Compounding is the process of creating customized pharmaceutical preparations to better meet the individual needs of a human or animal patient, when their needs are not met by mass-produced, commercially available drugs.
Compounded medications are based on the practitioner’s prescription of individualized ingredients, mixing together the exact strength and dosage form required to meet patient specific needs.
These medications are prescribed by a physician, veterinarian, or other prescribing practitioner, utilizing the exact strength and dosage form required to meet patient’s specific needs, and compounded by a state-licensed pharmacist.
For example, a compounding pharmacist may be able to help a patient who has issues tolerating aspects of a commercially available drug (for example, a patient who cannot tolerate gluten), or for whom the commercially available drug is in short supply or discontinued.
The pharmacist may also prepare drugs to a customized dosage, or in a form that better addresses a patient’s needs (such as a transdermal gel or flavored gel).
The U.S. Pharmacopeia Convention (USP) formally defines compounding as “the preparation, mixing, assembling, altering, packaging, and labeling of a drug, drug-delivery device, or device in accordance with a licensed practitioner’s prescription, medication order, or initiative based on the practitioner/patient/ pharmacist/compounder relationship in the course of professional practice.”