How It’s Made: Medicinal Creams

How It’s Made: Medicinal Creams 1024 538 Community Clinical Pharmacy

How It’s Made: Medicinal Creams

Custom Compounded Medications

If Marie Callender applied to work in our lab, we’d hire her in a heartbeat. Making a pie and compounding a medicinal cream are remarkably similar processes. Both require precise measurements, a delicate balance of wet and dry ingredients, and unique mixing techniques using specialized tools.

But while most people know the basics of what goes into creating a good-for-your-soul pastry, relatively few can relate how to compound that much-better-for-your-health medicinal cream. We’re here to shed some light on that mysterious process, recipe style.

Community Clinical simplifies the cream compounding process (in the form of a recipe) to better inform and educate the Mesa, AZ community. Community Clinical Pharmacy -the experts in compounding cream medication with precision and experience, utilizing the most advanced technologies.

You Will Need:

  • Raw active ingredients
  • A mortar and pestle
  • Wetting agent
  • A Mazerustar
  • Cream base
  • A mill


1. Weigh

Weigh out each powdered active ingredient to the thousandth of a gram using a computerized scale. Precision is key, so the computer records each weight and flashes a warning if anything is outside of our high-accuracy standards.

2. Mix

Mix your precisely-weighed active ingredients together. While you’re mixing, reduce the particle size of the powders by grinding them against the walls of a mortar with a pestle. Don’t be afraid to put some elbow grease into it; the smaller the particle size, the better the ingredients are​ absorbed​ by the patient.

3. Wetting Agent

Wet your powders from Step 2 with a wetting agent. Accuracy is just as important here as it is with your active ingredients- too much wetting agent yields a liquid and too little wetting agent leaves clumps. You’ll want to use just enough to give your dry powders a creamy consistency.

4. Cream Base

Slowly add your cream base to Step 3, continuing to use the mortar and pestle to
hand-mix your cream. A well-mixed cream is crucial in compounding
because it ensures that the patient will get a consistent amount of active
ingredient with each dose.

5-7. Mix, Mix, and Mix

5. Continue hand-mixing your cream until all of the base is added.
6. Even after everything is added, continue mixing the cream.
7. Keep mixing.

8. The Mazerustar

At this point, if you work at Community Clinical Pharmacy (thus have the latest compounding technology available to you) transfer the cream into a machine called The Mazerustar. 

At an impressive 2000 rpm, The Mazerustar (or Maz, as it’s also affectionately called) spins the cream in one direction while simultaneously revolving in the opposite direction, much like the earth’s orbit around the sun. This revolutionary (pun intended) method of planetary mixing guarantees a consistent, well-mixed cream every time.

9. Mill

Transfer your elegantly homogeneous cream from The Mazerustar to the mill. Milling your cream breaks down the particle size of the active ingredients to no more than 20 microns​, or about a fifth the diameter of an average human hair. Mill at least twice.

Finishing Touches

10. Package the cream in an appropriate dispensing container for the patient.

11. Beam with confidence that you are helping someone improve their life with your precisely-weighed, thoroughly-mixed, highly absorbable medicinal cream.

It is important to note that this is an oversimplification of the compounding process and that, unlike making pies, you shouldn’t attempt this at home.

But if you’re eager to see these techniques in action, feel free to take advantage of our lab’s viewing window next time you’re in the pharmacy. See if you can identify the steps our technicians are taking and recall the reasons for each stage. And if you see Marie Callender through the window as well, give her a wave- she’s new.

Contact us with comments, questions, or pharmacy
related topics you’d like to know more about. And, as always, stay healthy!

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