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The history and benefits of compounding medications

Until fairly recently, all medications from the pharmacy were drug compounding medications or made from their individual components. It is only in very recent times that pharmacy medications have become mass produced by pharmaceutical companies and sold in the form you are most probably familiar with in your pharmacy.

A long history of compounding pharmacy medications slowly ends

We even have evidence of compounding medicines in Egyptian times and I am sure you have seen movies where priests or alchemists would mix up concoctions to cure everything from evils spirits to the plague.

In fact, during medieval times and well into the 19th Century, physicians not only treated the sick and prescribed medications for them, but they also prepared the medications as well.  It was during the 19th Century that we began to make a slow move towards the mass production of health products , drug products and medicines and combined with an increase in new drugs, led to the decline of the corner alchemists shop and compounding drug medications.

The renaissance of compounding drug medications and pharmacies

Recently we have seen a steady growth in compounding drug prescriptions, as doctors recognise the benefits of customising drug medications to suit individual patients. This means that instead of being limited to certain mass produced drugs, which are only available in specific dosages, you are now able to have drug  compounding pharmacy medications specifically tailored to your requirements.

This is a huge benefit, not only to pharmacists who can once again demonstrate their expertise and knowledge in their craft, but also to the community who can access compounding drug medications, and health products which are better suited to their better health pharmacy needs.

Although all trained pharmacists can mix up a number of simple drug (compounding)medications, to become a compounding drug pharmacist in Australia, pharmacists must take on more advanced training and be accredited as a compounding pharmacist.

So what are the real health benefits of compounding drug medications for you?

  1. You can still use drug medications that are no longer mass produced: For example, a medication which has suited you well over the years is discontinued by a large pharmacy drug company. If you talk to your doctor and ask for a compounding pharmacy prescription, you can still use these pharmacy medications, because your compounding pharmacist will make them for you. 
  2. You can have different formulations of medications: So for instance if you always have trouble taking tablets or your medications tastes so bad that you want to heave – ask for a compounding prescription and your pharmacist can create your medication products in flavours or format that is much more palatable for you (great for the elderly and young children). 
  3. Your medications and health products can be allergy free: Many people are allergic to some of the ingredients in mass produced pharmacy medications, such as gluten or lactose. Your compounding pharmacist is able to create the same medications without these offending ingredients.

So discuss your situation with your doctor and decide whether a compounding medication is better suited to your needs.


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