General Guidelines of Compounding and Dispensing in Pharmaceutics

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General Guidelines of Compounding and Dispensing in Pharmaceutics: Today, most dosage forms of medications are already pre-packaged by the manufacturer and thus the Pharmacist’s role is more in the redistribution of medications and the clinical aspect of Pharmaceutical Care. However, the basic principles of compounding and dispensing are very much important for them.

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Compounding is a specialized process to change dosage form (e.g. solid to liquid) and includes the preparation, mixing packaging, or labeling of a drug in response to a prescription written by a licensed practitioner according to the need of a patient.


Dispensing is a pharmacy act that consists of the removal of two or more doses from a bulk drug container and placing them in another container or envelope for later use by a patient.

The similarity between Compounding and Dispensing

  • Compounding and Dispensing both processes are performed against prescription of a Registered Medical Practitioner.
  • Compounding and Dispensing could be performed at the same place simultaneously (Only in Pharmacy).
  • Compounding and Dispensing require supervision and the presence of a Registered Pharmacist.

Difference between Compounding and Dispensing

  • Compounding involves the preparation, mixing, labeling, and packing of medicine whereas Dispensing involves giving already available packed medicine/drug manufactured by pharmaceutical manufacturers to the patient or patient’s caretaker by evaluation of prescription.
  • Compounding could be performed only in pharmacies whereas Dispensing is performed in Pharmacy and Druggist/Chemist both places.
  • Standard references should be followed during compounding and compounded medicines should be labeled properly whereas dispensing doesn’t necessarily need a standard reference to follow because already packed medicines/drugs are involved in the process.
  • Technical Knowledge is required for compounding, so it must be carried out by the Pharmacist itself whereas Dispensing doesn’t require deep technical knowledge, so it can be carried out by a helper under the supervision of a Pharmacist.

General Guidelines for Compounding and Dispensing

  • Wear a freshly laundered overall coat.
  • Dispensing bench, equipment, and container must be clean.
  • Read the prescription carefully to make sure you understand it and that it is legally correct.
  • Ensure that the prescription has the name and signature of the prescriber and the stamp of the health center.
  • Ensure that the prescription is dated and has the name of the patient.
  • Confirm that there are no pharmaceutical or therapeutic incompatibilities in the preparation.
  • If necessary find the formula of the preparation.
  • If you are not sure about the correct method of preparation refer to your practical notebook.
  • Select and weigh the correct ingredients.
  • Always return the ingredients back to their place.
  • Balance must be tarred before use, (Re-zeroing balance by hitting the Tare button on it)
  • Balance must be placed in an air-free place.
  • Never weigh less than minimum or more than maximum weight declared on the balance.
  • Collect the correct container and closure.
  • Look up the storage conditions for the preparation.
  • Write the main label and collect any special labels that are required.
  • Check the labels and fix them on the container.
  • Pack the preparation in a suitable container.
  • Check the finished preparation.
  • Pack the container in a suitable box and write the patient’s name and address.
  • Make the appropriate records in your register.
  • The record must be kept for a minimum of 2 years or according to the law.


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