Monday, September 28, 2015

What Is Sterile Compounding?

by Harbor Compounding

Many patients with specific medical conditions require customized medications. Some patients, including those who require specific chemotherapy medications or those who are worried about potential drug allergies, will request that a pharmacy creates customized medications for them. These medications are usually delivered in injection form. Sterile compounding is the actual process of putting together these customized medications for injection in a clean and sterile environment. A pharmacy that participates in sterile compounding is known as a Compounding Pharmacy.

How It Works

Compound pharmacists have to follow very strict rules and guidelines in order to ensure that their medications are clean and actually sterile. The location where sterile compounding takes place needs to be sterile and safe in order to prevent potentially serious medical problems from developing. Sterile compounding requires the assistance of a doctor. The patient's doctor needs to discuss the patient's treatment with the pharmacist, including the need for some specific types of medication. Only after a doctor has prescribed a specific medicine can a compounding pharmacist go to work putting it together. Both pharmacists and pharmacist technicians may be able to create customizable drugs. In addition to creating the specific medication out of the active ingredients of a drug, the pharmacist must also think about other ingredients that may go into these injections. These additional ingredients could include things like buffers, carriers and ointments to carry the drug to the proper location in the body.

Maintaining Safety

In order to maintain patient safety all medications that are created are done so in a sterile and clean environment. The pharmacist may work under a protective hood and they will probably wear safety gear, including sterile gloves, a face mask and hair protection. This is to prevent foreign cells from getting into the medication. The pharmacist will also have to have in-depth knowledge of the medication in order to create the proper mixture of it. It is also important that they know the medical needs of the person they are creating the medication for. If the patient has a medical allergy, for example, the pharmacist needs to make sure that nothing in the medication they are Pharmaceutical compounding will cause an allergic reaction.

Types of Medications that Can Be Compounded

Injections are the most common way to administer a compounded drug, but it is not the only way. Compound pharmacists can also make suppositories, intravenous bags, intravenous drugs, oral medications and even topical treatments. Regardless of the way the medication will be administered to the patient, it still needs to be created in a sterile and clean atmosphere. Compounding pharmacists can also create drugs for veterinary uses, as many types of customized medications can also be used to treat animals. Some compounding pharmacies will make medications for other types of pharmacies or for pharmacies that don't have the ability to make their own.

Compounding pharmacies have an important job. Safety and proper procedures are vitally important to protecting patient health and to avoid potentially serious medical conditions that could arise as a result of medicine contamination.

About the Author
Pharmaceutical compounding is the mixing of drugs by pharmacists to fit a patient's unique needs. Custom medications can eliminate elements of a compound that are dangerous or unnecessary to a patient and add elements that are specifically beneficial to a particular patient's condition.

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