Veterinarian Pharmaceutical Compounding FAQ’s

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Dr. Hootan Melamed is a doctor of Pharmacy from the Western University of Health Sciences College of Pharmacy in Pomona, California. He is an active advocate of compounded medication as he feels that they are tailor-made for each patient and not a general one size fits all type of medicine.

Each patient is different and generic drugs do not at all times serve their purpose. There is a noticeable two tier effect; sometimes the patient may need a stronger than available dosage and commercial medicines may not have that strength. In other circumstances, the patient may need a particular drug but the drug may be available only in a combination, binder or filler that the patient is allergic to. This causes a lot of patients to lose out on life saving medicine. This cannot be more true than in the case of animals or veterinary medicine.

Dr. Hootan Melamed thinks that pharmaceutical compounding is the answer to this situation. Compounding is the method by which pharmacists mix and match Active pharmaceutical ingredients to best suit the patient, the medicines thus produced are made for the use of that particular patient and no one else.

Frequently asked questions on veterinary medicine

Are the same medicines that are used for humans compatible with animals?

The FDA has regulations on drugs and their effect on certain medical conditions. This means that there is a level of therapeutic equivalency between the condition and the drug’s effect on it. Animal drugs are also regulated and are identified by Abbreviated New Animal Drug Application. This is a number on their label which identifies them with their composition drugs.

What is the difference between commercially available medicines and compounded ones?

All commercial drugs are standardized and have a fixed composition and dosage. This is true for veterinary medicine as well. The available medication for a particular ailment may be in a form that the animal may refuse to take. For example, a dog may have a liver ailment, but refuses to take a pill because of its bitter taste or may just refuse to swallow it owing to its smell, the same medication can be compounded and made more pleasing to the pet.

Can veterinary medicines be compounded in the same way as medicines for humans?

Veterinary medicines can be compounded in the same way that medicines for humans are compounded. Qualified pharmacists can compound medicines for animal usage. The methods may be similar but the intended outcome may be different. Human applications rarely concentrate on color, smell and flavor of the medicines, but this could be the point of focus on veterinary drugs. It is in these ways that the process may differ.

Are all pharmacists qualified to compound veterinary medication?

All pharmacists who have a basic certification in pharmacology have limited knowledge in the field of veterinary compounding. Continuing courses that specialize in veterinary medical procedures and compounding provides the needed expertise on the subject.

Veterinary hospitals and pharmacies are on the path of providing specialized healthcare to our pets and animals. The production of medicines that suit the patient is a positive step forward in this quest.

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