How to Write a Prescription: 7 Steps for Safety
Do you want to learn how to write a prescription? It’s not difficult if you understand the seven steps to securely writing a prescription. The prescriber’s information, the patient’s information, the recipe (the medication, or Rx), the signature (the patient instructions, or Sig), the dispensing instructions (how much medication to be dispensed to the patient, or Disp), the number of refills (or Rf), and the prescriber’s signature (including his or her National Provider Identifier and/or Drug Enforcement Agency number) are all included in every drug prescription. Each of these sections is described in full below.
Time needed: 3 minutes.
In seven easy steps, you can write a prescription:
Information for Prescribers
This data is generally located near the top of the prescription. It normally includes the name, office address, and contact information (usually the office phone number) of the prescribing doctor.
Information about the patient
The patient’s information is listed underneath the prescriber’s information. The patient’s entire name, age, and date of birth will be included in this area. The patient’s home address is sometimes included as well. You should also include the date on which the prescription was written.
In this recipe (Rx)
The drug being recommended, its dose, and its dosing type should all be included in the formula. If you’re writing a prescription for 650 milligrammes (mg) acetaminophen tablets, for example, you’d write “acetaminophen 650 mg tablets” or “acetaminophen 650 mg tabs.”
The signature (Sig) comes after the recipe and instructs the patient on how to take the drug. Information about how much medication to take, how to take it, and how often to take it should all be included in the Sig.
For example, if you want your patient to take one 650 mg acetaminophen tablet every six hours, you may write “Take 1 tablet by mouth every six hours” or “1 tab PO q6h” in abbreviations.
You should state that the prescription is as-needed or pro re nata (PRN) and describe the parameters under which your patient can take the recommended medication. When you write a PRN order, you’re effectively giving the patient the choice to take the medication whenever they need it.
Let’s assume you want your patient to be able to take one 650 mg acetaminophen pill every six hours while he or she is suffering from a headache. “Take 1 tablet by mouth every six hours as needed for a headache” or “1 tab PO q6h PRN headache” would be your instructions in such scenario.
Instructions for Dispensing (Disp)
Following that are the dispensing instructions, which tell the pharmacist how much medication you want your patient to get. Include the amount of medicine you want dispensed as well as the method in which it should be delivered. You reduce the chance of a medicine mistake, please sure to write down any figures you use here. For our acetaminophen example, you would write “28 (twenty-eight) pills” or “28 (twenty-eight) tabs” if you wanted your patient to get a one-week supply (or 28 tablets) of the medicine.
Count of Refills (Rf)
Specify how many times you want your patient to utilise this prescription to replenish his or her medicine after the dispensing instructions. Make sure to rewrite any numbers you use. Write “zero refills” if you don’t wish to prescribe any further refills. If you’re prescribing one refill of acetaminophen, you’d write “1 (one) refill” in our hypothetical case.
Signature of the Prescriber
You should sign your name at the bottom of the prescription. This part will frequently include your National Provider Identifier (NPI). You’ll generally provide your Drug Enforcement Agency number when dealing with restricted drugs. These are required for the pharmacist to more quickly validate your prescription.