Years ago, when your doctor prescribed a medication, your pharmacist would mix the appropriate ingredients together to provide you with the required prescription. As technology progressed, drug companies began distributing mass-produced drugs with the most commonly prescribed medicines.

Mass-produced drugs — which are standardized to Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations — can be cheaper. But time and research have shown that a one-size-fits-all approach means that the drugs don’t always work for every individual.

Mass-market drugs, then, have created a niche for local compounding pharmacies. Your local pharmacist creates your prescription right there, on-site. And when you need a special compound, it’s nice to know that you can get it from someone you can trust — right in your Asheville neighborhood.

Who Can Compound Medicines?

Compounding, according to the FDA, involves the mixing of two or more drugs in a customized format to meet an individual’s specific needs or to combat a specific illness. It should be mixed by a:

  • Licensed pharmacist
  • Physician
  • Outsourcing facility

Being able to have certain medications tailor-made to your individual needs can make a huge difference in your medication’s effectiveness. But because compounded medications aren’t FDA approved, finding a reputable compounding pharmacist or a state-licensed business like Asheville Compounding Pharmacy is essential.

Who Benefits from Compounded Medication?

Many individuals benefit from having medicine custom-compounded to meet your specific treatment protocols. Compounded medicine may be the right choice if you:

  • Are elderly or ill and can’t swallow pills of certain medicines and require another form, such as liquid, lozenges, creams, suppositories, nasal sprays, lollipops, inhalations or topicals
  • Have an allergy to a specific ingredient in a mass-market drug, such as a preservative, lactose, dyes, sugar, alcohol, casein or gluten
  • Had an adverse reaction to a higher dosage, and your physician wishes you to try a lower dose not found in mass-market drugs
  • Have a young child who needs encouragement, in the form of flavored additives, to take the medication
  • Are prescribed a topical pain medication not readily available through mass-market channels
  • Have been prescribed a medication that has been discontinued by pharmaceutical companies

Your compounding pharmacist must be specifically trained to understand the nuances involved in compounding medications. Safety and drug interaction are of paramount importance and proper education ensures accurate and secure mixtures.

What Doctors Usually Prescribe Compounded Medications?

While any licensed medical doctor can prescribe a compounding medication, some are more apt to rely on compounding because of their specialties, such as:

  • Dermatologists
  • Pain specialists
  • Endocrinologists
  • Gastroenterologists
  • Podiatrists
  • Veterinarians

Yes, even your pets can benefit from a compounding pharmacy that tailors medications to your pets’ individual needs, weight and illnesses. Ask your veterinarian about compounding medications during your next visit.

Concerns Regarding Compounding Medications

Because this is a customized process, the FDA can’t approve these medications. They can also be costlier. Licensed compounding pharmacists use safe, regulated ingredients to ensure quality. If the individual ingredients are covered by your insurance company, they’ll often cover part or all of the compounding costs. Your insurance company usually prefers documented evidence from your physician for the reasons behind the requested compound prescription.

Proper investment in the correct equipment and training provide the safe and effective means for providing your compounding medication needs. Asheville Compounding Pharmacy has the history, equipment and training necessary for mixing your individual compounding medications. Following FDA standards and regulations for compounding preparations ensures high-quality, safe medications.

John Clark
John Clark
Pharm D.