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Why use a pain cream or gels instead of a pain pill?

Topical pain and anti-inflammatory creams or gels reduce inflammation, pain, swelling and discomfort in localized areas without the typical side effects associated with non-steroidal therapy when taken by mouth. Topical medications are preferred to minimize side effects or problems like stomach upset and drug interactions.


Do Compounded Medications Require FDA Approval?

The FDA approval process is intended for mass-produced drugs made by large manufacturers. Because compounded medications are personalized for individual patients, it is not possible for each formulation to go through the FDA’s drug approval process, which takes years to complete and is prohibitively expensive, often costing hundreds of millions of dollars.


At A&R Pharmacy, we take pride in the quality assurance of our compounded medications which are regulated by the USP, U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention. Every compounding pharmacy must comply with the regulations set by the State Board of Pharmacy of the state in which the pharmacy is located. Each State Board of Pharmacy has the power to set and enforce regulations for compounding in its state, just as traditional pharmacies are regulated. The ingredients used by compounding pharmacies to make compounds come from FDA-registered and inspected facilities. We do take further steps to verify quality by regularly sending samples of our medications to an independent lab for verification of potency and to determine if there is contamination, all to bring you quality in every prescription.


Why use a compound to treat pain? What is considered the appropriate pain patient?

Pain is the most common symptom for which individuals seek medical help. Acute pain easily can evolve into chronic pain, which can become difficult to treat. Many commonly prescribed, commercially available pain relief medications help the symptoms associated with chronic conditions such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, migraine headaches, and other nerve and muscle pain, but they can also result in unwanted side effects such as drowsiness, dizziness or stomach irritation.Many patients taking these medications come to accept these conditions as part of daily life, but they may find a better solution through pharmacy compounding. Compounding offers personalized pain relief. Struggling through chronic pain or the side effects of pain medication does not have to be a daily activity. Pharmacy compounding offers patients customized options for pain medication.

Are there any special precautions?

Do not use occlusive layers over the application sites. Light cotton socks will not interfere. Nylon or wool socks, bandages, heavy clothing that inhibits the flow of air may change the absorption of the cream or gels. If you must cover the application site, wait at least 45 minutes. Do not apply to open wounds or inflamed skin. To quickly remove medication from skin, use a topical antiseptic alcohol type product.
Do not apply heat to the area unless instructed to do so specifically by your physician. If you plan to be outside in extreme heat or sun, do not apply.
Persons who are hypersensitive to any of the prescribed ingredients in any compound should not use the medication unless you have discussed the issue with your physician and/or pharmacist. If any skin irritation occurs, discontinue the use of the preparation and call A&R Pharmacy. Skin irritations rarely but sometimes occur. This is often relieved by application of diphenhydramine (Benadryl) or hydrocortisone cream 1%. This is usually due to use of compression stockings over the affected area, wearing tight fitting garments, shoes, or applying medication to an already sensitive area. Patients may experience a feeling of warmth or coolness. This is considered normal and does not indicate an allergic reaction. Side effects, though rare, have been reported including skin irritation, redness, rash and drowsiness.
Discontinue use if you experience any adverse effects and call A&R Pharmacy at (816) 415-9995 or if problems are severe go to your doctor or emergency room. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may also report side effects to FDA @ 1-800-FDA-1088.

What are the ingredients?

Your doctor may have prescribed one of the following ingredients, Ketoprofen, Diclofenac and Indomethacin which are used to treat inflammation and to reduce discomfort or eliminate pain.
Cyclobenzaprine and Baclofen are muscle relaxers that work differently to achieve their goal. Lidocaine is a non-narcotic numbing type pain reliever. If your product contains lidocaine, do not apply over a 5×5 area.
Ketamine may be used for moderate to severe pain. It is a controlled substance. The DEA requires a social security number or driver’s license if your medication contains this agent.


How do I apply?

We can supply your prescription in a jar or pump for applying the medication, each spoon or pump equals one gram. The medication is typically around 25% powder/chemical; therefore it may be thick and sticky. If this makes you uncomfortable, consult the pharmacist at (816)415-9995
The preferred application technique is to massage the topical gel into the affected area thoroughly as often as your physician recommends and wash hands after application. If the gel should separate and an oil like liquid forms, the gel can be remixed simply stirring with a spoon or knife.


Is it okay to skip doses?

Pain is usually better controlled by applying 2-4 times per day or as the doctor recommends. Every case is different. If once at bedtime is all you need for pain relief, that will suffice.


If you have further question please feel free to call and talk to one of our pharmacists directly at (816) 415-9995.