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What is compounding and why do you need it?


Compounding is a process in which a pharmacist mixes certain drugs to either create a customized medication or a different drug delivery method suited to a patient's unique needs.

These are some examples of why compounding may be done:

  • A medication is no longer being manufactured.
  • A medication needs to be made without certain inactive ingredients such as preservatives, dyes, or binders for a patient who is allergic to these components.
  • A specific dosage strength is unavailable commercially for the patient (for example, for a child or infant).
  • Certain medications need to be combined, by the order of the physician.
  • The medication formulation needs to be changed for a patient's needs, for example, from oral to topical (a cream, ointment, or patch) if a patient has trouble swallowing medication in pill or capsule form.
  • The taste of the medication needs to be improved; this is an option for certain antibiotics often prescribed for young children.
  • The purpose is for veterinary use. This is extremely important in the veterinary community because this group of patients may require a wide variety of flavors, dosage forms, and potency levels that often are commercially unavailable. Many drugs used for humans are also prescribed for animals.

Medication compounding is available at select Walgreens locations. Find a location near you.

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Answers to questions regarding information about medications or health conditions are not for diagnostic or treatment purposes and are not conclusive as to the presence or absence of any health condition. Consult your physician for diagnosis and treatment of your medical condition. The information provided is not a substitute for medical advice. Advances in medicine may cause this information to become outdated, invalid or subject to debate. Professional opinions and interpretations of the scientific literature may vary. Walgreens' terms of use and general warranty disclaimer apply to all services provided. If you are in need of immediate medical attention, contact your physician, poison control center or emergency medical professional. If you need to speak with a pharmacist for non-emergency matters, contact your local Walgreens pharmacist or call a pharmacist toll-free at 1 (877) 250-5823.

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