‘Compounding’ may be possible alternative to Tamiflu

FILE -- This Wednesday, March 15, 2006 file photo shows the antiviral drug Tamiflu. (AP Photo/Michael Probst/file)

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – With so many flu cases, Tamiflu is in top demand. But what if you can’t find or take it? There is one possible solution.

It’s a decades old pharmaceutical practice called “compounding.”

When News Channel 8 stopped by the Davis Islands Pharmacy, Kathy Maguire was picking up her Tamiflu prescription.

Pharmacist Bob Bobo says it’s a wise choice.

“It does cut the severity down and it does cut the duration,” he said.

As of now, he doesn’t know of any shortage of the brand name version in the Tampa Bay area.

“It is available,” he said. “The generic, there is a shortage of. We have plenty of it on the shelf, though.”

But for some patients, Tamiflu isn’t an option and that’s why compounding can be an alternative.

“Compounding is usually used to get an exact dose. Possibly to get rid of something someone is allergic to for a different route of administration if they can’t swallow pills,” Bobo said.

In that case, a licensed pharmacist combines, mixes or alters a drug’s ingredients to create a tailored medication, topical or even suppository.

“I hear some pharmacies are doing it because it’s less expensive. But the brand is available and we’re not supposed to compound when it’s available,” he said.

As for Maguire, she was just eager to get home and take her Tamiflu.

“I’ll do anything to shorten the duration,” she said.

The local availability of Tamiflu fluctuates, so be sure to call multiple pharmacies to see who has it in stock.

Follow Jenn Holloway on Facebook


WFLA.com provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s