O'Brien Pharmacy is a FDA-inspected & FDA-compliant facility.

Custom Animal Care

Custom Medications for Animals

c_Oral_dosage_formAt O’Brien Pharmacy, we don’t practice veterinary medicine. We do help veterinarians and animal care specialists solve problems by providing specially compounded medicines that meet the unique needs of each animal — pets, exotics or zoo animals.

Veterinarians and animal care specialists often need medication that has become unavailable. Pharmaceutical companies may stop making products for which there is limited demand and little profit. And limited demand is likely to occur when a newer and, sometimes more effective, medicine becomes available. However, some patients may respond better to a discontinued medicine than to its newer counterpart.

When the most appropriate medication is no longer available, the veterinarian may feel the only recourse is to prescribe a less familiar or less effective drug, or decline to prescribe a medication. However, there is another option. The veterinarian can contact our pharmacists, specially trained in the art of extemporaneous compounding, and request special medication. Using pharmaceutical-grade chemicals and equipment found only in hi-tech pharmacies, we can compound similar, identical and often superior preparations. This is our way of life at O’Brien Pharmacy.

At O’Brien Pharmacy, we create a whole new approach to pharmacotherapy by providing the veterinarian with the limitless possibilities of custom medications. No longer is the veterinarian confined to the products that the manufacturers decide to market. This gives prescribing flexibility back to the veterinarian!

Some of the dosage forms we are able to compound include:
Medications not commercially available

At O’Brien Pharmacy, compounding has been our focus and forte for 40 years. We inventory the latest in chemicals and equipment, and are determined to give the highest level of product and service to our patients. A sterile preparation for an animal receives the same standard of care as an intrathecal injection or ophthalmic agent for a human.

c_ointmentOur extensive experience has made us a national leader in compounding. And, unlike most compounding pharmacies, none of our prescriptions are made by technicians — we rely on pharmacists experienced in the accuracy, math, chemistry and pharmacotherapy of compounding. In addition, our compounding department is backed by a network of pharmacists and Ph.D.’s in chemistry and biology.

Samples of popular veterinary formulations:

  1. Transdermal Methimazole for hyperthyroid cats
  2. Metronidazole topical or oral
  3. Idoxuridine Ophthalmic Drops for Cats
  4. Norfloxacin 1% & Ketoconazole 1% for Canine Otitis
  5. Transdermal Diltiazem for feline Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy
  6. Itraconazole 1% in a DMSO 30% petroleum base for Fungal Keratitis in Horses
  7. Deoxy-D-Glucose/Acetyl-L-Cysteine Cough Mixture
  8. Vitamin A, D, E injection (Injacom)
  9. Hormone Injections (Progesterone, Testosterone, Estradiol, etc.)
  10. Diethylstilbestrol capsules or injection
  11. Selenium/Vitamin E injection (MU-SE)
  12. Methylpyrazole injection
  13. Carbazochrome Salicylate injection for pulmonary bleeding in horses
  14. CaCo Copper injection to increase appetite
  15. DMSA injection for birds

Here are a few examples of how O’Brien Pharmacy can work with veterinarians and their patients:

Transdermal Drug Delivery

Absorption through the skin is currently regarded as an important alternative to traditional methods of drug delivery. Lecithin gels have many properties that make them a desirable vehicle: they can be obtained with biocompatible components, are stable for a long time, and can solubilize sizable amounts of quite different chemicals. The proposed mechanism of transport is an interaction between the layers of lipids in the stratum corneum and the phospholipids of the gel. A study in Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Vol. 81, No. 9, Sept. 1992, pp. 871-4 concludes, “that there are no great restrictions on the chemical structure of the drug�(that) can be transported transdermally via lecithin gels.”

Topical Ketoprofen

Pharmaceutical Research, Vol. 13, No. 1, 1996 reports ketoprofen “is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug which has analgesic activity.. A topical formulation of ketoprofen has been developed for the temporary relief of minor aches and pains of muscle and joints and to minimize gastrointestinal side effects after oral administration.”

Topical Spray Delivery System

Information has been published in the optometric literature regarding administration of ophthalmic medications using a diluted preparation in a spray bottle as opposed to having to restrain an uncooperative patient to instill eye drops. We believe this method has great potential for veterinary practice. One of our colleagues had the opportunity to compound an ophthalmic preparation in a “super soaker®” — like squirt gun for a gorilla, who enjoyed the “shower” when his eyes were sprayed, and did not have to be sedated to receive a needed medication.


Ocular instillation of this drug markedly reduced the severity of viral-induced conjunctivitis and keratoconjunctivitis. 2-DDG was effective when given at the time of ocular infection or after clinical conjunctivitis developed. Am J Vet Res 1980, Jul;41(7):1049-1051.

4-Methylpyrazole for Ethylene Glycol (Antifreeze) Poisoning in Dogs

Therapy for ethylene glycol poisoning is aimed at preventing absorption, increasing excretion, and preventing metabolism of ethylene glycol to its toxic metabolites. Inhibition of liver alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH), the enzyme responsible for the initial reaction in the metabolic pathway, can be accomplished by giving a compound that combines with the enzyme and renders it inactive. The most effective ADH inhibitor in the dog is 4-methypyrazole (4-MP), which unlike most competitive inhibitors (ethanol, propylene glycol, and 1.3-butanedial) does not contribute to CNS depression and increased serum osmolality. The recommended dose of 5% (50mg/ml) 4-methylpyrazole is 20mg/kg body weight IV initially, followed by 15mg/kg IV at 12 and 24 hour, and 5mg/kg IV at 36 hr. While 4-MP is the recommended therapy in dogs, it is not appropriate for use in cats. Although it is non-toxic, it does not effectively inhibit EG metabolism unless administered to a cat at the same time as consumption of EG. Am J Vet Res 1994 Dec;55(12): 1762-1770.

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