In Focus: Compounding Pharmacy, Personalized Vitamins and Custom Formulations

Here at Nutrichem, we are transforming healthcare by redefining medicine. We offer a myriad of services, from clinical pharmacy to nutrition to naturopathic medicine to body chemistry balancing (BCB) testing to IV therapy and a full retail store.
Empty bottles being filled with tablets
Nutrichem—Canada’s Leading Integrated Pharmacy and Clinic

Here at Nutrichem, we are transforming healthcare by redefining medicine. We offer a myriad of services, from clinical pharmacy to nutrition to naturopathic medicine to body chemistry balancing (BCB) testing to IV therapy and a full retail store. Our list of integrative services is a lot to digest at first glance, so we thought we’d start by clarifying the heart of Nutrichem—our compounding pharmacy, personalized vitamins and custom formulations.

What is a Compounding Pharmacy?

Although a pharmacy may appear mundane to many, compounding pharmacy is a true art form, seeing as it is the practice of making prescription medications from scratch. Up until about the mid-20th century, all pharmacists were “compounders” wherein they not only dispensed medications on behalf of a physician but also made them by hand! Then, as with many sectors following the Industrial Revolution, medication began to be manufactured, which led to the inception of our modern pharmaceutical companies.

Pharmacists were now left to simply dispense medications as opposed to making them. This made sense from an efficiency perspective but left physicians, pharmacists and patients in a “one size fits all” scenario, which is not always the case for many. As time and the industry progressed, the value of compounding became clearer. It then made a comeback at the turn of the century, when certain pharmacists and independent pharmacies sought out additional training to offer their customers better care and individualized medicine.

Is Compounding Pharmacy Really Necessary?

Absolutely! Most pharmaceutical medications work for most people, but they do not work for everyone for a variety of reasons. Custom compounds meet the needs of those who require a different set of parameters for their medications, which is why they are so valuable. Furthermore, customizing a medication to a patient’s specific needs allows for better compliance, in turn leading to better health outcomes.

The Benefits of Compounding Pharmacy

  • A cleaner product—ensuring medications are free of fillers, binders, dyes, alcohol and allergens like eggs, dairy and gluten
  • Sometimes a patient needs a lower or higher dose of a specific medication
  • Multiple medications can be made into one, making it easier for the patient
  • Alternate delivery methods like powders, liquids, creams, gels and suppositories for those who have difficulty swallowing pills
  • Flavoured options for little people and pets!

What are Personalized Vitamins and Custom Formulations?

Compounding pharmacy is not just for prescription medications. It is also used to make custom nutritional support formulas that meet the exact requirements of your body. At Nutrichem, we use body chemistry balancing (BCB) testing to assess exactly what nutrients your body needs, in the exact forms and dosages. We know that one size does not fit all for medications, but many people do not realize that this also applies to nutrients. Unfortunately, the majority of consumers purchase supplements that use low-quality forms of vitamins and minerals, in turn creating products that have poor bioavailability that the body cannot use efficiently.

Moreover, because dosages are standardized, many consumers end up taking nutrients that are not specific to their actual nutrient levels and individual biochemical needs, which in some cases can be harmful. For example, there is a segment of the population that carries a mutation of the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) gene, where there is an inability to convert folic acid to methyl-folate—the active form of folate. In most cases, your commercially available multivitamin and B complex formulas use folic acid. This creates a scenario where this segment is forced to supplement the daily basics separately. Personalized vitamins can solve this problem because methyl-folate in the exact dosage is used. Plus, extra vitamin B12 can also be added, because those with MTHFR mutation usually suffer from a deficiency.

Custom formulations don’t just stop at personalized vitamins either, seeing as other Natural Health Products (NHPs) like minerals, fats, enzymes, amino acids, probiotics and botanical plant medicines can be added, creating a highly advanced formula unique to you and no one else! These superformulas are extremely convenient because they come in powder form, making your healing journey a little easier to swallow.

Did You Know?

The MTHFR gene mutation affects approximately 40% of the population.

Nutrichem is a NAPRA Compliant Compound Pharmacy

In order to ensure full compliance with the National Association of Pharmacy Regulatory Authorities (NAPRA), Nutrichem moved into a new, state-of-the-art facility in 2019. From extremely high ceilings to highly sophisticated air filtration and ventilation to designated rooms for hazardous, sterile and non-sterile preparations, you can rest assured that our custom compounds and formulations meet the highest standards of hygiene and safety.

Your One-Stop Shop for Personalized Health Solutions

When we say we’ve got you covered, we really mean it. From a large health food retail store to a naturopathic clinic, we offer more than most compounding pharmacies out there. We’ve also been at this since 1981, which is why we are confident in the services our team of experts offer. Whether you need to pick up an NHP or high-end natural body care or require a prescription, stop by. We’d love to serve you! Book in with one of our clinical pharmacists and naturopathic doctors today if you are interested in compounding pharmacy and the other integrated services we offer.

*This article is not intended to represent medical advice. Please contact a qualified health practitioner if you want to use any natural health products for specific health conditions. Furthermore, please note that the terms “female” and “male” are strictly used to represent biology and in no way reflect one’s gender identity or expression.

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Naturopathic Doctor Sophie-Pollon-MacLeod
Dr. Sophie Pollon-MacLeod, B.Sc., N.D.

Dr. Sophie is a Naturopathic Doctor and Sports Nutritionist with a passion for evidence-based approaches to supporting her patient’s health. Prior to obtaining her doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine, Dr. Sophie completed her undergraduate degree in Human Kinetics at the University of Guelph. She is also a personal trainer with over 8 years of experience.

Her experience as a trainer ignited her passion to pursue a career in healthcare and help others towards feeling their best. Dr. Sophie combines her expertise in exercise physiology and naturopathic medicine to support her patients towards achieving weight loss, improving performance and aiding in pain management. She goes beyond symptom management and utilizes a full-body approach to get to the root of health concerns. Dr. Sophie possesses additional qualifications from the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN) and Functional Range Conditioning (FRC®).