January 2021

Compounding Interest: At Bluffton Pharmacy, the latest pharmaceutical trend is something they’ve been perfecting for more than 30 years.

Author: Barry Kaufman | Photographer: M.Kat Photography

It’s a fact of life, particularly as you get older. You have to take your medicine. And as much as the current state of medicine seems like the realm of science fiction, with new advancements lengthening lifespans and letting us live healthier lives, there are a few notable areas where the science falls short.

For example, the medications we take. While they achieve miracles, they are by necessity not tailor-made by the manufacturers for each individual patient. Some of us experience adverse effects like stomach aches from taking medication orally. Some of us have allergies to the secondary ingredients in our medications such as dyes, lactose and gluten.

It’s an inevitable function of mass-manufacturing, one that has allowed more people to get the medicines they need. But when it comes to your individual needs, it could be that the one-size-fits-all approach simply doesn’t work.

Thankfully, the rise of compounding pharmacies has given us more options for the medications we have to take. Through their expertise, they can reformulate your medications to create something uniquely yours. That could mean compounding it into a different medium—turning a pill into a liquid or a topical, for example. Whatever it takes to customize your medications to your own needs.

In recent years, their popularity has skyrocketed, with about 7,500 compounding pharmacies nationwide. For Bluffton Pharmacy, it’s nothing new.

“Compounding has been a part of what we do since Bluffton Pharmacy was founded in 1988,” owner Rob Vaughn said. “There’s a lot of experience here in that realm. When you look at compounding medications … there’s a lot of attention that needs to go in for each individual. That’s something that really needs to be taken into consideration.”

With this year being the year we all pay a little more attention to our health, it’s an amazing tool. “If you want to take whatever medication you’re on but in a different form, we can compound those and really make your medications work for you so you can keep your health and wellness on track,” Vaughn said.

One aspect of compounding that is helping push new frontiers of science is hormone compounding, boosting vitality by re-introducing to our bodies the hormones we naturally lose as we age. “We certainly do a lot of hormone replacement and things that people need in order to feel young and a little bit more alive than they typically would,” Vaughn said. “It’s a tricky thing, but it’s very effective and something we’ve done for so long.”

For an aging population, these hormone therapies have been a godsend, turning back the hands of time and helping to reclaim some of that lost youth. “It’s part of the aging process, but people are really starting to come around to the fact that it doesn’t have to be,” Vaughn said.

And it’s not just humans that benefit from the versatility a compounding pharmacy offers. “We’ve just entered into a relationship with a wholesaler that does specific veterinary medicines,” Vaughn said. “The range of what we can do in that world has expanded quite a bit. Anything you need, for your pet mouse up to your horse, we can compound medications that might otherwise be hard to find.”

Not only do these new medications help treat a greater variety of animals; they help pet owners treat their finicky cats and dogs. Anyone who has ever tried to sneak a pill into a piece of cheese, only to see their dog spit out the pill after enjoying their treat, knows what a big deal this is.

“We can do so much with this medication,” Vaughn said. “We can do treats or chews, or we can compound it into a liquid then flavor it with chicken or beef or bacon. They just lap it up.”

And if there was ever a town that knew the importance of keeping their pets healthy, it’s Bluffton. “I’ve never seen a place so tied to their animals,” Vaughn said. “It’s like treating another member of the family.”

So, whether you’re looking to work on your own health and wellness this year or that of your furry friends, compounded medicine offers an entirely new world of options customized for you. At Bluffton Pharmacy, you’ll find more than 30 years of experience in this brave new frontier of medicine.

Bluffton Pharmacy is located at 167 Bluffton Rd., Suite B, Bluffton. For more information, visit blufftonpharmacy.com, or call (843) 757-4999.

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