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Expanding on the Legal Criteria for Pet Medication Compounding

Pharmacist checking inventory before filling out compounded pet medication script Drug compounding performed by a licensed pharmacist refers to the process of combining, mixing, or altering ingredients to create a medication tailored to the specific needs of a single patient. It is often necessary when a patient is allergic to preservatives or dyes or is sensitive to standard drug strengths. The compounding process can change the strength of a medication or modify its form, making it easier for the patient to ingest and get the medicine they need.

Just as people might have specific requirements for medications, pets may, as well. Compounded pet medications are generally recommended in circumstances when there is no FDA-approved human or veterinary product available to treat the afflicted animal. However, obtaining compounded medication for your pet requires meeting certain criteria. Here, HB Pharmacy, an award-winning pharmacy that specializes in medication compounding for pets, details the legal criteria necessary to receive compounded medications for pets.

How to Receive Compounded Pet Medications

Compounded pet medicine is regulated by the United States federal government (Food and Drug Administration) and state governments. In 1994, Congress passed the Animal Medicinal Drug Use Clarification Act (AMDUCA). This law allows for the extra-label drug use, under certain conditions, of animal drugs. It states a veterinarian or pharmacist can legally manipulate an approved drug with the prescription of a veterinarian to better treat an animal.

Pet medicine compounding is considered legal and obtainable when certain regulations and criteria are met. The requirements to receive compounded medicine for your pet include:

  • An established veterinarian-client-patient relationship (VCPR)
  • The patient (pet) must have a medical condition for which a prescribed medication is needed
  • The veterinarian must determine that a compound is needed for the animal

Some examples of legal medicine compounding that could be performed by a licensed pharmacist include:

  • Mixing two injectable drugs in the same syringe
  • Creating an oral suspension from crushed tablets or an injectable solution to make administering the medication easier
  • Adding flavoring to a commercially available drug to make it more enticing
  • Creating a transdermal gel for a drug, typically taken through other routes
  • Mixing two solutions for instilling into the ear

Compounding Medicine for Food-Producing Animals

Compounding medication rules/regulations are different for food-producing animals than they are for pets. Pharmacists must prevent potentially harmful residues from developing in the meat, milk, or eggs of these animals, which can ultimately affect the nutrients people receive. FDA-approved products have a determined withdrawal time — it is the duration from when the animal was last treated with the drug to when the animal’s byproducts can be safely consumed.

A lack of adequate research makes the withdrawal time of a compounded product unknown. In these cases, the FDA’s extra-label drug use rules must be followed to ensure the safe use of medications.

What Else to Consider  

Much like prescribed medication for humans, prescribed compounded medications should only be given to the animals whose ailments they were designed to treat. Pet owners should not give compounded medicine to multiple animals unless directed to do so by their veterinarian. Using pet compound medications to try to treat a pet not originally prescribed the medication can result in serious health concerns.

Learn More about Compounded Pet Medications at HB Pharmacy

Those with scripts for compounded pet medications from a certified veterinarian can have their order filled by the licensed pharmacists at HB Pharmacy. Since 1964, our experienced team has served patients across Northern New Jersey, Michigan, and other states, fulfilling all their prescription drug needs. Possessing a vast knowledge of compounding practices, we can answer any questions patients may have about this process and its applications. In addition, we are happy to discuss our various products and services, including vaccinations. For more information, contact us today at HB Pharmacy.