There is a common misconception that compounded medications are not approved by the Food and Drug Administration. However, the fact is that there is nothing irregular about compounded medicines and pharmacies. They are used throughout the health care industry. It is not even a form of alternative medicine, as many people believe. Of course, as any other medication, you should get it from a licensed clinic.

So, what are compounded prescriptions?

They are prescriptions for medication that may not be otherwise available or may not be found in a convenient form. You may be prescribed a medicine by your regular doctor that is not available in the form that he prescribes. For instance, you may have been given a pill to take but you find it difficult taking in solids. Your doctor will then direct you to a compounding pharmacy. The pharmacist will then convert your pill to liquid form, for instance, so that it becomes easier for you to swallow. He or she may also be able to convert it to a lozenge that you can swallow or a gel that can be directly absorbed through your skin.

Sometimes when there are many prescription drugs to be taken, your doctor may send you to a compounding pharmacist, who will combine all the drugs together to make it convenient for you to take. Regular cough medicines have dyes, so if your children are allergic to these, you can get it without a dye at the pharmacist’s as well. So, compounded medicines suit the individual needs of patients.

Are they legal?

The FDA has labeled compounded medications both legal and ethical. However they should be prescribed by a practitioner who is licensed. The pharmacy that you are directed to should also be licensed.

Can I get them across the counter?

No, you need a prescription. The pharmacist will be changing strengths of medicines and he will do that only with your doctor’s approval. Only if you have trouble taking in the regular medication, ask your doctor if you can take your prescribed medicine in any other form.

Will my insurance cover the medicines?

Most clinics will give you a claim form that you can fill in order to submit to your insurance company. However, find out beforehand from your insurance company whether they are covered.

Therefore, remember that if you ever are prescribed medication that is compounded, Sacramento licensed pharmacies will legally and safely give you the dosage and strength that is most suitable for you. Make sure that the clinic is licensed, and you should have no problem.