1. What is compounding?
The preparation, mixing, assembling, packaging, or labeling a drug or device as the result of a prescription or in anticipation of a prescription (based on routine, regularly observed prescribing patterns) in response to the patient, practitioner and pharmacist relationship in the course of professional practice.
2. Why is compounded medication needed?
- allergies to preservatives, dyes or fillers
- difficulty swallowing capsules or tablets (i.e. geriatric or pediatric patients)
- sensitivity to standard drug strengths (i.e. renal patients)
- dosage forms not commercially available
- difficult to dose patients (i.e. children and pets)
3. Do all pharmacies compound?
Because compounding requires expensive specialized equipment and extensive training in modern compounding techniques, most pharmacies do not compound
4. What is the difference between commercially available medication and compounded medication?
With commercially available medications, the drug is produced with no specific patient in mind. It limits the prescriber to matching the available product to the patient. Whereas, with compounded medications, the formula matches the patient�s needs. The drug can be prepared in the most effective dosage and strength.
5. Do I need to have a prescription from my doctor for a compound?
Compounded medications do require a prescription from the doctor or veterinarian. Compounding pharmacists have the unique opportunity to develop a special relationship with the patients they serve, working with the doctor to solve problems that manufactured dosage forms do not address.
6. What is BHRT?
Bio-identical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) seeks to restore balance and typically involves estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, DHEA, thyroid, and cortisol. Hormones fluctuate as early as a woman�s mid-thirties. Progesterone levels, for example, plummet by age 35, leading to a stage of life called perimenopause, which occurs during the 5-15 years preceding menopause. And with menopause comes a significant drop in estrogen levels. Such hormonal imbalances, if left uncorrected, contribute to osteoporosis, increased risk for cardiovascular disease, and diminished quality of life because of hot flashes, night sweats, decreased sex drive, and other un-pleasantries.
Men�s testosterone levels decline gradually over a lifetime, and the effects become readily apparent during mid-life with declining vitality, decreased muscle mass, waning sex drive, and increased risk for cardiovascular disease.
Regardless of age or sex, high-stress lifestyles contribute to cortisol imbalance. Such adrenal dysfunction interferes with the action of most other hormones and contributes to weight gain, fatigue, and other ill effects.
BHRT involves individualized supplementation with hormones that are identical to the ones normally produced by a human body. These hormones are derived from plant sources and synthesized to create hormones that molecularly mirror what a human naturally makes. No two people have the same hormonal profile, so BHRT allows medical practitioners and pharmacists to tailor the replacement regimen and elevate a patient�s hormones her/his normal levels.
Drugs with hormone activity are not identical to the hormones naturally produced by the human body. This is why they can cause a wide array of side effects like bleeding, bloating, and fatigue -- not to mention potentially increased risk for heart disease and various forms of cancer, as shown in the Women's Health Initiative and other large studies.
Because bio-identical hormones cannot be patented, drug companies have little to offer. But our compounding pharmacy we can readily assist in meeting BHRT needs. Working with the medical practitioner and the patient, we will custom-make BHRT components to suit each individual hormonal profile.
Any form of hormone replacement can be contraindicated in certain patients. Please consult with your medical practitioner before proceeding with any hormone regimen, including over-the-counter products. BHRT is not recommended for every patient and can carry significant side effects if prescribed and/or taken in an unbalanced manner. These effects can include blood clots, strokes, and certain kinds of cancer, among others. Balance is the key to successful BHRT -- balance between hormones and balance in lifestyle and nutrition. BHRT is not a cure-all. But when utilized in tandem with good nutrition, regular exercise, and stress reduction, patients have reported that BHRT can significantly contribute to overall good health.