The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine

Great NY Podiatrists Offer Compounded Medications

Posted by on Friday, February 13th, 2015

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NY podiatrists often run into patients suffering from foot pain who are concerned about the side effects of taking oral medication to manage their condition.Fortunately, there are many non-invasive treatments for foot pain, including platelet rich plasma injections, laser treatments, and shockwave therapy. While we offer all of that here at The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine in New York City, we can also offer a safer alternative to drug therapy known as “compounded medications.”

compounded medication in podiatry
Compounded medications were around long before big drug manufacturers. Image Source: Wikimedia.org

Why use compounded medications?

“Compounds offer an alternative to oral medications in patient who are unable to take these meds,” explains Dr. Ryan Minara, who says he has been prescribing compounded medication more often. “Many times, and anti-inflammatory would benefit a patient, but they are unable to take an oral medication due to GI issues or possible renal issues. As there is a low systemic absorption rate, topical compounds try to work directly at the site of the problem with minimal effect to the rest of the body. Compounds also allow us to tailor a medication to each specific patient and specific pathology.”

Benefits of compounded medication include:

  • Patients have lower blood levels of medication when compounded medication is applied topically.
  • Multiple drugs can be combined into one medication, making it easier on the patient to take everything prescribed.
  • Safe, clinically effective medications can be created more affordably, without paying for brand name patents.
  • Risk of GERD and ulcers is decreased.
  • There is a lower risk of drug interactions.

How is compounded medication used in podiatry?

Compounded medication may be used to treat:

  • Achilles tendinosis
  • Arthritis inflammation
  • Bursitis
  • Diabetic neuropathy
  • Dorsal nerve entrapment
  • Hallux limitus with osteoarthritis
  • Heel keratosis
  • Interdigital neuromas
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Ulcers

Often, NYC podiatrists prescribe Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatories (NSAID) pain medication like topical flurbiprofen or topical ketoprofen, along with a lidocaine anesthetic and anticonvulsant like gabapentin for greater relief and tolerance in patients with foot pain. Verapamil, a calcium channel blocker used to treat high blood pressure and heart arrhythmias, is routinely used to treat plantar fibromatosis.

Are there any drawbacks to compounded medication?

“As with many medical treatments, compounds sometimes are not as effective as we would like. They also have to be used as directed with care taken to follow instructions precisely in order to have a positive effect,” Dr. Minara explains. He says that is one reason why some patients may fare better with office treatments like lasers or injections, which require no compliance other than keeping one’s appointment.

Also, he says, “Some types of compound meds can leave a tacky residue, but this is usually well tolerated.” He adds that the absorption of medication can be aided by following a podiatrist’s instructions. Patients are sometimes directed to massage the cream into the skin for two minutes, apply to wet skin, or use heat therapy along with the medication to ensure effective delivery. Other times, a special type of occlusive bandage may be applied over the medication to prevent it from getting on clothing.

To learn more about custom-prepared topical medications for foot pain or to book with a board-certified NYC podiatrist, contact our Manhattan office on East 88th Street at (212) 996-1900 or our White Plains office on Mitchell Place at (914) 607-2519.

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If you have any foot problems or pain, contact The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports MedicineDr. Josef J. GeldwertDr. Katherine Lai, Dr. Ryan Minara and Dr. Mariola Rivera have helped thousands of people get back on their feet. Unfortunately, we cannot give diagnoses or treatment advice online. Please make an appointment to see us if you live in the NY metropolitan area or seek out a podiatrist in your area.