PALLIATIVE CARE - Providing Comfort for People with Serious or Life-Threatening Illnesses

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Palliative care is focused on providing comfort and relieving symptoms and stress of chronic illness, rather than curing the disease. We work to improve a patient’s quality of life so that they are able to enjoy their time with loved ones and even pursue satisfying activities. Although palliative care is often associated with cancer or Hospice, patients with chronic, progressive pulmonary disorders, renal disease, chronic heart failure, and progressive neurological conditions, as well as children with serious illness, can also benefit.

 

We work together with patients, their caregivers and the healthcare team to provide solutions for the following problems:

 

Nausea & Vomiting may be caused by the disease or by the treatment, such as chemotherapy. When a patient is unable to swallow or “keep down” medication, we can compound the needed drugs into transdermal dosage forms such as topical gels and creams or rectal suppositories.

 

Mucositis - one of the most agonizing side effects of certain types of chemotherapy is mucositis, which is a painful inflammation or ulceration of the lining of the GI tract, anywhere from the mouth to the anus. Patients with mucositis are often unable to eat. Reduction of caloric intake can lead to weight loss, loss in muscle mass strength and other complications, including a decrease in immunity. Our compounding pharmacist can prepare oral gels and rinses – and even lollipops - to decrease the pain and speed the healing of mucosal lesions. We can compound preparations containing glutamine which has been shown to decrease the risk of mucositis in patients who are receiving bone marrow transplants.

 

Oral Thrush is a fungal infection that commonly occurs in the mouth of patients who are immunosuppressed. We can prepare pain relievers and antifungals in the form of lozenges, suspensions, and lollipops to increase the contact time between the medication and the mouth, and help with the healing process.

 

Xerostomia (dry mouth) may occur as a result of radiation therapy to the head or neck, or as the result of conditions such as Sjogren’s disease. We can compound medications to help stimulate saliva flow.

 

Flavored Oral Medications– Taste changes can occur as a consequence of chronic disease. We can flavor oral medications according to each patient’s preference. 

 

Pain Management – Ask us about customized medications for pain management.

 

Wound Care – We can compound various medications and combinations to help with healing and fight infection.

 

When needed medications are not commercially available, our compounding professionals can help. We can prepare customized medications in the most appropriate dose and dosage form for each patient. By changing the route of administration, for example from intravenous to transdermal, we can eliminate the need for injections. Please contact our pharmacist for more information.

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