What is a compounding pharmacy?
A compounding pharmacy prepares medications that are not commercially available (mass produced by a manufacturer, FDA-approved medications). Most patients are able to tolerate and take a commercially available medication without any issues with dosage, taste, and inactive ingredients. But there are some people (and most animals) that will need a different formulation, flavor, taste, set of ingredients, dosage, etc. and they will require a compounded medication.
Compounding and compounded medications were actually the “normal” until the 20th century, which is when drugs started being mass produced by drug manufacturers. Penicillin was discovered in 1928 by Alexander Fleming and later approved that same year by the US government for use in humans, one of the first antibiotics. By the middle of the 20th century the majority of medications being prescribed were manufactured instead of compounded.
What does a compounding pharmacist do?
A compounding pharmacist takes an order by a prescriber and using their knowledge in chemistry, pharmaceutical science, and various patient information can formulate a preparation to be the best fit for each individual patient, leaving out inactive ingredients that may cause irritation or allergic reactions, change the flavor to be more palatable, compounding into a formulation that is not available (eye drops, throat sprays, topical gels, etc.).
What can I do if my prescriber doesn’t know how to order a compounded medication?
Our pharmacists love talking to prescribers about the science and how to compound a medication for their patients. Have your prescriber or their nurse call our pharmacy and ask to speak to a pharmacist and we can clear up any confusion.
What can I expect from my compounded medication?
Hopefully great results, but no medication is guaranteed to work (even commercially-available, FDA-approved manufactured medications fail every now and then or cause allergies or adverse drug reactions). You should expect a pharmaceutically-elegant preparation that does exactly what the prescriber intended. If you have concerns you should contact one of our compounding pharmacists to discuss.
How long will it take to get my compounded medication?
Most formulations take several 1-3 hours to compound, once we get a new order it gets placed into our filling queue and this process can take 24-48 hours to have your order filled. If it’s something we already have made up (yes, we do have some standardized formulations that are frequently prescribed), it can be a 15-30 minute wait for your order to be ready. We can also add your order request to our autofill calendar and either ship it to you on a regular basis or have it ready for pick up when you need it.
Once your medication is ready, you can either come to the pharmacy to pick it up, or we can have it mailed to you via USPS First Class Mail or sent via FedEx overnight (for an additional charge).
What does “not FDA approved” mean?
Large drug manufacturers spend years developing and testing a very few dosages of a single medication in very limited conditions. Once this is done, the drug can be submitted to the FDA for approval for use in these limited conditions. Anything outside this is considered not FDA-approved. Thus, anything compounded is considered not FDA-approved. Compounders can sometimes take commercially available medications, crush them up, and turn them into a different compounded preparation (such as crushing tablets and turning into a suspension for someone who can’t swallow tablets or needs a dosage alteration), but a lot of compounded medications aren’t able to be compounded in this fashion.
All of our chemicals are sourced from FDA-registered or FDA-inspected facilities, all our vendors are vetted against a strict vendor-qualification process before we purchase any items from them. We purchase only high-quality chemicals, typically USP/NF grades which are the highest available. We follow strict regulations and laws set by the FDA and the states we are licensed in as to what medications we can and cannot compound. Most ingredients are already in an FDA-approved medication, but a few are on the FDA’s “compounding from bulk drug substances” list.
I didn’t even know compounding pharmacy was a thing?
Yes! Triangle Compounding Pharmacy was first opened back in 1999, but compounding has been a thing for a very long time. In fact, your grandparents most likely were using compounded medications when they were younger because that’s all there was. Learn more about Triangle Compounding Pharmacy. Read More…
Can I get a brand or generic version of a compounded medication?
Typically compounded medications are not “brand” or “generic” like your options at a regular pharmacy are because in many instances we’re starting with a powder, a pure active ingredient instead of a commercially available medication. Sometimes we do have to start with a brand or generic medication, and in this case the active ingredient would be brand or generic, but then from there it’s now a compounded preparation.
I have an allergy to something in what my doctor prescribed, can you help me?
Most likely yes! We have lots of patients we are able to help here with formulating preparations that don’t have allergens.
Do you bill my insurance?
No, unfortunately insurance companies tend to only pay for the active ingredient if a commercially available medication was used, not the compounding process nor all the equipment, training, and special compounding lab that we have to maintain to produce high-quality compounded medications. We do however always provide our patients with a universal claim form that has all the information your insurance company requires to submit your cost as a manual claim to your insurance company. Give them a call to find out what coverage you have for “manual claim of a compounded medication”. If you don’t have compounded medication coverage, ask them if you submit this will it be applied to your deductible. You can download our CLAIM FORMS from our site. Read More…
What are your hours? Do you close for holidays?
We are open Monday through Friday, 9am to 5:30pm. We are closed all major holidays so our wonderful staff can celebrate with their families (New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas). We close early for Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve as well. Read More…
What CBD products do you sell? What do you recommend?
Currently we sell 2 brands of CBD – Naternal by Root Bioscience (a local RTP company) and Ananda Professional (a US company located in KY). We are very particular about the CBD products we sell. Lately it seems you can get CBD everywhere, in lots of different products. We are more particular about the sources of our CBD products for our customers, every product we stock we have reviewed the information about it, the ingredients, and the certificates of analysis (COA) to confirm it’s a high-quality product that will benefit our customers. Ask to speak to a pharmacist for a recommendation on the CBD product(s) for you, your family, and your pets! Read More…