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Vol VII June 2005

Village Green Apothecary is committed to guiding your journey to optimal wellness by providing you the latest research on health, nutrition and lifestyle. Most often we share articles on current news topics related to your health interests. This month we're explaining one of the most frequently overlooked parts of pharmacy and nutrition that can help take care of you as an individual seeking care, instead of one of many people seeking care. Read on to learn more about the following health topics...

  • What is a compounding pharmacy?
  • The personal benefits of customized prescriptions
  • Talking to your doctor about individualized health
  • Drug-nutrient depletion

What is custom compounding?

By now we hope that you know Village Green Apothecary is also a compounding pharmacy. You may have heard this before, but don't know what compounding has to do with you. Not so long ago, before you had big drug companies, every pharmacy was a compounding pharmacy, a real apothecary. All this meant was that prescriptions were written like recipes from your doctor. There were no standard pills that came in bottles from a factory. Compounds can be for prescriptions, or for non-prescriptions like herbs, over-the-counter medications, or nutritional supplements.

Why compound?

Every person's body is unique. When individual body differences take priority, compounding pharmacies continue the tradition of making custom prescriptions that match your doctor's exact specifications and meet your exact needs. You can also get non-prescription compounds that most pharmacies cannot provide.

So how does that help you?

Because compounding formulas are tailored to you, your doctor can leave out or add in each possible component. If you have an allergy to an artificial color, dairy, preservative, or something else found in the off-the-shelf drug, at your doctor's instruction it can be left out. Many people use compounded prescriptions to customize pill sizes and medicinal forms. Thousands of compounds each month are made especially for children, the elderly, and for pets! Yes, your veterinarian writes a lot of compound prescriptions, and making a formula your pet won't spit out is very important. Your dentist uses custom compounds too.

What does a compound look like?

The important part of taking medicine is actually taking it. If you have too many pills, pills that are too big, or that taste horrible, it's more difficult to follow your doctor's instruction. Compounding can make prescriptions easier to take because it can often combine medications into fewer pills, or put them together with other medications to be taken at the same time of day. Compounds look like any other medicine you might buy. Some of the compounds we make include:

  • Liquids with unique flavors, or tablets designed to dissolve under your tongue
  • Creams, pastes, ointments, powders, and lotions
  • Capsules in several different sizes
  • Gels, sprays, suppositories, and pastilles or troches

Does Village Green Apothecary make compounds?

Yes. But unlike most compounding pharmacies that only work with prescription drugs, Village Green Apothecary also works with Nutritional compounding. This means we do vitamin, mineral, and herb formulas that most people do not. Our pharmacists have decades of experience with nutrition. We know what drugs interact with which herbs. We know what minerals and vitamins are depleted when you take prescription drugs, and we can help you re-balance your body chemistry. In fact, Village Green is one of only maybe five compounding pharmacies in the country that handles both nutritional and pharmaceutical compounds in the high volume that we do. Click here for a quick reference guide you can use that describes drug-nutrient depletion that occurs with many common prescriptions.

How do you order a custom compound?

First talk to your doctor or practitioner. Tell them that you're interested in a customized prescription. Bring up any issues you have experienced with taking too many pills, pills being too big to swallow, bad tastes, allergies, and less-than-ideal results. If your doctor or practitioner isn't familiar with writing custom prescriptions, tell them to call us! We have made it easier for you to get what you need by writing easy-to-use forms for your doctor, and our pharmacists are happy to answer your doctor's questions. Tell your doctor your concerns about nutrition, ask about the effects that a drug may have in combination with herbs you're taking, or if taking a drug may deplete important minerals or nutrients in your body. You have the right to get a prescription made just for you. Compounds are made to order. Just keep in mind that it takes 2-4 days for any compounding pharmacy to make a compound because since they're not pulling pills off the shelf and bottling a smaller quantity for you like a regular pharmacy order.

Are compounds safe?

Yes, compounds are just as safe as any product bottled by the manufacturer. The raw materials are ordered in bulk from the same companies that pre-fabricate the pills and capsules you are used to buying. These are the same exact drugs and supplements. They just come unpackaged, like the bulk food aisle in the grocery store. Village Green Apothecary has decided not to compound any sterile compounds (like injections and inhalants) so you should not worry about this concern with our pharmacy. We can help you locate a reliable compounding pharmacy that safely produces sterile compounds if you have that need. You should follow the same cautions that you would with any other prescription when taking a compounded prescription.

Are compounds more expensive?

In many cases compounds are less expensive. The exciting part is that compounds are still sometimes covered by prescription insurance. Tell your doctor that you are using insurance and the pharmacist will work with your doctor to identify a prescription formula that your insurance company will accept.


You still have a little time left before Father's Day. We have some special things in-store for the special men in your life.

Also don't miss the three in-store demo/product samplings in June:

  1. Saturday, June 18 -- Zia Natural
  2. Wednesday, June 22 -- Rainbow Light
  3. Saturday, June 25 -- BioChem (and $150 Gift Basket giveaway)

Call 301.530.0800 and press 6 to hear about all our current promotions.


These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration, nor are they or these products intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. Information presented is of a general nature for educational and informational purposes only. If you have any concerns about your own health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional. References are available upon request. If you would like more information at any time, please e-mail

Village Green Apothecary is located at 5415 W. Cedar Lane, Bethesda, MD 20814. You are receiving this e-mail because you recently elected to receive newsletters and coupons via e-mail. To unsubscribe, simply reply to this e-mail and write "UNSUBSCRIBE" or "REMOVE" in the subject line.

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