Compounding for Palliative Care/Hospice
Palliative care is treatment provided to patients who have chronic disease (such as COPD) or terminal illness (such as cancer) and is intended to improve the quality of life, but not cure the disease. This treatment is best provided by a team of specialists that may include doctors, nurses, social workers, clergy, nutritionists and pharmacists. As a compounding pharmacy, we have resources not available at traditional pharmacies, so we’re not limited to a one-size-fits-all solution.
It is important to customize treatment for each patient since diseases vary and patient response to treatments varies. Palliative care aims to relieve and manage symptoms such as nausea & vomiting, pain, dry mouth & stomatitis, wound care, fatigue, loss of appetite, radiation mucositis, constipation and shortness of breath without causing unwanted side effects such as drowsiness, GI upset and constipation.
Here are some examples of what we can do:
- If a patient is unable to swallow medications or is nauseous, we can compound the needed medication into a different dosage form such as a transdermal gel that allows medication to be absorbed through the skin, suppository, troche that is placed between the cheek and gum and absorbed through the blood vessels under the tongue, lozenge, lollipop, or freezer pop.
- When a medication is only commercially available in an oral or injectable form, we can often compound the medicine in an alternate dosage form such as a transdermal gel, which can avoid the need for an IV or injections.
- We can combine compatible drugs into a single dosage form to make it simpler and easier to manage medications.
- Pressure sores (decubitus ulcers) can be very difficult to manage. We will work with your doctor to prepare the best formulation for you, to relieve pain and speed healing.
- When a patient is unable to tolerate the taste of a medication, we can flavor oral preparations specifically for each patient. Coffee, root beer, watermelon, and margarita are just a few of the choices!
- If a patient is suffering from dry mouth (common after head and/or neck radiation), or has mouth tenderness or infections, we can compound medicated dosage forms which may enable the patient to enjoy eating again.
- Wound odor can be extremely embarrassing for patients. We can compound topical preparations to eliminate odor.
We know that life can be very challenging for those suffering from chronic illness and their families and caregivers, but adding the resources of our compounding pharmacy to your arsenal opens a whole new world of treatment options allowing the patient to live life more comfortably. Ask us about becoming a member of your Palliative Treatment Team.
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