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Mixing in a Compounding Pharmacy in the 21st Century

Author(s):  Standridge Rob

Issue:  Nov/Dec 2015 - Volume 19, Number 6
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Abstract:  When it comes to combining ingredients for topical preparations, compounding pharmacists utilize either the manual methods such as a spatula and pill tile or a mortar and pestle, typically an electronic mortar and pestle. If a topical preparation must be pre-ground or requires trituration, or any level of particle-size reduction, historically the manual method of combining ingredients in such a preparation would include the initial use of a mortar and pestle; however with micronized substances this is not as much a concern today as in the past. There is, of course, the concern of a lack of reproducibility, knowing that each compounder might utilize the equipment differently, would mix for varying times, and would also mix with varying amounts of physical pressure applied to the pestle. If the discipline of uniform usage is great enough in the lab, this method could probably produce consistent results, but, because of the preparation and cleanup time and the fact that newer technology is available, this method is not recommended as the common compounding method in a compounding pharmacy that does more than a handful of compounded topical preparations per week. This article is not meant to say these methods are not appropriate, but preferable in order to provide a cleaner, more efficient, and more reproducible lab environment.

Related Keywords: Rob Standridge, DPh, BSPharm, topical preparations, electronic mortar and pestle, equipment, technology, unguators, mixers, grinding, particle size reduction, suspensions, emulsions, gels, Gako, closed mixing systems


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