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Compounding pharmacies


all about compounding pharmacies
What is a compounding pharmacy? A compounding pharmacy is a pharmacy capable of creating ("compounding") medications for patients whose needs cannot be meet with the commercially available and/or mass-produced medications. These specialty medications are compounded by a licensed pharmacist just like a regular prescription, but they are made to order for a specific patient.

Why might a patient need to have a medication compounded? The usual reasons include a need for a specialized form of that medication (liquid rather than capsule, for example), or an allergy to one of the ingredients in the commercially produced medication(s) including Over the Counter (OTC) medications. If someone is allergic to corn for example, they cannot take any medication made with corn or corn derivatives such as microcrystalline cellulose. This restriction includes any "inactive ingredients" in the medication.

Note: You may have heard from your care provider or pharmacist about how the processing of [inactive ingredient] means it won't cause a reaction. Always check the source of inactive ingredients because they can still cause documentable reactions if made from your allergen. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. If they cannot or will not provide the source, you might consider taking your business elsewhere to a pharmacist who will work with you.

How to have a medication compounded

Your medical care provider will need to write a prescription with any special instructions needed to compound that specific medication. If for example you need a filler (inactive ingredient) which does not contain a specific allergen, that should be noted on the prescription.

Does insurance cover this?

Maybe. You will have to talk to your insurance to see what they say. You might have to meet your insurance deductible first, or at a particular level of copay, or some-such.

How to locate a compounding pharmacy

Once you have your prescription in hand, you will need to locate a compounding pharmacy to fill it. Sometimes medical practitioners (especially smaller private practices) have a particular pharmacy they work with for special prescriptions, so start off by asking your care provider. Otherwise, you will have to shop around. I recommend contacting the pharmacy beforehand to ensure that they both understand your needs and can fill your prescription in the manner you need it filled.

Find a compounding pharmacy near you:

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