The Right Medicine for You: Comparing Over-The-Counter and Compounding Pharmacies

Doctor and pharmacists checking on inventory

Finding the right type of medicine is easier when you find the right type of pharmacy. In Texas, over-the-counter pharmacies and compounding pharmacies can address medical issues in different ways. But what makes them different from each other?

What Are Over-The-Counter Pharmacies?

Over-the-counter pharmacies are the most common types of pharmacies in the country. They usually carry mass-produced medication from leading pharmaceutical companies from around the world. As per the name, over-the-counter pharmacies provide over-the-counter or OTC medicine or drugs; that is, medicine that is available to consumers without the need for prescriptions.

What Kind of Medicine Do Over-The-Counter Pharmacies Carry?

As the name implies, over-the-counter pharmacies offer OTC drugs. Usually, over-the-counter drugs address common issues such as headaches, fevers, and colds. In other words, OTC drugs are types of medicine that treat health problems that don’t require direct medical supervision.

In some cases, prescription drugs can be reclassified as OTC drugs when they’ve proven themselves to be safe and effective even without medical supervision. This was the case with Benadryl, an antihistamine medication that used to be a prescription-only drug. Over time, its efficiency in addressing symptoms of allergies, as well as its non-addictive properties prompted the FDA to make it available to non-prescription holders.

What Is a Compounding Pharmacy?

Simply put, a compounding pharmacy is a pharmacy that has the equipment, access to ingredients, and the technical know-how to produce medicine. Prior to the FDA assuming control of the large-scale manufacture of pharmaceutical products back in 1938, local pharmacies, in coordination with individual doctors, mixed and created the medication that their communities needed.

Improvements in the large-scale manufacture of drugs in the 50’s were instrumental in the decline of compounding pharmacies and in the birth of over-the-counter medicine and pharmacies. Although the drugs produced by large pharmaceutical companies are safe and effective, some patients still require medicine to address individual needs – and often, these medications are not available as an over-the-counter remedy.

How Do They Make Your Medication?

To address the unique requirements of each patient, compounding pharmacies coordinate closely with the person’s medical provider in order to get as much information as possible about his or her current condition, medical issue, and treatment options. Pharmacists will then take this information and carefully select high-quality compounds to mix to create a medication that is tailored to address your individual need.

Although the practice saw a huge decline in the 50’s onwards, the art of compounding has seen a revival in the past few years.  Advances in technology and processes have allowed pharmacists to once again create high-quality drugs from the comfort of their own clinics.

When it comes to finding a trusted compounding pharmacist with years of expertise, or an over-the-counter pharmacy with the latest and best in OTC drugs, Boerne Drug Company can efficiently meet your requirements. Our pharmacists have extensive experience and knowledge regarding the formulation of custom medication for our clients, and our wide selection of OTC drugs can address the most common issues that people may have. Contact us to learn more about our pharmaceutical services.