume while maintaining large margins of profit. To this end, the number of different strengths of a medication may be limited. The way the medication is delivered may be limited as well. In many cases, medications may be discontinued because of lack of profit once the patent has expired. So if a medication is needed for a child and there is only an adult version available, it will most likely be too strong and undeliverable to a young child that cannot swallow tablets or capsules. What to do?
What if the medication is available from a manufacturer but the child cannot tolerate the flavor or is allergic to one of the additives? In a compounding laboratory, they can start with the same active ingredient, whether it is natural or pharmaceutical, and put it into a hypoallergenic vehicle with the appropriate flavor.
Not all the compounded products produced are natural but they are all functional. This means that whatever the purpose of the herb, vitamin, mineral or pharmaceutical agent chosen, it will be in the appropriate strength for the person or animal for which it is intended. In addition, many products can be delivered through a transdermal vehicle which will bypass the gastrointestinal tract and eliminate the most common of all side effects, stomach distress. At the same time this particular vehicle allows for the use of lower doses since there is no chance of breakdown in the stomach from the stomach acid and enzymes. Using lower doses also means lower side effects, whether the active ingredient is natural or not. In many cases where people have digestive issues and do not absorb well through the gut, this transdermal delivery can be invaluable in getting the active ingredients delivered into the blood in a less distressing way. There are several formulations made as a lollipop or chewable lozenge as well as sublingual vehicles, meaning the active ingredients are delivered to the blood stream through the route under the tongue, much like nitroglycerin is used in heart patients.
With custom formulation as an option many health situations can be addressed with less toxic chemicals. Using an integrative approach, compounding pharmacies combine a functional approach to health using lifestyle and diet changes in combination with the appropriate herbal, vitamin, and mineral support. Many of these herbs are only available as tinctures or in encapsulated extracts. This limits what can be given to children; so at Life Science Pharmacy, special attention is focused on making palatable liquid suspensions. Many of these herbs are not very tasty to children. With proper flavoring, the bitter nature is masked to make it easier for the parent to administer.
Compounding of medications goes back to the very beginnings of medicine. With the advanced technology of today, it is possible for a qualified pharmaceutical laboratory to achieve the accuracy of pharmaceutical companies while treating each case individually for the most appropriate method of delivering the required ingredient. This is what Life Science Pharmacy excels at and delivers on a daily basis.