New, better options available for pets at Essential Pharmacy Compounding

By on March 10, 2017

When you go to the doctor and need a prescription, the doc will prescribe something, then you take your script to a local pharmacy and it dispenses your drugs. Likewise with your pet’s medications, you likely get a script from the vet and go through the same process and to the same pharmacy. Some things are readily available and “over-the-counter” from your vet, but most meds need to be dispensed elsewhere.

And when your dog needs pain medication, or when your cat needs eye drops, taking the prescription to your typical pharmacy is not always your best choice. For one, pharmacists who typically deal with humans and human drugs aren’t required to learn about animal drugs in pharmacy school. There are rotations and continuing education opportunities, but specialization won’t result from a little time working with animal drugs.

There is a place, however, that compounds and dispenses specialty medications just for animals- Essential Pharmacy Compounding (EPC). It’s a division of Kohll’s Pharmacy here in Omaha and is located in the Miracle Hill Plaza. Veterinarian, Dr. Drew Olson runs the show, making EPC the only pharmacy in the country having a doctor of veterinary medicine running the show. This and more is why EPC is your best choice when filling prescriptions for your pets. Customers get the best of both worlds with combined experience of veterinarians and pharmacists.

EPC was the first PCAB accredited pharmacy in Nebraska and remains the only nationally-licensed compounding pharmacy in the state accredited for non-sterile AND sterile compounding. “We revolutionize the practice of healing animals by teaming veterinarians, pharmacists, animal caretakers and industry-leading analytical testing laboratories to improve your patients’ lives, and yours,” says Dr. Olson. “This approach yields the highest-quality medication, which helps animals heal faster.”

There are thousands of drugs specifically designed for humans. There are far fewer drugs for animals. So when a dog is sick, often a human drug is used to treat the sickness. Human drugs, however, aren’t always the best answer. In fact, sometimes they are the worst answer. If your cat is in pain and you give it Tylenol, it will die. The only answer sometimes is to have a drug tailor-made for your animal through a place like EPC.

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If you don’t know, let’s answer the question, “What is compounding?” Essentially, it is the act of preparing personalized medications for patients. Compounded medications are made based on a vet’s prescription and individual ingredients are mixed together in the exact strength and dosage form required by the patient. Basically, a pain pill, for example, is pulverized, a certain amount is added to a base (like a powder or a liquid), and the result is a capsule, liquid, gel, or something else containing just the right med and made just for your pet.

Compounding requires special training. There are only a few places in town that have the capability to compound. Sterile compounding happens in a “clean room” and everything is inspected by the FDA and other agencies regularly. Other non-sterile compounds are also prepared at EPC. It has a special chemotherapy creation room. It’s got three rooms altogether and other hoods located throughout the building. EPC’s accreditation is endorsed by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) and all other important accreditation and oversight organizations. For compounding your animal’s meds, there’s no better place to go.

When will you need a compounded drug? There are many times when you’ll want EPC to compound a drug for your pets. Have you ever tried to give a cat a pill? Wouldn’t you rather have a liquid that could be taken orally and flavored to taste like fish? Or how about a transdermal gel that absorbs through your cat’s skin? Also, when exact dosages, strengths, or combinations of drugs are not available, you’ll need a compound.

The pill is rarely the easiest way to give medication to animals. EPC can present you with a ton of other dosage options including chewable treats, creams and lotions, ointments and pastes and gels, even sterile injections. If there’s a will, there’s a way for EPC to help you get your pets the drugs they need.

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Essential Pharmacy Compounding doesn’t just deal with dogs and cats either. In fact, it’s one of the top compounding pharmacies in the nation for equine medications. Birds, ferrets, reptiles, rodents, rabbits, and more have medications created for them at EPC.

EPC works with your pets, but it also works with performance horses around the country, creating steroids, antibiotics, anti-fungal pastes and powders, and antihistamines available in pastes, injections, powders, and suspensions. EPC has become a recognized leader in equine medication. EPC also works with zoos around the country, including Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo.

“With research, experience, and consultations with zoo veterinary staff, EPC has a unique understanding of the issues that pertain exclusively to zookeepers and the animals they treat,” says Dr. Drew Olson. “EPC is ready to assist vets and keepers in caring for high profile animals, endangered species, and the rarity and uniqueness of zoo animals and their conditions.”

Dr. Olson even developed a drug called PEGy. When at room temperature, it’s a gel that can be applied topically or through an injection. It can also be injected as a liquid. The drug is used to help heal lesions, skin wounds, granulation, and other diseases. Dr. Drew has administered the drug to tortoises, elephants, frogs, wolves, and more.

All this information is amazing and unique, but here is what to take away outside of just learning a bit about EPC:

  • There are options when your dog or cat needs a medication. Pills aren’t the only way.
  • Liquids taken orally taste bad. UNLESS you flavor them through EPC or other pharmacies.
  • Though EPC treats exotic animals, is doing revolutionary things, and is a niche/specialized pharmacy, it still has the capability to treat even to most common ailments your dog or cat can have.
  • The next time your animal needs a medication that isn’t safe to take as its human form, doesn’t come in the strength or dose needed, or you want complete confidence that your pet’s medication is safe, pure, and expertly made, consider EPC. Traditional pharmacists are likely not trained to work with animal drugs and are especially unfamiliar (in most cases) with that happens when compounding them.

EPC is located at 620 North 114th Street next to the First National Bank building. When your vet prescribes a medication for your pet, EPC is the most accredited, reliable, and safe place for the meds to come from.

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