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Everything You Need to Know About Compounded Medications for Pets

You want the best for your pet. And when it comes to their health, you want to make sure they get the right treatment. But what happens when your pet requires a medication that isn't commercially available in that dosage or form? This is where compounding comes in.

What Is Compounding and Compounded Medication?

Compounding is the process of creating a medication tailored to an individual patient's needs. A compounding pharmacist creates a medicine by customizing the dose, form and flavor required by the patient.
In the case of pets, this could include changing the strength of an existing medication to a pet-friendly dosage, converting a pill into a liquid form for easier ingestion or adding flavors to make it more palatable (at Mixlab, our chicken-flavored chew treats are a hit!).

Compound vs. Commercial Medications

Commercial medications are mass-produced and sold in standardized doses and forms. On the other hand, compounding can create medications that are more specific to an individual pet's needs. Compound medications can also include additional ingredients like flavorings and palatability enhancers.

Is Pharmaceutical Compounding Regulated?

The FDA has compounding guidelines and federal rules require that compounded medications are made from FDA-approved ingredients. Additionally, veterinary compounders must adhere to state pharmacy laws and regulations to ensure the compounded medications are safe and of the highest quality That’s why it’s important to partner with a pharmacy that keeps quality at the forefront.

8 Benefits of Compound Medication

There are several instances where compounding might be necessary or beneficial for your pet.

1. Customized Dosages

Compound medications allow veterinarians to tailor the dosage to meet the specific needs of individual pets. This is particularly useful for animals that may require a dosage that is not commercially available or for those that need a smaller or larger dose than what is readily manufactured.

2. Flavoring Options

Pets can be finicky when it comes to taking medication. Compounding pharmacies can add flavors to medications to make them more palatable for animals. This can be especially helpful for pets that resist taking medications in their original form.

3. Alternative Administration Forms

Some pets may have difficulty swallowing pills or tablets. Compounded medications can be formulated into different forms, such as liquids, treats or transdermal gels, to facilitate easier administration.

4. Combination Medications

In cases where multiple medications are required, sometimes it’ll be possible to compound multiple medications into a single dosage form. It can already be difficult to give one medication — let alone multiple — to a pet, so this can simplify the administration process and improve compliance.

5. Allergy-friendly Formulas

Pets, like humans, may have allergies to certain ingredients found in commercially available medications. Compounding pharmacies can create medications without specific allergens, making them more suitable for individual pets with sensitivities.

6. Discontinued or Unavailable Medications

Some medications may be discontinued by manufacturers, on back-order or may not be readily available for veterinary use. Compounding pharmacies can recreate these medications, ensuring pets receive the necessary treatment without delay.

7. Treatment of Unique Conditions

Certain medical conditions in pets may require specialized medications that are not commercially available. Compounding allows veterinarians to create formulations that address the unique needs of individual animals.

8. Improved Compliance

When medications are more palatable and easy to administer, pet owners are more likely to comply with the prescribed treatment regimen. This can lead to better health outcomes for the animal.

Our Most Common Compounded Pet Medications

At Mixlab, we dispense hundreds of compounded medications for pet parents and their prescribers across the United States. Last year in 2023, our most common compounds were:
  • Methimazole
  • Prednisolone
  • Gabapentin
  • Metronidazole
  • Fluoxetine
  • Doxycycline
  • Ursodiol
  • Amlodipine
  • Omeprazole
  • Pimobendan

How to Find a Reputable Veterinary Compounding Pharmacy

To find out which pharmacies are licensed to operate in your state, it is recommended to check your state’s board of pharmacy. You may also want to consider accreditations from independent third parties like the Pharmacy Compounding Accreditation Board (PCAB®) — we’re PCAB®-accredited at Mixlab!
It is important for veterinarians to ensure that the pharmacy complies with the United States Pharmacopeial (USP) Convention standards, such as General Chapters <795> and <797> for non-sterile and sterile compounding.

Talk to Your Veterinarian About Prescribing with Mixlab

It’s our mission to provide exceptional care for pets and those who care for them. How do we do it? Personalized products (including compounded and commercial medications!) and delightful experiences. Squeaky toy, anyone?
Talk to your veterinarian about switching your prescriptions over to Mixlab and enjoy free next-day shipping on new orders!