Vail Valley Medical Center health column
VAIL CO, Colorado
Our community is rich with amazing scenery, abundant opportunities for outdoor activities and quality health care to name just a few of the valley’s gems. Quality health care doesn’t stop with the top doctors or nurses though; Eagle County also has a pharmacy team in Edwards that offers pharmaceutical compounding – a specialized service that meets the specific medication needs of customers and is a rare commodity for a small mountain community.
Vail Daily: What is pharmaceutical compounding?
August Smirl: Compounding is the means of mixing drugs to fit the specific needs of a patient that aren’t met with the standard prescription or over-the-counter medication. An example is a drug that is only available in an oral form but the patient needs it to be applied topically. Often compounding is helpful when a certain dosage is required for treatment that is not currently available from the pharmaceutical companies.
VD: What type of compounding is performed at the Edwards Pharmacy?
AS: Over-the-counter and prescription medications can be converted into different forms such as capsules, ointments, gels, creams or suspensions. Additionally, dosing can be altered as well as the flavor of the medication. These services are available to humans or for veterinary medications. Compounds for veterinary use are usually made by taking a tablet or capsule and making it in to a liquid dose so it may be given more easily to the animal.
VD: What is the most common type of compound?
AS: The majority of compounds created are in the area of bio-identical hormone replacement therapy. This is a way to introduce hormones to the body more commonly by use of a capsule or cream that meet the specific hormonal need of the person. After consulting with the physician and the patient, a dosage and dose form is determined and then created specific to the patient needs.
VD: What types of veterinary compounding is done in Edwards?
AS: Typically we will change the dose form like a capsule or tablet into a liquid so the pet is able to swallow the medication more easily than a pill. A flavoring system is also available to make the medicine more palatable for the animal as well.
VD: Are flavorings available for humans as well?
AS: Yes, the pharmacists use the FlavoRX system to alter the taste of medications to make them palatable. This is very beneficial in small children taking antibiotics.
VD: Which pharmacies compound in the area?
AS: The Edwards Pharmacy, a public pharmacy located at the Shaw Regional Cancer Center, is the only compounding pharmacy in Eagle County. Most pharmacies can compound to a limited degree like mixing liquids that have been commercially manufactured but the Edwards Pharmacy has the expertise and equipment to compound more specialized products, changing medication form, strength, taste and more.
For more information on pharmaceutical compounding ask your medical provider or call the Edwards Pharmacy at 970-569-7676. The Edwards Pharmacy is open Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and located at 322 Beard Creek Road.
August Smirl, RPh is the manager of the Edwards Pharmacy, a public pharmacy located at the Shaw Regional Cancer Center. Smirl has been a pharmacist for 22 years and been a Vail Valley Medical Center employee for nine of those years. Email comments about this column to firstname.lastname@example.org.