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How Does Drug Compounding Put Users at Risk?

How Does Drug Compounding Put Users at Risk?The recent outbreak of fungal meningitis that affected 678 patients and killed 44 has left millions of people wondering what “drug compounding” is and how this practice could have lead to such widespread sickness and death. Americans tend to trust their doctors and pharmacists with good reason, but outbreaks like this undermine the confidence we all have with the system designed to ensure our health. San Diego residents should learn the risks of drug compounding.

What San Diego Residents Should Know about Drug Compounding

Drug compounding has been an essential health care service for centuries. Local pharmacists are specially trained to combine certain drugs based on specific prescriptions. In some cases, local pharmacists would compound multiple medications into a capsule, or might create a liquid version of a medication for a patient who could not swallow pills. Pharmacists performed this valuable service at the local level and have long been subject to health department and FDA inspections. While this type of work is basic compounding, it is not the type of work that led to the recent outbreaks.

The source of the recent problems was a massive compounding laboratory that mixed different medications and created supposedly sterile forms of drugs that were designed for intravenous use. These drugs were compounded before any patient was given a prescription. The compounded medications were then sent to doctors, local pharmacists and hospitals to have on hand when needed. This type of collective advance compounding saved money and increased profits.

How Does Compounding Put San Diego Patients at Risk?

In the case of the recent meningitis outbreak a supply of intravenous steroid medications became tainted at the compounding facility with a fungus. The tainted drugs were then injected into the spinal columns of patients. This tragedy revealed a flaw in the current regulatory regimen applied to these new corporate compounding mills. Since state governments regulate pharmacies, there was no federal oversight of this growing industry. Drugs compounded in one state were shipped to another state and made people in several states sick. This tragedy has revealed the following risks associated with the modern compounding scenario:

  • The compounded medications are susceptible to contamination at several points in the process
  • Inspection processes varied from facility to facility, leaving regulators confused and frequently ineffective
  • The technology associated with modern compounding accelerated faster than the laws designed to protect the public

San Diego residents should be aware of the risks of drug compounding in order to keep themselves and their family members safe.

Parallel Risks Related to Illegal “Compounding”

The corporate practice of combining multiple drugs for maximum profitability is disturbingly reminiscent of drug combining practices that have been offered by illegal dealers for decades. Illicit compounding has increased in recent years to include the following recreational drug scenarios:

  • Designer drugs combine stimulants, depressants, hallucinogens and other drugs in potentially deadly “cocktails”
  • Drug addicts may use a stimulant to wake up in the morning and a depressant to sleep at night
  • As an addict’s tolerance increases he may add other drugs or alcohol in order to intensify the effects he seeks

Combining drugs is a major temptation for the chemically dependent. Unfortunately this kind of compounding greatly increases a user’s risk of overdose and death. San Diego addicts combining drugs to intensify their high should seek immediate treatment before they overdose or cause permanent damage to their health.

Drug Addiction Help

If you are concerned about drug abuse or addiction, please call our toll-free helpline right away. Our counselors are standing by any time of day or night with immediate and confidential answers to your questions, as well as access to high quality treatment programs. Don’t take your life in your hands by combining drugs. Call now for the help you need.