Buying Medical Supplies

Managing Your Cancer Home Care With A CSTD Pharmacy

Being diagnosed with breast cancer or another serious type of cancer can feel overwhelming. When home care is mentioned by your doctor, you may be eager to do some of your treatments at home but not know anything about how that can be accomplished. Luckily, pharmacies which work with closed system drug transfer devices--regularly called CSTD pharmacies. How can you work with these pharmacies to treat your illness at home?

Understanding Why CSTD Pharmacies Exist

Perhaps the primary detail to understand when working with these pharmacies is to know why CSTD pharmacies exist. To understand that, you'll need to know more about the medications you're likely to be prescribed while you still have cancer in your body. These medications are incredibly strong in order to combat the disease they're fighting; in many cases they're classified as hazardous materials.

While they're not toxic to your body and are in fact saving it, healthier people such as your pharmacist and their staff are at risk when they handle these medications. For this reason, CSTD pharmacy staff is likely to only handle these materials with gloves, googles and other safety gear so they're protected from prolonged exposure. They use so-called closed system devices to transfer medication from their inventory to your supply to lower the chances of contamination.

Understanding Storage and Disposal

A major issue for using hazardous medications and working with closed system devices is that the pharmacist, their staff and you is how best to store and dispose of the medication when you're finished. The pharmacy should walk you through these steps so you can protect everyone around you at home.

The pharmacy should also teach you about device failures. These failures are unlikely, but they must be reported to the FDA so they can examine the batch your device came from and cut off possible additional problems.

Training Caregivers

If relatives or your spouse are going to be giving you any of your oncological medications, they'll need to know what the pharmacy staff knows. The pharmacist and their staff might be willing to help them know what protection steps are needed. This can help you to feel better about asking loved ones to help you with your home care.

If you're planning to bring in professional nurses or aides to help with your care, it's wise to ask them beforehand whether they are adequately trained to handle hazardous medications. Ask them what their protocol is; you may even want to ask if they're familiar with the pharmacy which will be distributing your medications.

Working with CSTD pharmacies locally will enable you to work through your disease at home. Build a relationship with your pharmacist so that you're sure that you're handling your medications safely.