The work going on inside The Compounding Shop of Riverview is a swirl of science.
Pharmacist Leott Wydetic combines old-school prescription preparation with high-tech equipment to create remedies that are otherwise hard to come by. Specialty concoctions to combat those hot flashes. Pain creams for those whose bodies have been so saturated with medications that they can no longer take pills.
On the walls just outside the laboratory, she has thrown in a bit of whimsy that her customers always seem to grasp, she said. She and her staff dug out their old LP albums and used the covers to adorn the pharmacy walls. A few guitars are thrown in for an added effect.
"I have a 15-year-old son who buys songs online for 99 cents a pop," Wydetic said. "Kids, they don't know the joy of hauling around records in a milk crate. I figured I probably had an entire art museum in the milk crate in the back of my closet, so I got it out."
Bruce Springsteen, aka The Boss, is represented, as is Stevie Wonder, Edgar Winter, Crosby-Stills Nash & Young and Michael Jackson. Nearly every customer that walks through the door finds at least one album cover that brings memories rushing back, Wydetic said.
"Most people don't feel that great walking into a pharmacy," she said. "If they can walk out of here and feel better, even have a giggle …" that's what the décor is all about, she said.
Wydetic started The Compounding Shop of Riverview at the urging of her old college classmate at Mercer University, Mike Haulsee, who owns a similar shop in St. Petersburg.
They share suppliers and tag-team specialty prescriptions. She takes care of the menopause prescriptions like Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy that quells hot flashes and she sends Haulsee prescriptions that require his sterile lab for mixing.
Much of the education required to become a specialty compounder Wydetic learned on her own, after pharmacy school, she said.
"Nobody feeds you information on this stuff. You just have to be passionate about it," she said. It requires a lot of problem-solving, working directly with physicians and patients, she said.
Pharmacy technician Sue Ivey was busy one recent day preparing a topical cream. "You have to mix the medication in with a cream base," she explained. Each portion has to be tediously weighed and measured.
Chris Ferlita, Wydetic's brother who is also a pharmacy technician, busied himself at the electronic mortar and pestle, which acts more like a mixer than a grinder, he said.
"One of our patients has arthritis, but he has an ulcer and can no longer take medication internally," Wydetic explained. The cream her shop prepares for him is designed to get through his skin and to the joint pain.
"You can use less medication, when it is targeted like that," she explained.
For those interested in learning more about compounding, Wydetic offers seminars. She offers one called The Complete Hormone Make-over Seminar, but will also meet with groups on other topics.
For more information, visit www.gotocompoundingshop.com or call (813) 341-1050.