Legal Requirements for a prescription

  • 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

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