Ask the Compounding Expert – Andrew Gilbertson
At Hill Avenue Drugs, every day brings something different to the pharmacy. The world of pharmaceutical compounding always has a different challenge to meet – there are new treatment options, numerous drug shortages to contend with, and requests from both patients and prescribers for advice or information. As members of the Professional Compounding Centres of America (PCCA), we can access chemicals, equipment and devices, flavouring agents, training and education, and consulting experience that other pharmacies cannot access.
This month, we will talk a little more about the different types of compounding we do on a regular basis.
There are many pediatric patients that we are able to help. Unfortunately, children can have many of the same type of conditions as adults can – these can include heart issues, seizure disorders, or even organ transplants. These conditions often can be treated by the same medications that would be used in the adult population, but at a fraction of the dose. Often times, the drug companies who make medications in their large factories do not make doses small enough for a child. We can sometimes see prescriptions for a fraction of the smallest dose available for adults.
We can help make things easier for those parents who already had a lot on their plates. In most instances, we can compound up medications in a liquid form to make accurate dosing easier. In other cases, we can make liquid compounds a little more palatable for those sensitive taste buds.
As previously touched on, our PCCA membership can help us help you. If your little one is having issues taking a medication prepared at another pharmacy, we may be able to help by using different recipes or ingredients. We are certainly willing to work with you and your prescriber to individualize therapy for your little ones.
Hill Avenue Drugs can also help out some other small (and not so small!) members of the family. We have made up prescriptions for cats, dogs, guinea pigs, birds, rabbits, rats, ferrets and even snakes. In the same way that infants require much smaller doses than adults, most pets require a dose reduction as well.
Giving pills to pets can also be troublesome – how many pets have figured out to eat the treat around the pill, much to the owner’s frustration! Putting the medication in an appropriate suspension can make medication time much easier for pets and owners alike. We have access to many different flavors to appeal to many different animals – liver, beef, chicken, or sweet options like tutti-frutti or tangerine – so we can do our best to help you find something that agrees with your picky pet’s palate.
A very common issue that many patients run into is when a drug shortage occurs. In some cases, there is only one manufacturer that makes a product. If that manufacturer runs into issues with one of their ingredients, or has issues at their plant, drug can be unavailable for a couple weeks, months or even years. In these cases, our compounding services can help continue therapy so we don’t have to change the drug completely. This can be very reassuring to patients who have been on a medication, as changing the drug could cause to a loss in control of the condition or unpleasant side effects.
For all our compounds, human or pet, we do require a prescription from your doctor or veterinarian – most existing prescriptions are able to be transferred from other pharmacies if refills are available. If you, your doctor or veterinarian have any questions or concerns, we are more than happy to work with you to find a solution to whatever you need. Come by to discuss options with our pharmacists Andrew, Janice, Gavin or Michaeline, or even just to say hi. We are here seven days a week – Monday to Friday 9AM to 9PM, Saturday 9AM to 6PM, Sunday 1PM to 5PM, and closed statutory holidays. We look forward to meeting you!