The prescription order is an important therapeutic transaction between physician and the patient. It brings into focus the diagnostic acumen and therapeutic proficiency of the physician with the instructions for palliation or restoration of patient´s health. The physician must also clearly communicates with the pharmacist and adequately instructs the patient on how to take the prescribed drug.
There is no global standard for prescriptions and every country has its own regulations. The most important requirement is that the prescription be clear.
A) identification of the patient • name, initials and address • age of patients under 12 years must be given • age in adult (mainly elderly) patients may be useful but it is not essential
B) the name of drug • preferably in capitals • approved (generic) name • proprietary (brand-name or trade name)
Example: • chemical name: 6-[[ amino(4-hydroxyphenyl)actyl]-amino]-3,3-dimethyl-7-oxo-4-thia-1- azabicyclo[3.2.0]heptane-2-carboxylic acid • generic name: amoxyciline • proprietary name: Almodan,Amoxil
C) the dose of drug • quantities of 1 gram or more should be writte in grams (2 g) • quantities less than 1 gram but more than 1 milligram should be written in milligrams (100 mg, not 0.1 g) • quantities less than 1 milligram should be written in micrograms or nanograms do not abbreviate milligrams and nanograms - errors (100 micrograms, not 0.1 mg, nor 100 mcg nor, 100 ug nor, 100g) • if a decimal point cannot be avoided, write 0.5 not .5 • use mL for milliliters
D) frequency of administration • have to be clearly indicated • accepted abbreviations
E) route and method of administration • route of administration should be clearly indicated (oral, sublingual, i.m.)
F) amount to be supplied • for example, the precise number of tablets • simpler is to indicate period of treatment
Minimum information that should be given to the patient. 1. Effects of the drug Why the drug is needed Which symptoms will disappear, and which will not When the effect is expected to start What will happen if the drug is taken incorrectly or not at all 2. Side effects Which side effects may occur How to recognize them How long they will continue How serious they are What action to take
3. Instructions How the drug should be taken When it should be taken How long the treatment should continue How the drug should be stored What to do with left-over drugs 4. Warnings When the drug should not be taken What is the maximum dose Why the full treatment course should be taken
5. Future consultations When to come back (or not) In what circumstances to come earlier What information the doctor will need at the next appointment 6. Everything clear? Ask the patient whether everything is understood Ask the patient to repeat the most important information Ask whether the patient has any more questions
Acidi Acetylosalicylici 0,3 • Paracetamoli 0,3 • Amobarbitali 0,05 • Misce fiat pulvis (M. f. pulv.) • Dentur tales doses No XX (viginty) • Da ad capsulam amylaceam • D.S. etc • Aspirin 300 mg • Paracetamol 300 mg • Amobarbital 50 mg • Make 20 such doses and place in capsules • Label: etc