bottles against the wall
Something old is new again.

In this modern medical world of miracles, where robotic surgery has become common, the latest way to have your medicine dispensed is by a compounding pharmacy. Once a relic from the past, compounding pharmacies have become increasingly popular in the present.

Unlike the busy chain pharmacy on just about every corner in every town, the compounding pharmacist has time to talk with you, to really listen and understand your medicines. Because he has studied pharmaceuticals in detail, he can answer your questions and help monitor your prescriptions. As important as medications can be to your well-being, it is essential to understand how they should be taken, how often and how they may interact with other drugs you are taking – or even with your favorite foods.

a pharmacist using a mortar and pestle

Chad Straughan is a pharmacist at Tidewater Pharmacy and Compounding in Mount Pleasant, which has been open for several months, and he’s excited about providing custom formulations for clients. He explained that Tidewater Pharmacy and Compounding “is the only PCAB (Pharmacy Compounding Accreditation Board) in the Lowcountry.” That accreditation is your assurance of the highest quality standards in the preparation of your custom medications.

Why switch to a compounding pharmacy? Unlike regular drugstores, compounding pharmacies can customize prescriptions for all your family members, including pets. More than a few people skip their medicines for a variety of reasons, and, if you don’t take the drugs, you may be compromising your health.

Perhaps the prescription you need is not available in the strength you require. In that case, the pharmacist can make it stronger or weaker according to your physician’s orders. Or if the medicine you need only comes in pill form – and you have an aversion to swallowing pills – the compounding pharmacist can make a liquid version. If the medication is too large, it can be made smaller. For people who have difficulty getting a capsule down, the pharmacist can switch it to a pill or liquid. Sometimes medicines just don’t taste good. If that is the case, compounding pharmacists have an array of flavors that can be added to make the medicine go down easier. There are even yummy flavors that your dog or cat will love – good news for pet parents.

While the big chains may be convenient for one-stop shopping, they may cost you more – and not just because of the impulse items you might pick up. Consumers often check on pricing to find the lowest cost for their prescriptions at the major chains but neglect to check the compounding shops. Straughan said many don’t realize that compounding pharmacies may save you money on your medications.

“Independents are usually cheaper,” Straughan said. “We’re a member of a buying group. If the powder is available, we can buy it.”

As important as medications can be to your well-being, it is essential to understand how they should be taken, how often and how they may interact with other drugs you are taking – or even with your favorite foods.

Because compounding pharmacies stock the individual components of a medication, they are able to offer quick service. Straughan takes great pride in the customer service that is part of every transaction at Tidewater Pharmacy and Compounding, which goes as far as free delivery of prescriptions and equipment. Most deliveries can be made the same day.

“We’re fast,” Straughan added. “We can make your prescription within two to three hours. I’ve stayed late or come in early because I understand people need medications quickly.”

Hormone replacement therapy is another area of importance both for men and women. For example, many women suffer from serious symptoms of menopause but are reluctant to embark on long-term medication. Tidewater Pharmacy and Compounding has partnered with local physicians to create custom formulations for their patients.

“With bioidentical therapy, less estradiol is needed,” Straughan explained.

Straughan said the combination of hormones can be exactly customized to each customer’s specific needs.

In addition to custom medications, compounding pharmacies also offer the full complement of prescription drugs, over-the-counter medicines and health needs, including items such as walkers and canes. You’ll even find specialty items, such as lifting recliners for those who have difficulty standing. Tidewater Pharmacy and Compounding offers shoes that are good for your feet, as well as orthotics for a variety of conditions, including for diabetic patients.

Highest quality prescriptions compounded with excellent customer care. That’s what a pharmacy should be. Isn’t it time you had a family pharmacist?

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