It can be frustrating and discouraging when a medication could help bring your body back to balance in theory, but it doesn’t agree with you in practice. Maybe you are allergic to one of the ingredients in the preparation, the available dosage would be too high and too risky, or the administration method is not one you can tolerate. When the formulation of a medication doesn’t work for you, compounding pharmacies—pharmacies that make custom formulations—may allow you to overcome these barriers.
For a growing number of men and women taking hormone replacement therapy (HRT), however, the benefits of compounding pharmacies go beyond tolerability. For many, custom-compounded HRT is the first choice rather than a last resort, owing to both their form and function. Indeed, compounding pharmacies fulfill an important purpose for patients looking for a truly personalized HRT treatment experience. But as with any decision regarding your health, it’s important to consider the pros and cons of compounding pharmacy options to see if custom HRT is your best option.
What Is Custom-Compounded HRT?
Mass production of prescription drugs in standardized forms and dosages may be the norm today, but it wasn’t always. Before today’s pharmaceutical drug infrastructure was established in the mid-20th century, most prescriptions were filled by preparing and mixing—compounding—ingredients right at the pharmacy. This process was time-consuming and left much to be desired for many types of medications; indeed, mass-production is an ideal method of manufacturing pharmaceuticals in many cases. But not all medications are suitable in standardized forms for all patients, and compounding pharmacies still play a critical role today.
This is particularly true when it comes to HRT. Because hormone balance and hormone therapies are such personal equations, standardized medications may not help all patients achieve the best results. Additionally, many mass-produced hormone therapies are available in only a single form or limited doses, which may not agree with all patients. A compounding pharmacy is able to formulate a medication in the strength, dosage, and administration method requested by your practitioner. Additionally, some types of hormone therapies are available only or primarily in compounded form, including custom bioidentical hormone replacement therapy.
When precise dosages and versatile administration methods matter for your well-being, compounding pharmacies are a valuable option.
A Closer Look at the Pros and Cons of a Compounding Pharmacy
While compounded medications are the only option in some cases, for most patients, things are not so clear cut. Whether a compounding pharmacy’s services are right for you is a very personal decision, and an expert practitioner will be your best resource with which to explore all of your options. In general, however, the advantages and disadvantages of compounding pharmacy include:
The Importance of the Right Partnership
Whether you are in need of a hypoallergenic medication option not available on the mass market or you want to ensure your dosage is tailored to your body’s unique needs, a compounding pharmacy opens up new possibilities for HRT. However, choosing the right practitioner is essential for those who decide to go the compounded route.
The best hormone health practitioners will take into account your symptoms, medical and family history, biomarkers, lifestyle, preferences, and health goals before designing a treatment plan. With this information in hand, they can provide the guidance you need to determine if custom HRT is your best option. If a careful examination of the pros and cons of the compounding pharmacy approach leads you to agree that compounded hormones are right for you, it is then critical for your practitioner to have a relationship with a high-quality compounding pharmacy that can formulate the medications you need to feel your best. Both your practitioner and pharmacy must be responsive to your changing needs, as your treatment may need to be fine-tuned over time.
If custom HRT is right for you, the right practitioner and compounding pharmacy will allow you to experience truly personalized treatment and provide the balance you need to feel your best.
If you want to learn more about the pros and cons of a compounding pharmacy approach, BodyLogicMD can help. The practitioners in the BodyLogicMD network are experts in hormonal health and committed to helping patients alleviate hormone-related symptoms, optimize overall health, and improve quality of life. To get started, contact a local practitioner near you to schedule your first appointment, or take the BodyLogic Hormone Balance Quiz to learn more about what you might gain from reaching out.
Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. All content on this website is for informational purposes only. The content is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent diseases.
Charlotte is a patient care coordinator specializing in bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. She is committed to helping patients who struggle with the symptoms of hormonal change and imbalance explore their treatment options and develop effective strategies to optimize wellness.