Friday 9 December 2016

Retired Pharmacist Marla Ahlgrimm Discusses Compounding

Marla Ahlgrimm
Plant-derived, bioidentical hormones are FDA approved to treat symptoms associated with menopause. However, according to retired pharmacist Marla Ahlgrimm, the most effective dosages are those tailored to a woman’s specific needs. Here, Ahlgrimm explains the process of compounding and why there is no single dose right for every woman.

Q: What is compounding?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Pharmaceutical compounding is the process by which a licensed pharmacist combines two or more medications. Compounding is used for the general public in cases of allergies to certain ingredients in a prescribed medication, failure to respond to a generic dosage, or when a drug has been discontinued. Many women need dosage strengths that are not commercially available. When the medication does not come mass manufactured in the strength needed or dosage form needed, it must be compounded.

Q: Is compounding helpful to women undergoing HRT therapy?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Yes! Women’s hormones change at different rates. What works for one may have a no effect on another. Customizing a woman’s dosage ensures that her body gets exactly what it needs to compensate for the missing hormones.

Q: Who decides the ratios for a compounded HRT regimen?

Marla Ahlgrimm: A woman undergoing HRT therapy may be prescribed a blend of hormones according to her doctor’s prescription. Depending on the hormone and her personal preference, her prescription may be oral, sublingual, vaginal, or a topical cream.

Q: What are the benefits of personalized medicine in general?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Pharmaceuticals, either in the form of bioidentical hormones or other medication, is often most effective when given according to a person’s unique needs. Compounding also offers the patient and doctor the opportunity to refine the dosage until relief iis achieved. Though compounded prescriptions are not regulated by the FDA, they are considered safe when obtained at an accredited pharmacy specializing in compounding.


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