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Flavoring is a key component of the compounded pet medication

Flavoring medications is one of the most important choices in specifying a compounded preparation for a patient. Flavors can disguise bad-tasting drugs; this is where the art of compounding meets the science of compounding. Pharmacists use flavor strategically, by complementing the existing flavor of a medicine (for example, adding a fruit flavor to a sour-tasting medication), or by masking it altogether with a strong, pleasant taste that overshadows the flavor of the medicine. Some medications use a less bitter insoluble salt or use secondary flavors to mask bitter end-notes.

Additionally, enhancers like sweeteners and salt help mask bitterness. Other enhancers can also be used to improve the feel of the medication in the patient’s mouth. (Anything that can make a medication feel non-gritty, smooth or creamy can generally improve patient compliance.)

Many of the meat flavors used by Wedgewood Pharmacy use the actual proteins for each flavor, which is important to note if your patient has allergies to the flavor you specify. We also have synthetic flavors, like marshmallow, available in some dosage forms. See more than 30 available flavors for compounded preparations from Wedgewood Pharmacy.

Pet owners may ask, “Why not just use foods as flavoring?” Foods typically are not used in compounding because they can spoil, significantly increase the volume that needs to be given because foods are less concentrated than most flavoring agents used and may interfere with the bioavailability or stability of the medication.

Learn more about the role of compounding in veterinary practice.

We've recently published a guide to compounding pharmacy in veterinary practice as an ebook downloadable from our website. In it, you will get a comprehensive overview of

  • the most commonly prescribed compounds
  • when to and when not to prescribe a compounded medication
  • how dosage forms and flavoring may increase patient (and owner) compliance
  • instruction on how to write a prescription for a compounded preparation
  • statistics on how veterinarians are using compounds in their own practice
  • information on how to choose a compounding pharmacy for your practice
Your copy of the Guide to Compounding Pharmacy in Veterinary Practice from Wedgewood Pharmacy is now available for download.

Renee Lupo, R.Ph., F.A.C.A., F.A.C.V.P.
Renee Lupo, R.Ph., F.A.C.A., F.A.C.V.P.
Technical-Services Pharmacist
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About Renee Lupo

Renee Lupo, R. Ph, F.A.C.A., F.A.C.V.P., technical-services pharmacist for Wedgewood Pharmacy, was the company's lead technical/clinical pharmacist, working with prescribers and their staffs to develop custom formulations. She passed away on May 31, 2012, after a brief illness. A scholarship was established in her name at the University of the Sciences.

The views expressed on this blog are solely those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or positions of Wedgewood Pharmacy.

Medications compounded by Wedgewood Pharmacy are prepared at the direction of a veterinarian. Many compounded preparations are commonly prescribed, and supported by literature, to treat particular disease states, but you should always consult your veterinarian before taking or administering any compounded medication. Wedgewood Pharmacy does not make claims for the efficacy of its compounded preparations.