What is pharmaceutical compounding and why is it necessary?

Compounding is the creation of a pharmaceutical  preparation – a drug – by a licensed pharmacist to meet the unique needs of an individual patient when commercially available drugs do not meet those needs. A patient may not be able to take the commercially available drug, or a patient may require a drug that is currently in shortage or discontinued.

These are a few examples of the ways a compounding pharmacist can customize medications with a doctor’s prescription to meet a patient’s needs:

Adjust strength or dosage.
Flavor a medication, for example to make it more palatable for a child.
Reformulate the drug to exclude an unwanted, nonessential ingredient, such as gluten or a dye that a patient is allergic to.

Change the form of the medication for patients who, for example, have difficulty swallowing or experience stomach upset when taking oral medication.

Compounding pharmacists can put drugs into specially flavored liquids, topical creams, suppositories, or other dosage forms suitable for patients’ unique needs. Compounding does not replicate commercially available drug products.