A compounding pharmacy is a type of pharmacy that makes medications from scratch, instead of simply dispensing medications that are premade in a factory. Your doctor may recommend such a pharmacy if you have a hard time taking medication in a certain form; for example, if you cannot swallow pills, or if you're allergic to the ingredients in many factory-made medications. If it's been recommended that you visit a compounding pharmacy or are considering their use, note a few misconceptions you might have about their products and services, and discuss any questions you still have about your medications with your doctor.
Compounding pharmacies don't give you different medication
A pharmacist may offer you a different brand of a medication; in many cases, this will be a generic brand that is cheaper than the brand recommended by your doctor or that you've always taken. However, those medications are still the same, as are the medications provided at a compounding pharmacy. The pharmacist will prepare your medication in a different form, such as a syrup versus pill, but they cannot offer you different medicines or fill the prescriptions with different medicines than those your doctor has prescribed.
Medicines from a compounding pharmacy aren't healthier and safer
A compounding pharmacy doesn't offer you any type of healthier or safer alternative to your medication, as said above; this means you still need to watch for certain side effects or drug interactions with your medicines. However, being able to take your medications as prescribed, which can be easier if a compounding pharmacist changes the nature of the medication, can ensure your good health. You may be less likely to skip a dose and fail to get enough medication when the compounding pharmacist offers something you can more easily and readily take.
Compounding pharmacies may be covered under your insurance
Don't assume that going to a compounding pharmacy means that your insurance won't cover your prescriptions; it's good to call your insurance carrier to see what costs they would cover or reimburse you for, depending on your plan. It might be that any extra fees from the pharmacist, above the cost of the medicine itself, would need to come out of your own pocket, but not always. The compounding pharmacist themselves can also typically answer any questions about your own costs, depending on your insurance and the type of medication you need. In all cases, don't hesitate to ask about your costs rather than assuming it's too expensive for you to visit a compounding pharmacist.