Reading a Prescribing Chart - Medicines Management

Original article by Tom Leach | Last updated on 17/4/2015
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  • Hospital number or address
  • Name of patient
  • Date
  • Name of drug
  • Dose – unless only one dose available for that particular drug
  • Signature
  • Date of birth only legally required if under 12 years old
  • NHS prescriptions required to be on appropriate forms
  • If GP, need practice stamp
 
NB: You are not legally required to inform patient how or when to take the drugs but it is SAFE practice!
 

Safe Prescriptions

  • Date of birth
  • Directions – how and when to take the medication
  • Any allergies
  • Other drugs the patient is on – to avoid adverse interactions
  • Ensure patient knows why they are taking the medication
 

For Controlled Drugs (CDs)

Need to indicate how many unit doses to supply in numbers and in words!
Controlled drugs include;
  • Opiates (morphine, diamorphine, methadone)
  • Major stimulants (amphetamines, quinalbarbitone)
  • Ketamine and benzodiazepines 
 

General Advice

Make sure everything is legible!
 
Always make sure each drug:
  • Is in the right section – e.g. regular dose, as required & variable dose, IV & Enteral tube
  • Is clearly written
  • Is written in its generic name, not branded
  • Has a dose – also check that the dose is reasonable – i.e. 10g of something is probably wrong – but you would have to check BNF or ask pharmacist to clarify.
  • Has a signature for who authorised it
  • If it says how many times to take it, make sure that the times for these are also written
  • Check if drug has been discontinued – there is a little box under the general patient details that tells you the codes for why a drug has been discontinued.
  • Has a route of administration
Route Name
Latin
Explanation
po
Per os
Orally
bid
-
2x day
im
-
Intramuscular injection
sc
-
Subcutaneous injection
iv
-
Intravenously
pr
Par rectum
Up the bottom!
hs
Hora somni
At bedtime
ac
Ante cibum
Before meals
pc
Post cibum
After meals
q
quaque
Every… e.g. q 8 means every 8 hours
qd
Quaque die
Every day
Tid
-
3x day
Qid
-
4x day
Qds
-
4x day
-
Modified release
On
-
At night
Om
-
In the morning
IP
-
Intraperitoneal
IC
-
In the abodominal cavity – pretty much the same as IP!
Qod
-
Every other day
Prn
Pro re nata
As required
Npo / nbm
-
Nothing by mouth
Od*
Occulus dexter/Once Daily
Right eye
Os
Occulus sinister
Left eye
*NOTE – this generally means once a day, not right eye!
 
Also state that you should check in the BNF or ask a pharmacist if:
  • The doses are right
  • There are any drug interactions