Prescription Writing (Structure)

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A prescription must contain at least two identifying attributes of the patient. In the United States we use name and date of birth (DOB). Patient’s address can be written, however, it is optional. Of course the prescription should have the doctor’s information and signature for it to be complete.

Following is a sample prescription.

Drbeen Sample Prescription

Rx Symbol

There are many theories for the origin of the Rx. For our purpose this is sufficient to know that the Rx is transliteration of a latin symbol for recipe. Recipe in latin means take.

Drug Administration Instructions

Prescribed drug is written with the following structure:

  1. Name
  2. Strength
  3. Amount
  4. Route
  5. Frequency
  6. Total quantity to dispense
  7. Refills

Before we get into the understanding of how to write each component. Let us look at an example of a drug prescription.

Prescribe 250mg Amoxicillin tablets. Take by mouth, two tablets at one time, three times a day, for 7 days. Dispense for all of the 7 times. No refills. 

Prescription will look like this

Amoxicillin 250 mg tablets. ii tablets p.o. t.i.d. x 7 days
Dispense# 42 (forty two)
Refills: none

Here is how it will look in handwritten note:


Drbeen Sample Prescription 04.png

When written on a leaf from the prescription paper it looks like the following.

Drbeen Sample Prescription copy 2

Let us now label various parts of this prescription.

Drbeen Sample Prescription copy 3.jpg

Practice writing this prescription on your own: orders are to:

  • Prescribe 250mg Amoxicillin tablets.
  • Taken orally, two tablets at one time, three times a day, for seven days.
  • Dispense all the tablets together.
  • No refills.

In the next part of this series we will discuss terms for each part so that you can prescribe various amounts, routes, and frequencies.







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