Chronic pain is a common, complex problem in the United States that is often treated with oral pain medications, however, these may not be the best treatment for all patients. Chronic pain can vary widely from person to person, so the tailored approach offered by pain management
compounding may be a better option for some people.
Chronic pain can last for weeks, months, or even years and can manifest on its own, or as a symptom of other medical problem such as, inflammation, an injury, or another disease, including: arthritis, fibromyalgia, migraines/headaches, muscle pain, or nerve pain. Living with
chronic pain can also lead to muscle tension, limited mobility, reduced energy, and depression.
What is different about pain management compounding?
Oral pain medications may provide pain relief but they can also have unwanted side effects. These side effects can interfere with daily activities and may require the use of additional medications. Some of the most common side effects associated with oral pain relievers are:
- Gastrointestinal upset
- Abuse potential
- Sedation/decreased cognition
- Complex dosing regimens that may require the use of multiple pills given several times a day
Compounding, however, offers a customized approach to pain management that can address some of these challenges associated with the use of oral pain medications.
- Alternate formulations/dosage forms: compounded pain medications can be delivered as dissolvable troches, nasal sprays, or topical creams, lotions, or gels that can be applied directly to the site of pain.
- Reduced systemic absorption: topical formulations such as lotions and creams can offer the advantage of less systemic absorption which may lead to fewer side effects and reduced risk of abuse and/or addiction.
- Varied strengths: since each person is unique in their size, symptoms and pain tolerance, retail products may not offer the best dosage strength for each patient but compounding for pain management allows your doctor and pharmacist to work
together in order to find the best strength for every person.
- Customizable drug combinations: compounding allows multiple active ingredients to be combined into a single formulation. This flexibility means a single product can contain medications that target multiple pain receptors. Many times, oral medications with different active ingredients need to be taken as separate pills. Therefore, compounded formulations may offer greater convenience as well as potentially better efficacy compared to single-ingredient products.
Chronic pain can be very debilitating and affect other areas of your life, so it’s important to work with your doctor to find the best product for your individual pain. If you are living with chronic pain, talk to your pharmacist or doctor to find out how pain management compounding may be able to help provide you pain relief with fewer side effects.