Compounded medications: the assessment of patients’ needs
At our pharmacy, one of the most frequent question received is on the increasing amount of patients being treated with compounded medications. The spectre of conditions treated with compounded medications is very vast: from mild skincare treatments to the complicated cases pertained to erectile dysfunction. We have decided to accumulate our experience in answering most popular questions on compounded medications.
What are the compounded medications?
To put it simply, compounding of the treatments or medications is when the new medication is designed for the purposes of enhanced concentration of the active ingredient, strength, dosage while being unavailable on the market with the needed numbers of any of these parameters. These compounded medications are manufactured in the form of capsules, gels, creams. In some cases, compounded medications are manufactured in the liquid form and further can be swallowed by the patient or injected, either intravenously of subcutaneously. In a lot of cases, compounded medications are produced in targeted small quantities sufficient to meet the requirements of the specific medical case of the patient who is advised to take these. Once the course of the specific patient is over, a given compounded medication may not be available with the given formula.
Given the nature and the purpose of the compounded medications, the pharmaceutical and healthcare organizations usually have their own licensed facilities and resources in order to be able to create and to manufacture a needful medication when the demand on such medication occurs with their patients. Other healthcare providers may outsource compounded companies to manufacture these patient-tailored medications or to obtain needed components that might be unavailable at the moment with the initial pharmaceutical provider.
What are the groups of patients who require compounded medications?
Patients who are in need of compounded medications can be divided into several distinct groups based on the following:
- Necessity for different route of administration or the form of medication
This is the most frequently observed group in our clinic. Compounded medications provide the opportunity for patients who cannot take their medications in the needed dosage in the form commonly made by large pharmacies. If a patient cannot swallow, for example, we are providing him with a medication in sub-dermal or liquid form instead of a pill which he cannot administer for any reason.
- The removal of inactive ingredients
There are cases when a patient has an individual intolerance to an inactive ingredient that is contained within the prescribed medication. These inactive ingredients include the following, among others: lactose and its derivatives, preservatives, sugars in various forms, gluten, various dyes and alcohol. Compounded medications can easily solve this problem, while removing the specific ingredient from the medication’s formula and thus providing the safe treatment for the user.
- Alternative strength of the medication
Often times, a patient’s treatment requires a medication that is either higher or lower than the given medication’s commercially manufactured available strength. We use methods of pharmaceutical compounding to increase or decrease the dosage strength tailored to the patient’s needs.
- Creating medications free of allergens
There are patients allergic to specific fillers, preservatives, and other ingredients that are often added to the main active ingredient inside the medication. Compounded medications solve such cases by removing a specific allergen a patient is intolerable to.
- Making an experience more pleasing
We receive sometimes the patients that cannot tolerate the bitter taste of certain medications. In such case, flavor can be added to the original package of the medication, thus making experience of administering the drug more pleasing. It is often the case with children under 12 years old, but happens a lot with adults too.
- Providing medications already discontinued
If a patient has been on a particular medication with a specific strength or dosage for some time and needs to take exactly the same dosage daily, but the medication with said dosage got discontinued for some reason, a compounded medication can help. It is not hard to recreate the original dosage for the specific purpose, and we often go for that to ensure the treatment of a patient shall be continuing smoothly.
- Customized medications
There is a number of conditions that are highly resistant to specific treatments. In that case, a special, individualized treatment must be invented and implemented to overcome the existing resistance. For such customized approach, compounded medications are being manufactured.
Are there compounded treatments for erectile dysfunction?
The treatments for erectile dysfunction in men are ones of the most demanded at our clinic. While the traditional tadalafil and sildenafil are time-proven medications, they can be enhanced with the help of the compounded elements. Unlike traditional pills, quick-dissolving pills of these medications effectively speed up the absorption process and thus make the onset time of each medication much faster. Another advantage of sildenafil or tadalafil in quick-dissolving form, is that they can be taken without a glass of water, pretty much like a regular chewing candy.
What are the additional ingredients for pills that treat ED?
A number of ingredients can help sildenafil and tadalafil to make the overall effect better. These include L-Arginine, Niacin, and Vitamin B12, among others. L-arginine is an amino-acid that is a building block when in the process of manufacturing proteins. L-arginine eventually becomes the nitric oxide and is crucial for erectile functioning as it is responsible for blood vessels relaxation, making more oxygen-rich blood flowing through the arteries. A significant number of patients with ED have lowered L-arginine levels.
Vitamin B12, besides being an essential ingredient for the overall brain and body health in humans in general, is used by our organisms in cell metabolism and the production of red cells of the blood, both necessary in creating and maintaining an erection in men.
Niacin, also known as vitamin B3, can help men who are suffering of high cholesterol levels.