Drug compounding vs manufacturing is a very confusing thing to understand for most of the people who don’t know the exact difference between compounding and manufacturing. There is a certain difference between manufacturing drugs and compounding drugs that can be understood while knowing everything about compounding pharmacy definition and samples of compound medicines. A major difference between drug compounding and manufacturing is their target audience, the drug manufacturing is about manufacturing a certain drug or formula to cure the popular symptoms under the guidance and approval of FDA, so many people may use it at OTC; however, drug compounding is all about customizing the medication’s dosage or state to deal with a certain patient.

What is a Compounding of Medicines?

Tablets in the composition of the pharmaceutical laboratory

Drug compounding is all about customizing the existing medicine by mixing or altering the one or more prescribed ingredients, chemicals or drugs for a certain individual patient. Most of the time, compounding is done to nullify any possible side effects by removing or diluting a certain ingredient that may be allergic to a certain patient. Samples of compounding medicines reveal that compound medicines may be prepared for some specific dosages and the specific state or taste as well.

Which Drugs are in the Manufactured Category?

The process of producing chemical drugs in the factory

All those drugs that are manufactured at a larger scale having some specific dosages to treat some certain health conditions are called the manufactured drugs. These are controlled by the FDA. All OTC drugs lie in the manufactured category because they are always ready-to-cure pre-made medications e.g. all antibiotics, antibacterials, analgesics and anti-Inflammatories are the OTC manufactured drugs that are available for a large audience every time. They all are manufactured in different companies having a certain chemical formula that is approved by FDA.

List of Differences between Compounding and Manufacturing Drugs

There are some certain differences between compounding and manufacturing drugs. Here is a list of most certain differences.

1) Target Audience

The manufacturing of drugs is done on a commercial level to manufacture thousands of pieces in some fixed dosages to target a massive audience. Thousands of people may buy it anytime because they are available as OTC at all certified pharmacies.

On the other hand, the compounding of drugs is done only for a few specific cases where the patient needs a specific prescribed medication that is not already available in the market.

2) Customized Dosages

The manufactured drugs are manufactured under strict guidelines and a default formula to create thousands of pieces to treat many people with the same symptoms. Compounding drugs are only compounded to create the customized dosages for specific individuals. Once any human or pet is given the compounding prescription under some specific circumstances, the default medications are mixed, altered and given specific flavor, to make customized dosages, according to the patient’s needs and interest.

3) Forms of Drugs

Usually, the manufactured drugs are manufactured in some specific forms  i.e. some formulations are only available as tablets while others are only available as capsules or syrup.

On the other hand, the compounded drugs can be made in any of the forms that would suit the patient’s interest and needs. The compounded prescriptions can be made either in tablets, capsules, syrups and even in some oral gels as well. You can visit our pharmacy store to have a look at all the versatility of the compounded medications.

4) FDA Approval

The manufactured drugs are made under some specific chemical formulations, so they are monitored and checked by the FDA before coming to market. There are some certain benchmarks for the manufactured drugs, so they are FDA approved.

On the other hand, compounded drugs are made for the customized usage of the medication, so their prescriptions and chemical formulations are varied from case to case – they cannot be monitored and checked by FDA under the same strict benchmarks. Although, there are some suggested standards for the compounding pharmacies by the Pharmacies Board of Association but compounded drugs are not FDA approved.

5) Prescription Needs

The manufactured drugs are manufactured under the default formulations to treat some specific symptoms. If they do not have any controlled substances, the manufactured drugs won’t need any prescriptions and they are always available as OTC medications.

The compounded drugs require some prescription to know exactly about a certain patient’s customization needs. It usually requires at least a pharmacist’s supervision checking some basic tests and past medical history of the patient.


Drug compounding vs manufacturing are two different mechanisms to make medications. Manufacturing is more of a default medication for all while compounding refers to customized medication for a specific patient. Compounding medications are not FDA approved but they are very beneficial because they can provide you some customized treatment minimizing all the probable side effects i.e. all the allergic items are minimized while compounding prescriptions. So, if you are living in Maryland and looking for some great compounding pharmacy, you can trust our compounding pharmacy services in Kensington, MD.