In this article:
  • Learn what drug compounding is, and why it’s necessary in veterinary medicine.
  • Understand the rules that apply to veterinary compounding.
  • Understand how AVMA protects veterinary access to compounded medications.


Compounding—the manipulation of a drug product beyond what is described on its product label—is necessary in veterinary medicine to provide individualized medication for patients with special needs.

Compounded preparations can provide effective therapies for painful or life-threatening medical conditions in animal patients whose needs can’t otherwise be met by FDA-approved products. Compounding provides much-needed therapeutic flexibility for veterinarians, especially considering the wide range of species, types, and breeds that we treat.

However, if done incorrectly or inappropriately, the use of compounded preparations can lead to prolonged treatment needs; adverse events, including treatment failure and potential liability; or even enforcement action by federal or state authorities.

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

Compounding guidance for veterinarians

Learn about regulatory parameters, quality control assurance, and practice considerations when using compounded products in veterinary medicine.

Learn more