Differences Between a Pharmacy and a Compounding Pharmacy

At one time a compounding pharmacy was the only type of drug store there was. The pharmacists mixed the appropriate ingredients in measured doses to create the medication that the doctor ordered for their patients. You had to know how to mix these compounds in order to be a pharmacist. Then drug companies began to do the mixing and delivered the medications to the drug store already prepared. The pharmacist only had to administer the correct amount in a container and keep records of the medications on file.

The compounding pharmacy is able to create medications with specialized amounts of each ingredient to suit the patient’s needs and tolerances. Some people have allergies and need medications created that omit one or more ingredients. There are children who need medications to be made into a liquid form so they can take them. The pharmacist used specialized tools to measure each ingredient and mix the concoctions to the precise amount.

A regular drug store fills your prescriptions from your doctor by getting a large container they have in the back and counting out the measured amount of the medication that your doctor said you could have. They do not make the medications in the back they simply put the medicines in a different container and label it for you. A compounding pharmacy will also fill prescriptions in this manner, but they have the ability to make some medicines on site.

A compounding pharmacy can almost always be found in a hospital. The doses of medications that people in the hospital receive must be precise. A lot of the things that need mixed together are for intravenous delivery and the hospital pharmacy is there to create the exact mix of medications in the intravenous delivery bag according to the doctor’s orders.

Whenever the pharmaceutical technicians adds anything to a medication, takes anything away from a medication, or changes the form of a medication they are compounding it. Some drug stores have the ability to add flavors to cough syrups and elixirs that children take and while this is compounding it is not the same as taking components and making the entire elixir. Adding flavors to liquid medicines may be the only form of compounding that your local drug store can do.

When the doctor orders you to have a medication that is going to require the more specialized services of the pharmacist that still does compounding they will tell you. They will also tell you which pharmacies in your town are capable of creating the medication that you need. These medicines are often ordered for pediatric patients with heart conditions because the doses on their medicines are subject to change due to their weight and growth. The medicines are also given to other patients who have chronic or terminal conditions they are receiving treatment for.

Your local drug store is where you will get the majority of your medications and they will keep an accurate record to help protect you from drug interactions.