Pharmaceutical Compounding Can Help The Medicine Go Down

by Christianne Claude

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Picky pets can be more easily medicated through compounding

Finicky dogs, cats, birds, and pets of all types can be difficult to medicate, but you have Town Center Compounding Pharmacy nearby, and the pharmacist may be able to help.

Compounding is the creation of a pharmaceutical preparation—a drug —by a licensed pharmacist to meet the unique needs of an individual patient when commercially available drugs do not meet those needs. In the world of pets, a patient may simply refuse to take the commercially available drug in its prescribed form, it may require a drug that is currently in shortage or discontinued, or it may need the drug to be compounded into a more palatable or easily administered form.

Our compounding pharmacists can customize medications with a veterinarian’s prescription to meet a pet’s needs in various ways, including:

Pharmaceutical Compounding Can Help The Medicine Go Down 1
  • Adjusting strength or dosage.
  • Flavoring a medication to suit the particular pet’s flavor preferences.
  • Reformulating the drug to exclude an unwanted, nonessential ingredient, such as gluten or a dye that a pet is allergic to.
  • Changing the form of the medication for pets who, for example, have difficulty swallowing or experience stomach upset when taking oral medication.
  • Putting drugs into specially flavored liquids, topical creams, suppositories, or other dosage forms suitable for a pet’s unique needs.

Compounding does not replicate commercially available drug products; rather, it is the preparation of an individual drug to meet the prescriber’s exact specifications and to be dispensed directly to the pet or, sometimes, to the prescriber, the veterinarian. Some veterinarians are limited in their access to medications by the suppliers they do business with, so they may need to consult a compound pharmacist for a special need such as those just described. And sometimes, veterinarians will find, when they are are prescribing a drug, such as an antibiotic, that the veterinary form of that drug is not readily available, and the formula given to humans is not safe or appropriate for a pet. The compounding pharmacist can prepare a pet-safe form of that drug, usually at a lower cost than purchasing a ready-made veterinary version of the drug.

While all pharmacies do some types of compounding, true compounding pharmacies make up a small portion of American pharmacies—Town Center Compunding Pharmacy in Palm Desert is one. The preparations offered by these compounding pharmacies can be nonsterile (ointments, creams, liquids, or capsules that are used in areas of the body where absolute sterility is not necessary) or sterile (usually intended for injection into body tissues or the blood).

Town Center Compounding Pharmacy has the unique distinction of serving the compounded pharmaceutical needs of many of the 600 animals from 145 species housed on the 1200- acre Palm Desert wilderness preserve dedicated to desert ecosystems, known as The Living Desert.

If your pet has special needs that make administering medications difficult, come see us to find out what options may be available to you to help make that medicine go down!

Christianne Claude, Pharm.D., practices at Town Center Compounding Pharmacy, 72-624 El Paseo in Palm Desert. (760) 341-3984

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