What to know about compounding pharmacies and safety
The process of compounding allows the creation of pharmaceutical grade medicines formulated for individual patient needs. You may turn to compounding services when mass-produced drugs do not meet your specific needs or you cannot use the drug in its commercially available form.
(Fun fact: Animals are candidates for compounding, too!)
Examples of compounding may include:
- Flavoring a medication to make it more tolerable for children or animals
- Changing medicines into topical cream or transdermal formulations
- Removing allergens such as food dyes or gluten
- Tailoring medication strength or dose
- Altering composition of medication to make it easier to consume (such as creating a liquid form of a medication only available as a pill)
How do I know if my medication is compounded?
A physician or medical provider will help you decide if a compounding medication is right for you and will write a compounding prescription for a pharmacy on your behalf. If you are unsure if your medication is compounded, ask whether it is compounded or was manufactured by a drug company.
Who regulates compounding pharmacies?
There are several entities that oversee various aspects of compounding pharmacies:
- State boards of pharmacy oversee compounding pharmacists to ensure they follow standards and regulations for formulations that they compound.
- The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) monitors drugs that are compounded for integrity and safety.
- The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) oversees controlled substances in compounding.
- The United States Pharmacopoeia Convention (USP) formally regulates the act of compounding by setting up practice and purity standards as they relate to compounding.
Carolina Pharmacy is a certified compounding pharmacy through the LP3 network.
We specialize in compounding and have a modern compounding lab at our Arboretum location that is compliant with new USP800 compounding guidelines. The compounding lab makes the compounds for all Carolina Pharmacy locations. Patients have the option to pick up their compounded medications at the store of their choice or have the medications mailed or delivered directly to them.
What else to know about the safety of Carolina Pharmacy compounding
With more than 15 years of experience in compounding, Carolina Pharmacy takes great pride in the quality and safety of our compounding practices and our formulations. We use only bio-identical hormones in our compounds and pure bulk ingredients from industry trusted suppliers. We utilize good manufacturing practice processes (GMP) for our compounds and have quality assurance measures in place to provide safe and consistent products to our patients.
(Fun fact – while we now offer a state-of-the-art compounding lab, our original Carolina Pharmacy location (the former Walker Drug in the Cotswold neighborhood of Charlotte) was established in 1918 – making it one of the oldest compounding pharmacies in Charlotte!)
There are many benefits to using an independent pharmacy like Carolina Pharmacy for compounding needs, including expert knowledge, modern technology, and high-quality ingredients. If you need compounded medications, talk to your physician or call one of our locations to consult with a pharmacist more about the compounding process.