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While many medications on the market address numerous medical issues, the dosages don’t always fit some patients’ needs. In other cases, patients respond better to different medication forms, such as topical creams and tinctures over capsules and tablets. This need for alternative medicine forms has birthed pharmaceutical compounding, which is the science of creating medication personalized to a patient’s needs by combining different ingredients. It is then customized to an exact strength and dosage, providing patients precisely what they need to treat an illness.

Compounding medications are available in any compounding pharmacy in Edmonton, although you may wonder how pharmaceutical compounding came to be and how it works. While it sounds relatively new, pharmaceutical compounding dates back to the earliest human civilizations.

The Origins of Pharmaceutical Compounding

According to A History of Pharmaceutical Compounding published in Secundum Artem, pharmaceutical compounding began approximately 60,000 years ago. It became widespread in the early 20th century in which companies began to mass-produce pharmaceuticals, which eventually became the norm.

Humans have always found creative solutions using nature, thus the historical exploration with medicinal plants such as ephedra, cannabis, and opium poppies. Throughout the centuries, we have also heard of mystical healers, such as healers, apothecaries, and shamans, who have utilized nature to find effective ways to treat illnesses. With their knowledge, they combined different plants to create medications.

In the late 19th century, apothecaries began the transition to synthetic drugs, which birthed the modern pharmaceutical industry. At this time and until the early 20th century, compounding was the usual course. However, later on, government regulations clamped down on drugs production, which is how the mass-production of pharmaceuticals overtook compounding medicines as the norm.

Pharmaceutical Compounding Today

Like many other phenomena, older practices like pharmaceutical compounding has made a comeback. There is now a demand for personalized compounded medications, as mainstream drugs do not always fulfill people’s individual needs. Many patients have displayed allergies or intolerances to commercially available drugs, making pharmaceutical compounding necessary to treat their conditions.

As many factors affect a patient’s reaction to a drug, such as their weight, body chemistry, and even age, not all mass-produced medications are a perfect fit for people.

What Pharmaceutical Compounding Treats

There are many situations in which pharmaceutical compounding offers the most effective solution. One of these is the production of bioidentical hormones, compounded medications derived from plant hormones that are biologically identical to humans. Some of the most commonly replicated hormones are estrogen, testosterone, and progesterone. Beneficiaries of bioidentical hormones include women undergoing menopause, who experience drastic hormonal changes.

Pharmaceutical compounding is also useful for pain management, as it offers a viable alternative method of administering medication in the most beneficial way for a patient. Some common pain relief medications result in unwanted side effects that can complicate the issue. However, with compounding, pharmacists can remove the ingredients that cause the side effects while changing the medication method into a much more agreeable one, such as a topical gel or cream.


There are many uses of pharmaceutical compounding that have transformed the lives of many. Thanks to its customized approach, each medicine can be tailor-fit to a patient. Pharmaceutical compounding is often a feature in pharmacies that deliver and add even more convenience to the wonderful practice.

Rite Choice Pharmacy is a pharmacy with a low dispensing fee that offers pharmaceutical compounding and medical supplies in Edmonton. We offer free home delivery for prescriptions, healthcare, travel clinic, and compounding services. Contact us today to find out what we can do for you!