Tuesday, June 26, 2012


As pharmacists/pharmacy technician,  we are often handed with prescriptions that have errors. It is our responsibility to fill only the right one. Lately, I received a question from our fellow pharmacist that boils down to the idea of being "the expert"  in reading prescriptions.  We must be very accurate in understanding the written order or we will put the health of the consumer in jeopardy.  Most of us already knew this, but for the purpose of reviewing, allow me to enumerate the kinds of prescription.

1. Simple Prescription or Ordinary Prescription
2. Generic Prescription
3. Complex Prescription ( Use in prescribing medicines for compounding)
4. Dangerous Drug Board Prescription (DDB Form 172/ Yellow Prescription)PTR number. 

Aside from knowing the kinds of prescription, we must ensure that correct details are written on it.  Most of the prescription bears the following information:
1. Header with Doctor's Name, Address, Contact Number sometimes clinic hours. Some prescription do not have these details, in short this is optional. Especially when the prescription was issued from hospital.
2. Patients Information: Name, Age and Address of the patients.
3. Date of the prescription.
4. Superscription: Rx Symbol
5. Inscription/Transcription: Generic Name of the drug written above the brand name, brand name of the drug which is enclosed in a parenthesis),product preparation (dosage, strength and dosage form),  and quantity required.
6. Subscription: This is mostly written in prescription if it has  instruction for pharmacist regarding how certain drug can be compounded. This is commonly written in Complex Prescription.
7. Signa : This is the specific  instructions for patients on how to take or use the medicine.
8. Name of the Prescriber: This bears the name/ initial/ signature of the prescriber (doctor, dentist, veterinary doctor or any other practitioner licensed to prescribe medicines), license number of the prescriber and PTR Number.

Note that in case of yellow prescription, additional information which is the S2 License Number of the prescriber.

In order to avoid failure,  always take the prescription with you when filling them. Medicines lined up on the shelves may create confusion into what is written. Compare the prescription to the actual medicine you are holding. Make sure to scrutinize the prescription carefully considering all the parts written above. Please consider if the drug has drug or food interactions.  Inform the costumer about this if there's any. If there's anything not clear in the prescription, consult another pharmacist present or call the doctor to verify what is written before filling up the said prescription.

There are so many medicines that need prescriptions. As pharmacists, it is our duty to fill the correct prescriptions and also our duty not to sell Rx medicines without proper prescriptions.

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