According to the American Chronic Pain Association, approximately one in three Americans suffers from some type of chronic pain. That’s nearly 50 million people! Not surprisingly, chronic pain is the primary cause of adult disability in the United States. If you’re one of the millions of chronic pain sufferers, you know that chronic pain impacts your daily life and your ability to enjoy life to its fullest. You also know that your pain treatment is sometimes inadequate. You may wish to consider compounding (link to “what is compounding page here) as part of your treatment program and long-term pain management.
What is chronic pain?
First, it is important to understand what chronic pain is. Unlike acute pain, which is typically short-lived and associated with a specific cause, chronic pain often persists for three months or more and outlasts the expected healing process. Since chronic pain usually has a myriad of causes and perpetuating factors, it can be difficult to manage and can have psychological or emotional effects on the patient. Some examples of chronic pain include cancer pain, headaches, fibromyalgia, back pain, arthritis, and neuropathic pain resulting from injury to the nerves.
Managing chronic pain
Pain control is essential for chronic pain sufferers to live a full life. Your team of physicians and other health care professionals can help develop an effective approach to your pain management. The success of your long-term pain management depends on flexible and expert responses to your changing needs. Your physician should monitor your progress with regular follow-up and routine recording of pain intensity along with other vital signs.
Compounding for pain management treatment
Buffalo Pharmacies combines the art of medication compounding with the latest medical knowledge and state-of-the-art technology to best meet your medication needs. After a careful analysis of your pain, your physician can work directly with our specially trained compounding pharmacists to create an individualized medication program to treat your chronic pain. We will develop customized dosage forms based on your prescription from your physician. Compounding multiple medications allows for individualized and specialized treatment program that maximizes the benefits of the medications. This balanced approach to pain management can help alleviate your chronic pain and help you lead a full and active life.
Benefits of compounded medications
There are many benefits to using compounded medications to treat your chronic pain:
- For ease of delivery, medications can be compounded into many different forms such as creams or ointments; topical sprays and powders; lozenges, lollipops, or freezer pops. Plus, to make administration simpler, we can combine compatible drugs into a single dosage.
- When medications are out of stock or unavailable, we can obtain the drug as a bulk powder and compound a similar preparation.
- We can compound medications without unnecessary additives and preservatives. Some of the ingredients we use even enhance the absorption of topically applied medications.
- We develop compounded medications according to each patient’s individual needs, providing the most appropriate, beneficial dosage with a reduced risk of side effects.
- We can compound specialized and unique formulations that your physician has specifically developed to meet the needs of his/her patients.
Compounded medication forms
For ease of delivery, pain medications can be compounded into the following forms:
- Topical NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory)
- Concentrated capsules
- Combination drugs
- Extended release capsules
- Creams and ointments
- Transdermal gels
- Mouth rinses
- Nasal sprays
While most people think of medications given orally, rectally or via injection, transdermal gels are an alternative delivery method that provides an excellent route for absorption into your skin. Transdermal bases are frequently made of Lipoderm or PLO (pluronic lecithin organogel), an emulsion-based gel that originates from water-in-oil micro emulsions. This very stable compound shows no harmful effects when applied to the skin for prolonged periods of time. Transdermal gels have several advantages over traditional medication forms:
- Are easy to administer and help patients comply with medication program
- Avoid the gastrointestinal tract, causing less stomach upset
- Avoid influence of stomach acid, food, and gut flora
- Cause less irritation and toxicities
- Allow for absorption control
- Allow for multiple application sites
Does my health insurance cover compounded medications?
YES, in most cases. Many patients are responsible for paying only their insurance company’s co-pay, such as in traditional pharmacy. We recommend, however, that you review your individual insurance policy for details on what your health insurance policy will cover.
Your pain management treatment plan
The pharmacists at Buffalo Pharmacies suggest that you consult with your physician about the possibility of compounding for your pain therapy. Our pharmacists and your health care provider will then work closely together to determine the most effective course of treatment for you. To contact Buffalo Pharmacies directly, please call us at 716-568-1370.