There are a very limited number of FDA-approved drug products for animals. This can make the safe treatment of animal patients difficult, especially when you consider that veterinary medicine treats an almost endless variety of species and conditions.
Animal drug compounding helps fills the void when there are no drug products available to treat the animal or the animal’s condition. Gaining a deeper understanding of what compounding is, what criteria should be followed when compounding veterinary medications, and the importance of quality compounding will help you better serve your animal patients and their various ailments.
What Is Compounding?
Compounding includes any manipulation of a drug product beyond the FDA-approved drug product label. Manipulation can be defined as diluting, concentrating, flavoring, changing a drug’s dosage form, or simply mixing two products together. Compounding is often an excellent choice for patients with allergies to specific fillers or for animals that are much smaller or larger than the average dosage takes into consideration.
Animals often need drugs in a different dosage form than what is available commercially – some animals cannot swallow pills and others are sensitive to liquids or powder forms – making compounding a frequent and useful choice in the veterinary realm.
What Criteria Should Be Followed When Compounding Medications?
First, when prescribing or ordering a compounded medication, use a drug product from an FDA-approved facility. This helps to guarantee the safety and efficacy of what the product contains. Using a drug from an FDA-approved facility also ensures that you are meeting federal guidelines, which reduces your liability.
Secondly, the veterinarian must decide whether to use a compounded medication by using evidence-based medicine and working with the patient’s owner to determine whether it is a reasonable treatment option. Because the bioavailability and stability information can vary greatly when compounding medications, you should always discuss the risks and potential side effects with your patient owners.
Compounding should never be performed for a food animal patient unless it is for poison antidotes, euthanasia, or depopulation when there are no other approved drugs available. Using compounded medications in food animals puts human safety at risk, especially when the side effects of the prescribed medication are untested in humans.
The Importance of Quality Compounding
Veterinarians should feel comfortable turning to compounding pharmacists for their patient’s specific medical needs. To earn this trust, compounding pharmacies should be producing good-quality products that comply with state and federal laws, rules and policies, and the United States Pharmacopeia (USP) standards.
Some compounding pharmacies, including Essential Pharmacy Compounding, can go above and beyond by becoming accredited with the Pharmacy Compounding Accreditation Board in both sterile and non-sterile compounding.
Compounding pharmacies should work with veterinarians to treat the unique demands that are often required in veterinary medicine. Using a quality compounding pharmacy that follows all rules and regulations is crucial when making medications for our beloved animals.
Being aware of veterinary compounding and the void it can fill when treating your animal patients can help you better treat a variety of illnesses and species. If you’re looking for a quality veterinary pharmacy, contact Essential Pharmacy Compounding today.