Customised medication such as nasal sprays and oral gels, sounds like something from the past. Your doctor prescribes you the pharmaceutical ingredients which are biologically active. You take them to a pharmacist and they will manufacture them from scratch as they were not mass-produced but personalised. With so many over-the-counter options available, one may wonder, why compounding medication is necessary? In this article, you’ll read about the most common applications of this kind of drug.

Why are they still necessary?

A compounding pharmacist can save your life if you need a specific medicine that is not commercially available. A compounding pharmacy can manufacture your medications in a different form. It could happen for many reasons. Some patients who can’t swallow pills can have their medicine in liquid form or via transdermal gel. Some young children are very resistant to taking medications. For those, you can adjust the dosage form and flavours to soften their resistance.

With compounded medication, you can bring back discontinued medications. Some medications aren’t viable for pharmaceutical companies, halting their mass production.

Pros and cons

Versatility is the forte of compounded drugs. Still, there could be side effects and other risks associated with this kind of medicine. In this section, you’ll compare their strongest and weakest points.


  • Compounded drugs allow for unique treatments and administration of drugs otherwise unavailable.
  • The dosage can be adjusted according to patients needs and tolerances.
  • You can order drugs that are no longer commercially available.
  • Professionals must follow strict guidelines and hold accredited qualifications.
  • There are handbooks and compilations with the most common formulae. So, you don’t take chances with your medicine.


  • Compounded drugs are not assessed by the Pharmacy Board of Australia, like regular medications.
  • They can be much more expensive than regular drugs.
  • Most of them aren’t covered by any health insurance or healthcare system. It can increase prices.
  • Mishandling of components can lead to ineffective medication or cross-contamination.

Are compounded drugs safe?

Compounded drugs aren’t assessed for efficiency and safety, as regular medicines are. This happens because it would be impossible to check so many individualised drugs. Despite this fact, the compounding drugs industry is almost as regulated as the big ones. Professionals in this field must hold certifications. Certifications aren’t granted to laboratories without the least required equipment and personnel. So, compounded drugs are safe if registered pharmacies provide them.


Compounded drugs or off-the-cuff drugs have their space, while big pharma cannot match their ability to adapt. Compounding pharmacies craft medications specifically for each patient. So, they don’t have to worry about a drug being viable or not. They must follow guidelines and standards from the Pharmacy Board of Australia, attesting to their quality. You should always compare your compound medication with regular ones (where there is any) for cost-effectiveness and potential benefits.