Trends in Pharmacy Compounding for Women’s Health in North Carolina: Focus on Vulvodynia

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Abstract

Objectives

To identify trends in compounding pharmacies with a focus on women’s health and, more specifically, the types and combinations of medications used in the treatment of vulvodynia.

Methods

This survey study was conducted with 653 nonchain pharmacies that compound medications. Each pharmacy was asked to complete a 19-item online survey assessing general practice and common compounding indications, focusing on women’s health.

Results

Of the 653 pharmacies contacted, 200 (31%) responded to our survey. Women’s health issues ranked third (19%) among the common indications for compounding, preceded by otolaryngology (30%) and dermatology (28%). Of the medications compounded for women’s health, the most common indication was bioidentical hormone therapy (73%) followed closely by vaginal dryness (70%) and low libido (65%). Vulvodynia, or vulvar pain, was the fourth most common indication for compounding medication for women’s health issues (29%). Vulvovaginal infections were reported as an indication for compounding medications by 16% of respondents.

Conclusions

Vulvovaginal symptoms are a common indication for compounding medications in women’s health. Further research in understanding the rationale for using compounded medications, even when standard treatments are available for some of these symptoms (eg, vaginal dryness, vulvovaginal infections), is warranted.

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