Modern medicine enables many of us to live a fulfilling life where otherwise we might struggle. Fortunately many conditions and ailments are easily overcome with the simple addition of a prescription medication. While access to these medications is unarguably fantastic and something to be eternally grateful for, sometimes a little tailoring is required to achieve the perfect fit.
If you find what the pharmacy has to offer isn’t quite cutting it, it might be time to consider a custom med. If you’re new to the concept or would like to find out more, this is the article for you.
What Is a Custom Med?
Nowadays there aren’t many barriers in the way of innovation. There’s never been a moment in history more conducive to bringing what we imagine to be possible into reality. It only takes a moment’s consideration to appreciate all the technological advancements we make use of and enjoy every day.
The fact is, much of what we take for granted these days would have been considered outright science fiction only a handful of years ago. A service that offers personalized drug prescriptions tailored to each individual is a perfect example of the march of progress in action. Despite its somewhat improbable nature, that’s exactly what a custom med is.
We’ve advanced technologically to the point where custom medication isn’t just remarkable, it’s set to become the standard. Rather than making do with the prescriptions available and taking whatever seems the closest fit to requirement, it’s now possible to request a prescription from compounding pharmacists that will fit perfectly. The process involves enhancing the beneficial properties and reducing the undesirable effects of your existing medication, all through careful analysis of your current prescription and health concerns.
When the medications available aren’t sufficient to meet the needs of an individual’s unique requirements, compounding pharmacists are the people charged to create something new. This new medication is a combination of existing compounds tailored to better suit the specific needs of the patient. The process they follow differs from company to company, but in general, there are a few steps that remain the same.
The first step to creating a custom medication is to carefully consult an existing prescription and the intended results of taking it. The compounding pharmacist will typically ask a few questions to understand how the current prescription is lacking, detrimental, or otherwise missing the mark. They’ll also be careful to ask in which ways it seems to be working and which areas the patient would like to strengthen the effect or keep the same.
All the information the pharmacist collects will play a direct role in the design of a new medication. Using their professional knowledge and experience, they’ll select from a range of ingredients and begin the intricate process of tailoring them to fit with everything they’ve learned. Depending on how the new combination is received, the medication can be edited further or saved on file to be made again for future prescriptions.
If you’re still asking yourself, “What is a compound prescription?”, read on for more details.
Depending on your needs and preferences, the range of customization available is extensive. Allergies can be sidestepped through the omission of certain compounds or the inclusion of others. If someone has specific dietary needs or choice exclusions, ingredients such as animal-derived gelatine can be substituted for a vegan alternative.
Active pharmaceutical compounds (APIs) that aggravate particular side effects needn’t exist in the new medication, either. Substitutes can often make all the difference in the course of experimentation. A certain level of trial and error is necessary to perfect the amounts of each API to create a medication that fits like a glove.
This doesn’t mean custom medication is thrown together without extreme attention to detail; rather, as time progresses, it’s possible to tweak the combination of ingredients for greater efficacy. To achieve the perfect medication, it’s necessary to talk to the compounding pharmacist and explain how each iteration affects you differently. It’s also possible to get it right on the first try, and even if that’s not the case, the tailored medication will be a marked improvement over your original prescription.
The creation of new prescriptions tailored to individuals must meet FDA approval. In terms of regulation and safety, it makes perfect sense that the new combination of various medications and compounds for human consumption must meet the strictest criteria. What that criteria may be depends on the FDA itself and your individual state’s pharmacy board.
If you’re considering looking for tailored medication, make sure the compound pharmacists you use are certified. Your health may depend on it.
If your condition is especially complex or you require particularly strong pain relief medication not available from a retail pharmacy, there’s a chance compounding pharmacies won’t be able to supply them. Some chronic pain conditions require the use of especially powerful medications derived from opiates, causing them to be strictly controlled.
Alternatively, some conditions are especially rare and not used by many people, making their medications harder to find in general, even if they have no potential for abuse. Some medications also require special handling and storage at low temperatures so they remain effective. These types of medication are best sought after from a specialty pharmacy with the facilities required to keep them in effective condition.
If you’re unsure which pharmacy would be best to help with your condition, don’t be afraid to contact them with your query and find out for yourself!
Making use of advanced technological answers to difficult questions is our privilege as people living in a modern age. A custom med might be the perfect answer to what ails you, and if not, perhaps a slightly different iteration will be.
Whether you need medication that your local pharmacy doesn’t supply or feel like what they do supply could be tweaked a little for your benefit, consulting a compounding pharmacist could be just the ticket.
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