Using Compounded Medicine to Treat Your Pets

We all want what’s best for our pets and companion animals, and this notion definitely extends into the realm of healthcare. We want the best veterinary care that we can afford, and we want to be able to trust in the medicines that our veterinarian prescribes for our companion animals and pets.

That being said, it can be difficult sometimes to be able to trust what we don’t have a deep background in. And it can be even more difficult at times to be able to distinguish between what is safe and effective, or what should be, but isn’t.

The Purpose of Compounding Medicine

Compounding medications give your veterinarian a greater degree of options to put to use in the treatment of your pet. Working directly with a compounding pharmacy grants your veterinarian the ability to produce custom preparations of medications that can work around a variety of issues associated with FDA-approved drugs.

This increase in the available options your veterinarian has can often lead to better outcomes in pet care over the short and long term for your companion animal. Whether your veterinarian elects a compounded medicine for its relative ease of delivery, its flavor-enhanced properties that can lead to better course of treatment compliance, or because a suitable medication is not available for current use but can be compounded from FDA approved products, compounding can be an excellent tool to enhance the efficacy of your pet’s treatment.

Making sure that compounding medicine comes from a pharmacy or outsourcing facility that is in compliance with the applicable regulations regarding the compounding of animal drugs is a good first step to insuring the safety and efficacy of the medications you are giving your companion animal.

Veterinary Compounded Drugs and the Law

Currently, compounding pharmacies are regulated through a combination of FDA regulation and state oversight. Individual state boards of pharmacy license and watch over compounding pharmacists and outsourced manufacturing facilities to insure that they are in compliance with state law regarding the compounding of animal drugs.

The FDA does issue guidance regarding the compounding of animal medication, and their current guidelines are under review (the comment period expires November 16, 2015) and open to public comment. Generally speaking, the FDA allows the compounding of animal medications from FDA-approved substances in cases where compounding is a better option for treatment.

Choosing a Veterinary Compounding Pharmacy

More often than not, if your veterinarian is recommending a local compounding pharmacy, it is because they have already vetted and done business successfully with that pharmacy. It is ideal that your veterinarian works with your compounding pharmacist to design and implement the best possible compounded medicines for your pet’s course of treatment.

Additional information regarding local veterinary compounding pharmacies can be found by checking with your state board of pharmacy, or with an independent third-party accrediting organization like the Pharmacy Compounding Accreditation Board of the Accreditation Commission for Health Care, which examines and certifies pharmacies for compounding utilizing FDA-approved substances.

Author: Giano Panzarella