There are three basics routes of administration for medications to get into the body. These are oral (pills), injectable, and topical (applied to the skin). While oral and injectable routes are the most effective and the most commonly used, new advances in the production of compounded topical medications has led to increased use of these. They can be used in conjunction with other treatments , or, sometimes as the primary treatment.
The word “compounding” refers to the process of a pharmacist actually mixing up the medication. These are not something that one can get at the local pharmacy, rather they are specially ordered from a company that compounds them.
The most common conditions treated with compounded topical medications are arthritis, plantar fasciitis, neuropathy, warts, and fungus infections.
One common condition that affects the foot is plantar fasciitis, which causes inflammation and pain in the plantar fascia, which is the tendon that begins on the bottom of the heel and runs along the bottom of the arch. Compounded medications for plantar fasciitis can include anti-inflammatory agents such as ketoprofen or diclofenac, pain relieving agents such as lidocaine, capsaicin, or CBD. Thes medications are also very effective for various types of arthritis, tendinitis, and muscle pains.
Another foot problem that can benefit from compounded topical medications is neuropathy, which is characterized by tingling, burning, pain, and/or numbness. Compounded medications for neuropathy may contain medications such as gabapentin or amitriptyline, which relieve symptoms.
Compounded topical medications have the advantage of safety, as very little to none of the medications are absorbed into the body. Rather, the medications are just absorbed through the skin and act locally. Adverse effects are extremely rare and minor. They also have the advantage of versatility, as the doctor can individualize the compound for each patient as necessary.
The doctors of Melbourne Podiatry Associates use these medications when appropriate for their patients. These medications provide additional treatment options for many patients. Ask your doctor if one of these medications may be helpful for you.