When it comes to medication, sometimes one size does not fit all. A lot will depend on the condition and the ability of the patient to "handle" the prescribed medication. Sometimes, the commercially-available option simply will not work. It's also possible that the ideal medication for this individual is no longer available, as it may have been discontinued by the pharmaceutical company. In these situations, all is not lost, as it is possible for a licensed pharmacist to help the patient through a process known as compounding. How does this work and why could it be a literal lifesaver for some patients?
The Changing Role
A few generations ago, pharmacists had a much more significant role in society, as they would essentially compound all medications on the premises, as mass-produced pills were relatively unheard of. However, the role has changed over this time and now their work is twofold. They can certainly dispense pre-produced medication, but they can also tailor make solutions as well.
Big pharmaceutical companies are of course in business to make money and sometimes it's not commercially viable for them to produce specific types of drug anymore. However, certain patients still need what is contained within those pills or solutions and compounding services can recreate the ingredients to provide the critical care. The pharmacists have access to the ingredients and employ the highest level of quality control and production techniques, as well.
Changing the Format
Alternatively, the patient may not be able to take the prescribed medication in the form available. Perhaps it simply tastes too bad, which can be a real issue with young children. A compounding pharmacist can alter the taste, making it more palatable.
Some other patients may have difficulty in swallowing pills but may be able to handle the solution in liquid form. The pharmacist can help and it may even be possible to recreate the medicine in a topical form that can be applied to the skin instead.
Dealing with Allergies
When medications are produced in mass-market form, they sometimes have additives or preservatives in order to make them suitable for distribution and storage in the marketplace. Some patients may be intolerant to these additives, which can often contain gluten, lactose or even alcohol. Again, a compounding pharmacist can often recreate the medication formula without any of those unwanted ingredients.
If you cannot get the medication that you want, or find it difficult accepting it in its typically-prescribed form, have a word with a pharmacist who offers these compounding services.