Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) is commonly prescribed for menopausal women experiencing severe symptoms such as night sweats, moodiness, and hot flashes. Some other uses for HRT are sex changes and hormonal imbalances. Balancing the hormones is a delicate business. The ideal in menopausal women is to eliminate the symptoms without causing dangerous side effects. Not every woman fits into the commercially produced HRT remedies. In these cases, HRT compounding may be the answer.
Compounding is when a licensed pharmacist or licensed physician combines, mixes or alters two or more ingredients of a prescription drug creating a particular medication for an individual patient. Compounded drugs are for patients who have special needs, but before going to a compounding pharmacist, there are some things to consider.
Patients who have allergies to certain inactive ingredients (i.e., dyes, corn starch, gluten, lactose) in commercially produced drugs can have the medication made without the part that triggers an allergic reaction.
Commercial pharmaceutical companies can stop producing a medication that is not profitable to them due to weak demand. So what does a patient who needs this drug do? A compound pharmacy can create that drug for a patient even if they are the only person on the planet needing it.
Drugs in Different Forms and Doses
Sometimes patients cannot swallow a pill, or they aspirate liquid medications. In these cases, a compounding pharmacy can create the medication needed in a form that is easier for the patient to tolerate. Also, if a patient needs 5mg of a drug and the commercial pills only come in 2mg and 10mg, a compounding pharmacy can create the exact dosage required.
Due to their unique nature, compounded drugs are not FDA-approved this means that the Federal Food and Drug Administration cannot verify their safety and effectiveness. Contamination levels are higher than commercially produced medications since the States regulate compounding facilities and not the directly overseen by the FDA.
Health insurance companies often do not cover compounded drugs. Although compounded drugs can be less expensive than commercial drugs, they could cost a patient more out-of-pocket because the patient is paying the entire cost and not a small co-pay.
Since the drugs are created individually, a patient may not realize that the drug they are taking may contain a recalled contaminated ingredient. The labels on the compounded drug may not be clear on the sources of the ingredients used.
One more note in the particular case of HRT: The prescription should be written by a doctor after a thorough exam and blood work are completed. This type of testing is much more accurate than saliva tests used by some compounding pharmacists.
When choosing a Compounding Pharmacy, select one accredited by the Pharmacy Compounding Accreditation Board (PCAB), this assures the pharmacy follows an established protocol when filling each prescription.
For more information on Hormone Replacement Therapy, contact Metro MediSpa at 888-637-7228 or 910-599-9925.