Frequently Asked Questions
What is compounding?
Pharmacy compounding is the art and science of preparing customized medications for patients. Modern technology, innovative techniques, and research have allowed more pharmacists to customize medications to meet specific patient needs. Today, an estimated one percent of all prescriptions are compounded daily by pharmacists working closely with physicians and patients.
How does compounding benefit me?
There are several reasons why pharmacists compound prescription medications. The most important one is what the medical community calls “patient non-compliance.” Many patients are allergic to preservatives or dyes, or are sensitive to standard drug strengths. With a physician’s consent, a compounding pharmacist can change the strength of a medication, alter its form to make it easier for the patient to ingest, or add flavor to it to make it more palatable. The pharmacist can also prepare the medication using several unique delivery systems, such as a sublingual troche (lozenge), transdermal gel, or suppository for those patients who are having a difficult time swallowing a capsule a compounding pharmacist can make a suspension instead.
What kind of prescriptions can be compounded?
Almost any kind. Compounded prescriptions are ideal for any patient requiring unique dosages and/or delivery devices. Compounding applications can include: Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy, Veterinary, Ophthalmic, Dental, Dermatology, Chronic Pain Management, Sports Medicine, Infertility, and Podiatry.
Will my insurance cover compound medications?
Maybe. We are in network with several major insurance companies and will work with those companies to see if your medication is covered. All policies are different and some patients with same insurance company will get different results for same medications. Part of the reason is because compounded medications are exempt by law from having the National Drug Code ID numbers that manufactured products carry, and thus some insurance companies will not directly reimburse the compounding pharmacy. However, many insurance plans allow for the patient to be reimbursed directly by sending in claim forms that we will be happy to complete for you.
Is compounding expensive?
Compounding may or may not cost more than a conventional medication. Its cost depends on the type of dosage form and equipment required, plus the time spent researching and preparing the medication. Fortunately, compounding pharmacists have access to pure-grade quality chemicals which dramatically lower overall costs and allow them to be very competitive with commercially manufactured products.
Is compounding legal? Is it safe?
Compounding has been part of healthcare since the origins of pharmacy, and is used widely today in all areas of the industry, from hospitals to nuclear medicine. Over the last decade, compounding pharmacies resurgence have largely benefited from advances in technology, quality control and research methodology. The Food and Drug Administration has stated that compounded prescriptions are both ethical and legal as long as they are prescribed by a licensed practitioner for a specific patient and compounded by a licensed pharmacy. In addition, compounding is regulated by state boards of pharmacy.
In every field of medicine, there are some patients who don’t respond to traditional methods of treatment. Sometimes they need medicine at strengths that are not manufactured by drug companies. Sometimes they simply need a different method of ingesting a medication. Pharmaceutical compounding meets these needs. It provides a way for doctors and compounding pharmacists to customize an individual prescription for the specific needs of their patient.
Who can prescribe compounded medications?
Medical doctors, doctors of osteopathy, and naturopathic doctors can prescribe compounded medications.
Can patients request information on compounded medications/products for their doctors?
Patients are welcome to request information on compounding and various compounds from their physician, however some doctors may not have information readily available to put in the hands of the patient. In this case, we encourage patients to contact us to receive the information that they or their doctors need.
How can I find prices for certain prescriptions and/or other products?
Because all prescriptions vary in dose and strength, you should call LowCountry to receive price quotes on your prescription at (843)-645-9973
Does LowCountry accept medical insurance?
Yes. We are in network with several major Pharmacy Benefit Managers and currently working on more. If we are unable to process your claim or if it is denied, we can provide you with Universal Compounding claim forms to submit to your insurance company for potential reimbursement. Note: Certain prescription coverage plans provide different coverage stipulations for compounded medications.
What is the procedure for applying for reimbursement from my medical insurance company?
Every insurance company is different and requires various types of information for reimbursement claims. We advise patients to contact their insurance company, and inquire about their specific reimbursement process(es). We can also provide patients with Universal Compounding claim forms to submit to their insurance companies in order for them to find out if they are eligible for reimbursement.
Note: Certain prescription coverage plans provide different stipulations for compounded medications.
HORMONE REPLACEMENT THERAPY
What kind of side effects can I expect while taking BHRT?
Side effects after proper dosing are unusual. However, fluid retention, headaches and irritability are sometimes reported. An adjustment in dosage typically takes care of these symptoms.
Why do I need Progesterone if I have had a Hysterectomy?
Progesterone is a precursor hormone, and produces many necessary effects other than effects on the uterus.
In his article “Natural Progesterone” by John R. Lee, MD points out the following benefits for progesterone: It can help use fat for energy, it’s a natural diuretic and it’s a natural anti-depressant. It also facilitates thyroid hormone action, normalizes blood clotting, restores libido, normalizes blood sugar levels, prevents endometrial cancer, stimulates osteoblast bone building, maintains secretory endometrium and protects against breast fibrocysts.
Does BHRT require a prescription?
Yes, by law, all compounded medication requires a prescription.
What kind of doctor can prescribe this? Does it have to come from my gynecologist?
Any Medical Doctor (MD) or Doctor of Osteopathy (DO) can prescribe NHRT; it does not necessarily have to come from your gynecologist. A Naturopathic Physician (ND) can also prescribe bio-identical hormones as long as they are licensed in a state that recognizes prescribing rights.
How do I know if I need to be on BHRT?
Only your doctor can help you make that decision. In general, anyone who needs HRT (particularly someone who can’t tolerate, or doesn’t want to take, the animal derived or synthetic products) would be a candidate for BHRT.
Is BHRT usage common?
Yes. As awareness of BHRT grows, the number of women on BHRT and the number of doctors recommending it as an alternative is growing.
What is the difference between Biestrogen and Triestrogen?
There are three types of estrogens: Estrone (E1), Estradiol (E2) and Estriol (E3). Biestrogen consists of 20% Estradiol and 80% Estriol. Triestrogen consists of 10% Estrone, 10% Estradiol, and 80% Estriol.
Why do females need testosterone?
Testosterone secretion is a normal part of a woman’s cycle. It helps improve libido, strengthen bone, and provide symptom relief in difficult menopause cases.
What is the difference between the OTC DHEA and your compounded DHEA?
OTC DHEA comes in set doses. Compounding allows for different strengths of DHEA. In addition, our compounded version is the bio-identical hormone, and some OTC versions may not be.
How do I know what dosage I should be taking?
Saliva and blood tests are accurate ways of measuring current hormone levels in your body. From those tests-and from your current symptoms-your doctor should be able to pinpoint a specific dosage for you.
Are blood/saliva tests required to determine what dosage strength I need to take?
Some doctors do not utilize testing, but it’s a good idea to ascertain your levels at least once yearly.
I’m experiencing some side effects. How can I get my dosage changed?
If you are experiencing any side effects, it may be that your levels need to be checked. Your doctor can assist you in determining whether your dosage needs to be changed or not.
Why has my testosterone prescription expired?
Testosterone is a controlled substance, and by law, prescriptions of controlled substances are only valid for 6 months. Your doctor may have put 8 refills on your prescription, but we are only allowed to honor 5 refills within 6 months-possibly even less, depending on how the prescription was written. We will be more than happy to call your doctor for refills.
What are the hormones derived from?
The “Bio-Identical” hormone powders can either be derived from soy or yam. A molecule is extracted from either soy or yam and, through a series of chemical processes, is then converted to look identical to the molecular structure of the hormone produced in the human body. Patients who are chemically sensitive to one can choose the other option.
Can you talk to my doctor and assist in formulating my dosage?
Any of our certified staff will be more than happy to talk with your doctor if he/she would like.
Is a compounding pharmacy different from a major chain pharmacy?
Yes. Many patients require customized medications to meet unique medical needs. Chain pharmacies do not have the equipment necessary to provide these services.
Because many patients are allergic to dyes and/or preservatives, or are sensitive to standard drug therapies, they are unable to be treated with mass manufactured drugs. In these instances, physicians prescribe compounded medications to change the strength, alter the delivery form to make it easier for the patient to ingest, or change the flavor to make it more pleasant.
Who prepares compounded prescriptions?
At LowCountry Compounding Pharmacy compounded prescriptions are prepared by certified compounding pharmacists as well as pharmacy technicians, Once a medication is compounded, the order goes through a series of checkpoints before it reaches our shipping department. These measures are taken to ensure accuracy.
Are compound medications FDA approved?
The FDA does not have an approval process for compounded drugs. In recent years most state boards have developed a section of their rules and laws to deal specifically with compounding pharmacies. Each state’s board of pharmacy oversees adherence to, and enforcement of, these rules and laws.
What is the difference between a compounding pharmacy and a pharmaceutical company?
A compounding pharmacy is not a pharmaceutical company. A pharmaceutical company is a drug manufacturer, and falls under the regulation of the FDA. By definition, drug manufacturing is the production, marketing and sale of a product to an entity other than the patient. When a doctor prescribes a compounded medication, the compounding pharmacy customizes the preparation of the pharmaceutical solutions for that patient. Physicians rely on compounders for pharmaceutical solutions when “patent” prescription medications inadequately address their patients’ needs.
What are LowCountry’s hours of operation?
LowCountry Compounding Pharmacy’s business hours are from 9am until 5pm EST, Monday through Friday. You can contact us on the phone during those hours or you can email our staff at email@example.com anytime and you will receive and answer as soon as possible.
What dosage forms can LowCountry formulate?
LowCountry can prepare different compounds with specialized delivery mechanisms such as topical creams (in an emollient cream base), topical PLO (pluronic base), topical liquid drops, liquid suspensions, oral capsules, vaginal suppositories, vaginal creams, injections, nebulized medications, troches (dissolved under the tongue), and oral powders.
How quickly do you process orders?
Most standard orders are shipped on the same day the order is received. With rare exceptions, most orders are shipped within 24 hours of receipt, Monday through Friday. Our staff will communicate with you and let you know exactly when your order is shipped and when you can expect to receive the order.
What methods do you use for shipping?
We ship via USPS Priority as a standard unless something else is requested. We also ship UPS/FedEx Next Day on all refrigerated prescriptions.
Note: Overnight deliveries cannot be sent to PO Boxes
How can I pay for my prescription?
We accept MasterCard, Visa, Discover and American Express as well as most FSA Cards
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