How Does Drug Compounding Put Users at Risk?

How Does Drug Compounding Put Users at Risk?Drug compounding is the combining of certain ingredients from two or more different drugs in order to create a new substance to treat the unique needs of a particular patient. What is known as traditional compounding is typically practiced by hospital pharmacies or certain retail pharmacies to provide a unique substance for one patient. Traditional drug compounding is often practiced for the following reasons:

  • To create smaller dosage strengths for patients such as infants
  • To change the formulation of certain pills into a liquid or transdermal gel form for patients who have trouble swallowing
  • To create an allergen-free formulation that is free of common allergens such as gluten, lactose, or colored dyes
  • To create different formulations for patients who absorb or excrete medications abnormally
  • For patients who needs medications that have been discontinued by pharmaceutical manufacturers due to low profitability
  • To serve as a substitute for patients experiencing shortages of their normal drug
  • To add flavors for patients, such as children, who have trouble taking the medication due to its taste
  • To create drugs for animals

Traditional drug compounding is most common among parenteral medications. California residents who require specialized medication may be using compounded drugs from their pharmacy.

What California Residents Should Know about Non-Traditional Compounding

Non-traditional drug compounding typically consists of mass-producing injectable medications to offset drug shortages and pressures of high cost. Hospital pharmacies will sometimes utilize large scale compounding pharmacies because they are experiencing shortages of traditional medications or do not want to pay for high priced brand named drugs. This differs from traditional drug compounding because the compounding is not taking place on a case-by-case basis for one particular patient. Instead the compounded drug is being mass-produced and sold as a traditional medication, often without the knowledge of the patient. California residents should be aware of the source of all drugs they take, as they may be taking compounded, altered, or cheaper versions of their usual drugs.

The major problem with drug compounding is that the compounded medication is not overseen by federal regulators and is therefore not approved by the FDA. In most cases of traditional drug compounding, state regulators approve the drug. However, state regulators are not as strict as the FDA with their approval of compounded drugs. Drug compounding can pose numerous risks to users, including the following:

  • Consuming unregulated medications can pose unknown health risks
  • Compounded drugs are rarely tested because they are typically made on a case-by-case basis
  • Untested drugs could result in unknown side affects
  • Compounded and untested medications can be potentially life threatening
  • People who misuse medication can be at greater risk of developing an addiction or other serious health concerns because the medication is unregulated
  • Compounded drugs have a higher death and accidental injury rate than normal drugs

Taking compounded drugs can be severely damaging to a person’s health mainly because the drug has not been tested and can produce unknown side effects. California residents who misuse compounded drugs are at a great risk of developing an addiction that requires professional medical treatment to overcome.

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