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Guide to Medication Compounding for Pet Owners

Pets need to take medication, just like people. Sometimes pets need their medications in a special form that can’t be found on the pharmaceutical market. When this happens, some pet owners turn to medication compounding. Medication compounding is a good solution for pet owners who need to get their pet medication and meet their pet’s special needs at the same time.

If you’re having a hard time getting your pet to take medication, here’s what you need to know about medication compounding. 

What Is Medication Compounding?

Medication compounding is the practice of taking medicine that is in one form and turning it into another form. For example, a pet may require a medication that is typically available in tablet form. However, if this particular pet is not capable of chewing a tablet, the compounding pharmacy can create a suspension in a liquid or chewy treat.

Some pets respond well to medicines that have been flavored. Compounding pharmacies can add flavoring that makes a medication more palatable to the pet. This is often easier than trying to disguise the medication in a food.  

How Do Pets Benefit From Medication Compounding?

Pets benefit from medication compounding because it makes it easier for them to take medication prescribed for their health conditions. Sometimes medicines are combined together into one form so that the pet need only take one pill during the day.  

In addition, there are many different types of pets, including different species and breeds. What one species of pet reacts to positively another species may react to negatively. Compounded medicine makes it possible for pet owners to find a type of medicine that will work for their specific pet. 

Is Compounded Medicine Safe?

Pet owners can do many things to help ensure the safety of their pet if they are giving their pet compounded medicine. To begin with, you should only give your pet compounded medicine under the direction of the veterinarian, with the veterinarian’s knowledge. Follow the instructions for storage to ensure that your pet’s medicine is properly stored under the right conditions. 

Pay attention to expiration dates, and always discard the medicine by the expiration date. Do not give your pet any medicine that is expired. Throwing medicine in the trash or toilet can be bad for the environment, so if you need to discard medicine, find out from your pet’s veterinarian or from the pharmacy the best method for disposal. 

If your medicine changes color or odor, contact the compounding pharmacy as soon as possible. This may happen if your pet’s medicine has become unstable. 

Does Compounded Medication Come With Any Risks?

Even non-compounded medications come with side effects. However, compounded medications may sometimes have additional risk because they are not tested and approved by the FDA in their current form. It is important to work with a compounding pharmacy that is PCAB Accredited to ensure the safety and quality of the compounded medication they make.

Your pet’s veterinarian or the pharmacist can discuss with you potential side effects before you administer the medication to your pet. To protect your pet from possible negative reactions, watch them carefully after administering medicine.

When monitoring your pet for possible side effects, look for changes in behavior, difficulty performing normal activities, changes in awareness, and changes in appetite or drinking habits.  

How Can You Get Medicine Compounded for Your Pet?

The first step to getting medicine compounded for your pet is to take your pet to the veterinarian for a diagnosis and prescription. If your pet’s veterinarian writes your pet a prescription for compounded medication, they will either send the prescription to the compounding pharmacist or they will give it to you to take to the compounding pharmacy. Compounded medication is custom made by the pharmacy per your doctor’s exact order, so it may take a few days to complete.

Once you have the prescription, the pharmacist will tell you how to administer the medication, just as a pharmacist will counsel you when you pick up new medicine for yourself.

Do You Need a Prescription to Get Medicine Compounded?

Compounded medicines can be detrimental to pets if they’re not taken in the proper amounts and at the right times. When your pet’s veterinarian writes a prescription for your pet, they take into account all of your pet’s other medical conditions and the medicines that your pet is currently taking. 

You must have a prescription for any compounded medication. Without a prescription, your pet could be in danger of having a very serious negative reaction to the medicine. 

Who Can You Ask More Questions About Compounded Medication?

If you have more questions about your pet’s compounded medications, including how to take the medication and how to ensure that your pet is taking compounded medicine safely, talk to your pet’s pharmacist. Your pet’s veterinarian can also answer questions about compounded medicines and how medicines will affect your pet.

At Potter’s House Apothecary, we’re always happy to help pet owners determine things like how their pet’s medicine will affect their pet and what can be done to ensure their pet takes medicine safely. For more information, call us today

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