Prescription – Pharmaceutics – I B. Pharma 1st Semester


Learning Objectives

At the end of this lecture, student will be able to:

• Describe a prescription

• Describe the role of pharmacist in dispensing medications

• Identify the various parts of prescription

• Explain the importance of each part of prescription

• Write a model prescription


• Latin has been regarded as the language of the learned and
the intellectual

• Prescriptions were cloaked in mystery

• What the doctor prescribed was a mystery to the patient, a
secret between him and the pharmacist who would dispense the medicine

• It was not until 1972 that it was recommended to label patients’ medicine with its name

• Part of the doctor’s training would be how to write a
prescription, the pharmacist’s to read it and interpret the doctor’s intentions.

•“Rx” = prescription

Reading old Prescriptions (1903) 



Prescription is a written or verbal or electronic order issued by registered medical practitioner (physician, dentist or veterinarian or other licensed practitioner) to a pharmacist to dispense or supply specific medication at a particular time for the patient between Physician, patient and pharmacist

Prescription – A professional relationship between Physician, patient and pharmacist


• Prescription issuing


• Presents the prescription at a pharmacy


• Dispensing the medication

Role of Pharmacist

• Provide necessary information.

• Advice the prescriber – drug sensitivities, medication
history of the patient.

• Maintain appropriate records

• Maintain secrecy about the patient’s medication and

Types of Prescription

• Generic

• Brand name

• Compounded

• Control substances

• New

• Refill

Legal classes of medicines

• Nonprescription/ over-the-counter (OTC) drugs

• Prescription drugs

Prescription Blank

Prescription Blank

Form of Prescription Order / Parts of Prescription

Parts of a Prescription

Parts of a Prescription


• Name, address, and telephone number of the prescriber

• Name, sex and age of the patient

• Date of the prescription


• Superscription

• Inscription

• Subscription

• Signa or Signatura / Transcription


• Prescriber’s signature

• Refill instructions

• Generic substitution instructions

Prescription Heading

Practitioner’s Name, Address, and Phone number

• Validates prescription

• Provides contact information to clarify any questions

Prescription Heading

Patient’s details – Name, Gender, Age and Address

• In earlier days -In many cases only the patient’s name was
given, or perhaps the patient’s position in life

E.g. Lady Smythe’s cook, Mrs Jones’ baby

• The address was not compulsory in some categories of
medicines that were available by prescription until the advent of Poison Rules in 1935

– Full first and last name

– Middle initial may be helpful

– Gender

– DOB?/ Age

– Children: Age, Body weight/ body surface area


• Date of issue of prescription

• Allows the determination of the life of the prescription
to validate refills

• Ensures continual patient supervision

• Promotes patient follow – up


• Denoted by the symbol “.

• This symbol is an abbreviation of the Latin verb ‘recipe’ meaning ‘take thou’ or ‘you take’.

• Some historians believe the symbol originated from the sign of Jupiter, the god of healing it was the custom of Roman Physicians to begin prescriptions with an invocation to Jupiter to bless their remedies.


• It includes the medication prescribed.

• This is the body or principle part of the prescription
order which contains the names and quantities of the prescribed drugs.

• In complex prescriptions containing several ingredients
the inscription is divided into-

– The active ingredients

– The adjuvant

– The vehicle or diluent

• Includes the dispensing directions to the pharmacist.

• Contains directions to the pharmacist for preparing the prescriptions.

• Brand prescription.

• Compounded prescription.

– M ft caps d.t.d no xxiv (Mix and make capsules. Dispense
24 such doses)

– Ft supp no xii (Make 12 suppositories)

– M ft ung (Mix and make an ointment)


 • It includes directions to the patient.

• The word is usually abbreviated as ‘signa’ or ‘sig’
meaning ‘mark thou’.

• The directions in the signa commonly are written using abbreviated forms of English or Latin terms or in combination.

• The directions are transcribed by the pharmacist onto the label of the container of dispensed medication.

• It is advisable for the pharmacist to reinforce the
directions to the patient upon dispensing the medication.

Prescriber’s Signature

• All other parts of the prescription may be printed or
typed written but the prescriber’s name must be hand written and should be signed with ink.

• This eliminates the danger of dispensing medicament on a
spurious order and it authenticates the prescription.

• The prescription containing narcotic or other habit
forming drugs must bear the address and registration number of the prescriber.


• To avoid interrupting maintenance therapy, practitioners
can authorize refills on a written prescription

• Refills authorized are valid only till 1 year of the prescription.

Narcotic Prescription

Narcotic Prescription

Generic Substitution Instructions

• Brand vs. generic

• Is Brand always better?

• If practitioner prefers brand, must indicate in print-do
not substitute


• Prescription is a written or verbal or electronic order issued by registered medical practitioner (physician, dentist or veterinarian or other licensed practitioner) to dispense or supply specific medication at a particular time for the patient.

• Generic, Brand name, Compounded, Control substances, New, Refill are the types of prescription.

• Superscription () is a latin verb recipe meaning take thou or ‘you take’.

• Inscription contains the names and quantities of the prescribed drugs.

• Subscription includes the dispensing directions to the pharmacist.       

• Signatura includes directions to the patient.

Also, Visit:

B. Pharma Notes | B. Pharma Notes | Study material Bachelor of Pharmacy pdf

B. Pharma Handwritten Notes

B. Pharma PDF Books

B. Pharma Lab Manual

D. Pharma Lab Manual

B. Pharma 8th Semester Previous Year Question Paper

D. Pharma Notes

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