If you’ve ever cared for an animal that has been sick or requires special attention, you already understand the extra love they require. Especially when it comes to making sure they take their regular medication.
The process can be so difficult that most find themselves buying “pill pockets”, wrapping medication in some unknown cheese product, or trying to find a humane way of restraining their pets in order to give them what they need in order to thrive or even survive.
The entire process is stressful for fur baby and human alike, but can become even more so if your pet requires a specific dose that isn’t available “over the counter”. You’re left with the difficult choice of giving them a dose that may be too high or spending quite a bit of time cutting and combining meds yourself.
Have you wondered about using a compounded medication for your pet?
What do we Mean by Compounded Medication?
Any manipulation of a drug—beyond what is described in the labeling for the drug—is considered compounding. The manipulation of the drug could include flavoring a drug to make it more palatable, mixing two injectable drugs in the same syringe, or creating an oral drug from a drug that is usually injectable.
When an animal suffers a medical condition for which there is currently no FDA-approved product available, compounding can be a good decision for the pet and the pet’s owner.
As an example, suppose a cat requires a certain medication which is currently only available as a pill.
The cat’s owner may have serious problems when attempting to administer a pill to their pet. A compounding pharmacy might either compound the drug into a flavored liquid the cat will be more willing to take or, they might develop a transdermal cream that can be applied to the cat’s ear.
Whatever method your compounding pharmacist and you decide on, it’s a much less traumatizing experience for everyone involved!
Compounded Drugs are Modified Versions of FDA-Approved Drugs
According to federal rules, compounded medications are required to be modified versions of FDA-approved drugs. If a compounded drug is to be made from an ingredient which does not currently have FDA approval (for humans or animals), the ingredient must obtain FDA approval to be legally sold.
There are, however, certain situations in which a vet may find it necessary to compound from a non-approved FDA source as a method of relieving an animal’s suffering. When such a situation arises, veterinarians and pharmacists must carefully assess whether the use of the specific ingredient can be used in a manner that is consistent with FDA policy, as well as state and federal laws.
Is a Compounded Drug the Same as a Generic Drug?
Many people are under the impression that a compounded drug is the same as a generic drug. This is not the case.
A generic drug is a version of a name-brand drug, without the proprietary name. In other words, acetaminophen—without the Tylenol brand name—is a generic form of Tylenol, just as ibuprofen is a generic form of Advil. Although generics and brand-name drugs are meant to be the same strength and use the same ingredients, some individuals could respond better to one or the other.
A compounded drug, on the other hand, is a new form of an FDA-approved drug that may not act in the same manner as the originally approved drug. The same drug ingredients are present; however, the drug has been altered to the extent that it cannot be considered the same as the original drug.
While the government considered generic drugs to be reviewed and approved, they do not feel the same about compounded drugs—for people or for animals.
The Drugs Most Commonly Used When Compounding Drugs for Pets
As a compounding pharmacy, we make almost all compounds from bulk powder. This makes it possible for us to compound a variety of dosage forms, from oral meds to injectables. Our most common vet preps are flavored oral liquids, capsules (beef or chicken flavored), and transdermal creams.
In some cases, an FDA-approved veterinary medication for a pet could be crushed, with a tuna flavoring added, which ensures a cat is more likely to take the drug. Certain medically necessary drugs, such as poison antidotes, are only available as compounded preparations made from pharmaceutical ingredients.
Ways we Customize Medication
Compounding for your pet can include any manipulation of a drug beyond what is stipulated on the drug label, but is still based on a licensed Veterinarian’s prescription.
This manipulation can include:
- Changing the dosage form of a prescribed drug.
How We Can Help
We are one of Louisiana’s only Sterile Compounding Facilities. All aseptic manipulations are performed in our state-of-the-art facility, which is a Class 100 environment with an ISO Class 7/5 Clean Room.
At Archway Apothecary, we provide high-quality, cost-effective, customized, compounded drug formulations of medications that are not available in the form you might need them in for your pet.