Sometimes it takes more than just a spoonful of sugar to get the medicine down, which is where the Emerald Coast Compounding Pharmacy comes in.
"Our prescriptions are all customized to each patient's needs," said Regina Jaquess, pharmacist and owner. "The whole goal is to provide the right amount of medication to the right site — whether it's topical or oral — with as few of side effects as possible."
Pharmacists at ECCP go a bit beyond the average retail pharmacy and work alongside your physician to customize a medicine that fits all your needs.
"We're a triage — the patient, physician and us. The way it should be," Regina said.
"The pharmacy and doctor are on one side," added office manager, and Regina's sister, Renee. "Based on your symptoms, Regina can make recommendations on medicine to your doctor."
Whether you have an allergy or you'd prefer medicine in a topical cream, ECCP can customize your prescription exactly how you'd like.
"If a patient is in pain, instead of taking an oral ibuprofen, we can make a topical cream to avoid systemic side effects such as stomach ulcers," Regina explained. "We're able to eliminate inactive ingredients that so many people are allergic to such as soy and gluten."
The pharmacy also provides customized prescriptions for children and pets to make medicine not only tastier, but safer. If you can't get your child to swallow a pill, try making it in a lollipop flavor, if your cat is too smart to have medicine hidden in his or her food, try making it in a transdermal gel, which is administered in the ear.
"Renee's Dalmatian had bladder stones and wouldn't take his medicine," recalled Regina. "So I flavored it with bacon and chicken. The next day, her dog opened his mouth when we brought the syringe out."
The application for compounding medications is endless, but Emerald Coast Compounding Pharmacy has seen a need daily for customized hormone and thyroid replacement therapy, dermatology and pain management.
"Bio-identical hormone replacement therapy is where you definitely want to customize because everyone is different," Regina said.
While the idea of customized medicine seems cutting edge, it actually stems for the early history of pharmaceuticals.
"This is how it started," Regina explains. "Pharmacists used to create concoctions using herbs."
Over time, the process has become more technologically advanced. Regina earned her doctor of pharmacy from the University of Louisiana at Monroe in 2009 and took additional courses through the Professional Compounding Centers of America (PCCA).
While the Emerald Coast Compounding Pharmacy is one of the few in the local region, the trend is starting to pick up. As a professional water skier, Regina gets to travel the world, as well as the United States and has noticed an increase in compounding pharmacies.
"It's picking up. They're everywhere in the West Coast," Regina said. "Which is why the pharmacy is such a great opportunity for our area."
Being able to care for the community has been a great adventure, Regina said.
"I really enjoy helping people who are trying to be proactive in their health," she said. "And I look forward to helping everyone I can in the community."
Want to go? The Emerald Coast Compounding Pharmacy is located at 1719 S. County Hwy. 393 in Santa Rosa Beach. For more information, visit eccpharmacy.com.