NARIO RENE CANTU and DIANA F. RAMIREZ | SPECIAL TO THE MONITOR
Professional compounding by a pharmacist is an effective option for treating conditions or complications experienced by diabetic patients. Compounding provides options to the practitioner and patient, by creating a pharmaceutical product that may not be commercially available. When the patient’s conditions require a unique dosage, formula or flavor, compounding gives them a medication that meets their needs.
In the United States, 30.3 million people had diabetes in 2015, which comprises 9.4 percent of the population. Estimates reveal 100 million Americans had diabetes and pre-diabetes in that same time period. Diabetes and the complications attributed to it, commonly lead to skin disorders and neuropathy. These numbers represent many disease related complications, lending themselves to compounded alternative treatments.
Skin disorders such as circulatory problems, bacterial and fungal infections, diabetic sores or ulcers and heel fissures threaten the health of the patient. Treatments are available that can be prepared to address those conditions. Compounded moisturizers are helpful to promote skin health and integrity.
Neuropathy, which is a disturbing complication of diabetes, responds to compounded medications. When patients begin to feel numbness, tingling or burning of the legs, feet, arms and hands, compounded topical products are a reasonable choice of treatment. Sharp needle pain in the feet can cause difficulty in walking, so relieving some of that discomfort will allow the patient to move with less danger.
Some examples for products used are, phenytoin for neuropathy, I-arginine for circulation and capsaicin for pain, along with gabapentin, ketamine, ketoprofen, lidocaine and nifedipine. These products incorporated into topical preparations alone or in combination, can relieve neuropathic pain. Check with your insurance company and pharmacist to see if any product prepared for you will be covered.
In conclusion, compounded medications prescribed by a practitioner can heal and improve a diabetic’s symptoms but also improve quality of life. Do your research and find a practitioner that is open-minded and knowledgeable in the success of “customized” prescriptions to see if you are a candidate for or if you should use compounded prescriptions.
Nario Rene Cantu, R. Ph, is a local pharmacist and Diana F. Ramirez is the executive director of the Rio Grande Valley Diabetes Association.
The Rio Grande Valley Diabetes Association is a local non-profit organization whose mission is dedicated to the prevention of diabetes and its complication through educational services, early detection and awareness. The RGVDA’s focus is to bring attention on a growing health epidemic that affects one out of every four people in Hidalgo County, making it one of the worst afflicted areas in the country. Type 2 diabetes is preventable and also manageable through a healthy regimen of exercise and dieting.