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Friday, March 17, 2017

What Is A Compounding Pharmacy And Do You Need One?

What is a Compounding Pharmacy and why might you or someone you know need one?  (See Round And Round We Go... The Saga Continues)

Due to my allergies to gluten, nuts, soy, corn and eggs, as well as, various chemicals and, it is assumed, sulfites, pesticides and more, it is almost impossible for me to take medications.

You would be surprised at ingredients in medications and other household items - toothpaste, shampoo, lipstick, etc.  Beware:  "Items labeled “wheat free.” Gluten comes from wheat, right? So that labeling should make shopping easy. However, says Bast, gluten also comes from other grains and grain combinations, including spelt, barley, and rye. So, just because a product is labeled wheat free doesn’t mean it is gluten-free.'  (See Oh, I Know, You Have Celiac Disease. Umm, No, Not Exactly)

Most people get a bit cranky when they don't feel well.  From my perspective, they have it easy. They get sick, they go to a doctor, they get a prescription, all is good.  

I get cranky when I don't feel well, but I also face terrible anxiety.  

When a prescription is sent to a pharmacy for me, it's not a simple step.  The majority of medications, including my ALLERGY MEDICATIONS, contain one of the ingredients I'm allergic too!  Can you believe it?  

The pharmacy I used to use would try different manufacturers for me until they found one that made the medication without the ingredients I couldn't have.  They are no longer allowed to do that per management. 

I went into a panic when I was given that information. How would I get my medications?  What about when I get sick.  Most people get medication the same day it's prescribed.  I wait, sometimes two to three days for the pharmacy to find a manufacturer that doesn't use what I'm allergic to and for the shipment to be received.  I'm getting more sick as time goes by. Now, the pharmacy is not allowed to hunt down manufacturers. 

I asked my new allergist about this situation.  I explained, I could no longer get my two allergy medications.  He told me about Compounding Pharmacies.  I had no idea they existed.  

  • I called the pharmacy he gave me the name of but have not used them yet.  
  • I also called a pharmacy my original pharmacy gave me the name of.  
  • I was able to get my allergy medications from the pharmacy my original pharmacy gave me the name of because they are privately owned (they make their own decisions about where to order).
  • They were able to order my medications from the manufacturer list my original pharmacy gave me showing who they had been using for each medication. 
  • My original pharmacy is now forbidden to order, they must take medication from whatever manufacturer sends it to them, therefore, if it has ingredients I cannot have, I'm simply out of luck and in a panic.

Confused yet?  Eyes crossing?  Yeah, me too!  

I'm still learning.  I'm trying to find a compound pharmacy that can help me if I need an antibiotic. So far, I've learned that not all of them can make any medication you may need.  This is an ongoing process with many more phone calls to be made.

Most people who get a cold don't run to a doctor.  I do.  Why?  Because 99% of the time, my cold (due to autoimmune issues) does not simply go away.  I have a horrible time breathing (due to asthma), and the cold turns into bronchitis, sinusitis or something else that requires medication. 

Nothing in my life is easy or typical (see What About Restaurants, Parties, Invites And Public Places?)  A cold can essentially send me to the ER and cause an admission.  It gets bad quickly and I wind up in the hospital on IV medication.  They call in Infectious disease (who are also antibiotic experts).  It turns into a fiasco.  

If you have problems with medications, speak with your doctor(s) about compounding pharmacies. Ask if they can recommend one?  Look up Compounding Pharmacies near you.  Make inquiries. Don't forget to ask if they accept your insurance.  

Good luck.  This is new to me too.  I'm still learning.  

If you have used a compounding pharmacy or have any information, want to share an experience or want to make a recommendation, please leave a comment on this blog.  

Happy St. Patrick's Day!  May you find your pot of gold.

My pot of gold would be to find doctors who could help me.  If I could live normally again, I'd consider myself extremely wealthy.

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  1. Makes me wonder if my eating habits lately are affecting my mood..I've been so irritable. Thanks for reminding me to be more mindful. Great post!

  2. I do believe that our eating habits affect not only mood but many other aspects of our lives. Eating all organic helped me a lot, not just with weight loss, but with energy as well. I was more energized before I lost a pound. I also felt more alert.