What Is Compounding?

The Future Of Topical Pain Compounds

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Posted on May 16, 2019 By Dr. Chirag Dave
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Dr. Chirag Dave is the Pharmacist at Carbon Compounds. He has experienced the North American healthcare system from all perspectives.  He graduated from a Doctor of Pharmacy program in New York and has been an active community Pharmacist in Ontario since 2013. Chirag became engaged in the Medical Cannabis Industry in 2014, after having experienced the benefits of the medication firsthand while receiving Chemotherapy and Radiation for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. He looks to share his perspectives on healthcare as a Pharmacist, entrepreneur, and patient advocate.

Compounding Pharmacy is both an art and a science, and is linked back to the origins of medicine itself.  Compounding is the segment of the Pharmacy profession that deals with the creation of customized medications for patients. It all starts with a problem: the child who can’t swallow pills, the patient with a gluten allergy, the much-needed drug that’s in short supply. For whatever reason, many people aren’t served by mass-produced medications. This process involves a Pharmacist engaging in a discussion with a Physician to design and create a formulation specific to one’s unique condition. 

When we get sick, we are typically prescribed medications in commercially available strengths.  However, our bodies process and respond to medications differently.  This is where a Compounding Pharmacist comes in to create tailor-made medications that can be readily adjusted and optimized to your body’s response. 

Compounding is much more than creating customized strengths of medications for a patient.  A Compounding Pharmacist can also adjust the dosage form to suit a patient’s particular needs.  For example, where medication is commercially available as a tablet, it can be compounded to be effective in a topical cream format.  We have seen no greater benefit than in the case of taking oral pain relievers and compounding them into topical dosage forms.  The advantage of applying a pain medication topically helps the drug target a specific problem site, thereby reducing unintended absorption throughout the body. 

Pharmacies specializing in Compounding can also take commercially available medications and make them more pleasant to take.  Giving medication to children can often be a painful process as medications are not usually designed with the child’s taste buds in mind.  A Compounding Pharmacist can alter the flavour of a prescribed drug, helping mask and improve that classic “medicine taste.”

Carbon Compounds prides itself on adhering to the new National Association of Pharmacy Regulatory Authorities (NAPRA) guidelines for compounding.  These new standards come into full effect in 2021 and ensure that any Pharmacy engaged in compounding medications is doing it in a manner that ensures product quality and operator safety. 

Compounding Pharmacies can also work with other healthcare professionals, such as Naturopaths.  Naturopaths and Compounding Pharmacists can work together to create customized combinations of homeopathic and natural products to support a patient’s overall health. 

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