Compounding

Are You Playing by the Rules?

Make sure you understand all the do’s and don’ts of compounding. View our recorded webinar. (AVMA members only.)

Compounding is intended to provide for individually mixed drugs for specific patients with special needs not met by FDA-approved drugs. Compounding is any manipulation of a drug beyond that stipulated on the drug label. Manipulation might include mixing, diluting, concentrating, flavoring, or changing a drug's dosage form to accommodate a specific patient's needs.

Compounded preparations can sometimes provide effective therapies for treating painful or life-threatening medical conditions in animal patients. Compounding is a needed tool and it provides much-needed therapeutic flexibility for veterinarians, especially considering the wide range of species and breeds veterinarians treat. On the other hand, if done incorrectly or inappropriately, the use of compounded preparations can lead to prolonged treatment needs; adverse events, including treatment failure; liability; or even enforcement action by federal or state authorities.

Compounding should be implemented based on a licensed practitioner's prescription, to meet the medical needs of a specific patient.

Examples of compounding:

Examples of compounding would include:
  • mixing two injectable drugs;
  • creating an oral suspension from crushed tablets or an injectable solution; or
  • adding flavoring to a commercially available drug.

AVMA continues to share with veterinarians and the public our understanding of the rules, our policies and advocacy for veterinarians to have appropriate and needed flexibility for compounding, and other information made available by the Food and Drug Administration and others.

About compounding:

AVMA's messages on compounding:

To AVMA members

To FDA

To Congress