Medications are not unfamiliar to cancer patients. Often times, these patients are not only receiving medications for their treatment but also are receiving medications to treat the side effects of their therapy. It can be cumbersome to take many different pills in hopes to just be able to perform normal routine activities. How many “extra” drugs does a patient have to take? There are other options for controlling those side effects rather than having to “pop another pill”.
At compounding pharmacies, pharmacists and their technicians are able to create new forms of traditional medicine. There are numerous formulations that can be specifically made for each patient. Symptoms of nausea and vomiting can be alleviated with a topical cream containing common anti-nausea medication. Many variations of mouthwashes have been formulated to help with generalized mouth pain and sores. Burning and itching can occur after radiation treatments in which compounding pharmacies can create a lotion with aloe vera as well as other ingredients.
There are many additional symptoms that oncology patients have to worry about other than the ones that directly associate with their cancer. The goal of compounding is to make it easier for the patient and to provide remedies for the symptoms. There are many options! Explore them with your physician and pharmacist!
Brooke Lawrence Aldrich, PharmD
Lawrence Drug & Compounding Lab