A compounding pharmacy is a specialized pharmacy that prepares medications to a doctor's specifications, to meet patients' individual needs. When a pharmacist compounds medications, they in some cases are prepare a liquid or cream form of a medication, prepare capsules that avoid particular fillers or ingredients, or add flavors (such as compounded medications for children and animals). It's also important to note that not all pharmacies are licensed to compound, and most large chain pharmacies, for example, do not compound medications.
Right now, compounding pharmacies are reporting that they have sufficient supply of the raw material -- natural desiccated thyroid powder -- to produce compounded medications in strengths that match manufactured medications like Armour and Nature-Throid.
I had an opportunity to speak with lead pharmacist Ryan Dyer, R.Ph., who with his wife, Christine Dyer, R.Ph., owns Bayview Pharmacy in South Kingstown, RI. Ryan addressed several key questions patients have about getting compounded natural desiccated thyroid.
How should prescriptions for natural desiccated thyroid be written by the doctor so that they can be filled?
According to Ryan, Bayview asks its customers to have the prescription either written or verbally phoned in, and it must specify "compound desiccated thyroid capsules." He said that the dosage can be specified in either grains or mg, but most prescribers specify mg. Note: you can not have a prescription that says "Armour Thyroid," "Nature-Throid" or simply "Natural Desiccated Thyroid" filled by a compounder. The prescription must specify "compound desiccated thyroid capsules."
What fillers are used?
Bayview uses microcrystalline cellulose. According to Ryan, "that's the only inactive product necessary. We don't use lactose, and we stay away from food colors to avoid sensitivity to dyes." The capsules are gelatin, and in rare cases, if someone has a sensitivity to gelatin, a vegetable-derived capsule can be requested.
Bayview's raw material -- the natural desiccated thyroid powder -- is coming from the Professional Compounding Centers of America, and has a certificate of analysis on file showing its purity.
Bayview, like some other larger compounding pharmacies, can fill prescription orders and ship to most states in the United States.
Bayview is on the web at www.bayviewrx.com and can be reached by telephone at 401-284-4505.
Other Compounding Pharmacies
There are a number of compounding pharmacies that are filling natural desiccated thyroid prescriptions for local patients, or for mail order. Two larger compounding pharmacies that are currently filling natural desiccated thyroid prescriptions for patients around the country include:
- Women's International, www.womensinternational.com, Toll Free: 800-279-5708
- Wedgewood Pharmacy, www.wedgewoodpharmacy.com, Toll Free: 888-678-1967
Patients are also sharing information about pharmacies that have pockets of manufactured drugs available -- as well as recommending their favorite compounding pharmacies -- online at the Save Natural Thyroid Coalition site.
- The Armour Thyroid and Nature-Throid Shortage Information Center
- Save Natural Thyroid Coalition Website
- Save Natural Thyroid Coalition Yahoo Listserv