The Basics of Biofilm and Compound Medicine

Do you know what dental plaque, that gunk in your shower drain and the slime on week-old cold cuts have in common? Here’s a hint: it’s not the universe conspiring against you. It’s actually a community of living organisms called biofilms. Now, I know what you’re thinking: “If biofilm was so prevalent, I surely would have heard of it.” And while you may not be familiar with the term biofilm, you’ve regularly encountered it.

So now that I have your attention, let me briefly explain what biofilms are and how they work. Biofilms create communities by adhering to surfaces in moist environments through the excretion of a slimy, bonding substance. And they grow virtually everywhere! In almost any environment with a combination of moisture, nutrients and a sticking surface. Why? Because by doing so, they are better able to combat outside sources, like cells in our immune system, bent on destroying them.

Fortunately, the study of biofilms and their impact on human health has steadily risen since the early 90s when the concept was initially introduced to the medical community. At that time, doctors began to make the connection between chronic, low-grade infections and the presence of biofilms. Gingivitis … peptic ulcers … recurring earaches … all examples of ailments now known to be biofilm-based infections.

But I’m not trying to alarm you. The exciting part is that as discovery evolves, so do defenses. Researchers have now uncovered ways to penetrate biofilm communities and attack the ailing bugs underneath. They have discovered the composition of certain biofilms, and through sample testing and DNA matching, fellow compound pharmacists like myself can concoct a treatment specific for each person and infection.

Compound pharmaceuticals have shown much success in regards to biofilms. As researchers continue to delve further into biofilm communities, I suspect compound pharmacy will continue to be of great assistance.

ABOUT VH PHARMACY: VH Pharmacy is a family-owned and operated neighborhood pharmacy. In business for more than 40 years, VH Pharmacy has been under the leadership of Pharmacist Eddy Blanco for the past 11 years. With his extensive knowledge of pharmaceutical compounding, Eddy Blanco has transformed VH Pharmacy into a technologically cutting-edge facility. To learn more about our services, please visit our website at or call us today at 305.324.8777.


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