Your child is unique. Why not give them customized care?
Compounded medications are an important piece of the patient care puzzle. For children with special healthcare needs and their caregivers, a compounding pharmacy offers them hope. When commercially available options are exhausted, a compounding pharmacist can help offer solutions to unique patient needs. Improved compliance, improved patient satisfaction, and reduced adverse reactions result when the correct compounding solution is utilized. By working together to provide customized, compounded medication, the result is unique solutions to patient needs that can improve the patient’s treatment outcome and elevate practitioner confidence.
What is a compounded medication?
A child who refuses to take medication because of the taste is a prime opportunity for compounding. Children don’t like pills, but they’ll take them gladly when it’s flavored like their favorite fruit or lollipop. Children often cannot take large volumes of liquid medication, but they will accept a small dose of a tasty, fruit-flavored, concentrated solution. By working closely with pediatricians, a compounding pharmacist can prepare medicines in easy-to-give flavored dosage forms that children happily devour.
Patients with food allergies can also be a big challenge for caregivers and practitioners. The foods that most often trigger childhood allergic reactions include eggs, cow’s milk, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, and wheat, and can affect up to 8% of children. Using pharmaceutical-grade ingredients and allergen-free bases, compounding pharmacists can provide a greater variety of medication options. Often, practitioners will turn to their compounding pharmacy to provide critical medications that would otherwise not be available. For example, high-fructose corn syrup and sorbitol, commonly used in commercial medications, must be avoided in children with corn allergies. A compounding pharmacist can choose a solution or suspension base and other ingredients that are free of these allergens.
Solving dosage problems
Most children aged 6–11 years can swallow a small oral tablet with training by a pharmacist or practitioner, but about 9% of children cannot. A compounding pharmacist who is knowledgeable about the pharmaceutical chemistry of each drug can ensure that the patient receives a customized medication that is more likely to be tolerable. Factors such as pH, drug stability, and chemical compatibility are accounted for when deciding on the best delivery vehicle for the medication.
Commercially unavailable medicine
From time to time, a manufacturer may discontinue a veterinary medication. Often this is because it is not needed in the vast quantities necessary to make mass production cost-effective, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t still some pets that need it. When that medication has worked well for animals, a compounding pharmacist can prepare a prescription for the required therapy – and tailor the strength, dosage form, and flavor to that pet’s specific needs.
Sensory processing disorders
Sensory processing disorder (SPD) often occurs with developmental disorders, such as autism, fragile X syndrome, and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The sensation of taste and texture in the mouth may trigger negative responses in children with this condition. The responses can include gagging, vomiting, and screaming, which will result in non-compliance. Compounding pharmacists have a variety of dosage formulation options, such as capsules, tablets, solutions, suspensions, or even topical preparations. Sometimes modifying the recipe is simple, such as changing the color or using a familiar, favorite flavor to entice a child to accept a medication. Also, children with the sensory disorder tend to be sensitive to gritty textures. In these cases, the compounding pharmacist can reduce the particle size of the medications by grinding in a mortar and pestle so that the mouth feel is smoother for the patient. Suspensions or solutions can also be made in a variety of formulations that have a unique mouth-feel that appeal to the sensitive patient. In other cases, a topical dosage form is applied to the skin. Transdermal administration eliminates the need for oral delivery of the medication. The compounding pharmacist can spend the time with the parents and child to offer choices and options for these children and caregivers when they feel they have none.