ISPP 2015

Career Opportunities in Pharmacy
How to Read Your Doctor Prescription

the doctor is in hi guys it's dr. south from dr. secrets calm thank you so much for joining in today we're going to take a look at how to read your doctor's prescription now this is just a fun segment for those of you who are nosy and would like to be able to read prescriptions that are proffered to you do not ever try to write a prescription and pass it to a pharmacist if you are not a licensed MD that is a criminal offense that being said we're going to use this this illustration here of prescription so I can teach you what it is that we're actually writing now typically on the prescriptions they'll usually be a header which is something printed out or stamped out by a machine and that usually will have the name of the clinic where it was derived from it will have contact information like our address fax number phone number that's in case the pharmacist queried something on the prescription or notices an error or mistake or potential interaction and they want to get hold of the prescribing physician they need that contact information to be able to get hold of us of course and is also a date largely because if I give you a prescription today and you decide to hand into a pharmacy two years from now it is considered invalid prescriptions are typically only valid for a year for for some things and for for others sometimes a month is as long as they'll be good for so the date is also a critical component obviously then you also have to have the patient's name in this case here this is just a prescription so it's called a John Doe but it would be whatever the individuals name was all right then we get to the the main body which is the actual information which the pharmacist is relying on in order to fulfill the prescription so in this case here I'll just read a 40 it says tipping point to five milligrams a hundred tablets one was that once a day for blood pressure so slowing that down a little bit the first piece of information is the name of the drug so this could be this drug or it could be amoxil for a tonsillitis or it could be what else Jesus so many different drugs it's almost hard to think of just one but any drug you could think of say aspirin advil motrin Tylenol morphine whatever it is you start typically with the name of the drug first which sets the context and then all the other information after that makes more sense and keys into it so the next step then is to say the potency so in this case is a quarter of a milligram and drugs can range from anywhere from milligrams to micrograms typically it's very unusual to see a gram dose of of any drug but there are a few drugs where you where it could be a gram but most drugs are measured in milligrams to micrograms then there's also the question of the number of pills in this case the fake physician has written here number of pills 100 but more often in practice we will actually write a duration not a number of pills and let the pharmacist figure out the number of pills so if you see something like an X here and then it says 1 over 52 that means for one week if you see an X here and then 1 over 12 that means for one month etc so so that's for duration the other thing that's a little bit odd with this prescription here is usually what I've seen prescriptions and ones I do for myself we usually put the duration at the end of the line rather than in line anyway guess is just a preference so typically it would go from the milligrams here and then say how many how often so would say this little symbol here this dwarf T with a dot on the top is just in the my creature that means one tablet if you see something that looks like the the figure PI of so two with a crossbar on top and then two dots on top that that would mean two tablets and bytes and it continues like that three tablets usually when it goes to four or five tablets which is unusual but sometimes will occur we'll start using a Roman numeral so we actually do the one in the V or V etc and some physicians will actually just write it all they may just say one oh and E for example then this next this next higher grade flick here is telling you how many times a day so it's one tablet how many times a day in this case it's OD which means once daily other common things would be B ID which means twice daily T ID which means three times a day q ID which means four times a day don't ask me how they got those abbreviations it's probably from some kind of Greek and then after that after four times a day then we typically break out from that in the language ER and move into actually specifying how many hours between so we might say instead of the OD be IDT ID q ID we might then say instead P o which means oral that's another thing missing from this prescription we always say the root as well because drugs can be intravenous so then we say IV intramuscular as an injection that'll be I am and then P o means by mouth a lot of time for community filled prescriptions is automatically assumed that it's going to be P o because typically nobody's going to send you home to give you yourself your own injections in the muscle in a hospital on the other hand you have to specify the route so I'm guessing you on this prescription here is this supposedly mimic of a community prescription the PIO part is missing anyway I'm going back to what I was getting at in the first place the OD be IDT area et cetera you can also specify how often so sometimes we'll write Q a capital Q and then say two hours for example so you might say Q to HHS or sorry HR or HS actually HS has a specific meaning for us HS for us usually means at bedtime or nocturnal so so we've looked at name quantity how many how often and then duration and route of administration this piece here this 4 BP doctors don't have time typically to be writing nonsense like that so this is obviously a fake the the pharmacist also has no idea the pharmacists can look at the name of the drug and know what the indication for the drug is so this part here is totally fictitious no self-respecting physician would actually write what the reason for the drug is everybody everybody on board is a professional knows where they're talking about and then the final thing of the prescription is obviously a signature the signature of the prescriber is a legally binding document which authorizes the pharmacist and pharmacy to fulfill that it's almost like a contract to fulfill the prescription of the medication to the individual which maybe you were or whoever so that ladies and gentlemen is how we write prescriptions and as you can see with the volume of information just to write something as simple as penicillin so for example if I was going to write penicillin whatever right here is an abbreviation I write P en and then VK so penicillin then I'll write the dose 300 milligrams then I would write 2 so the the PI with the T on top two dots two and then I would have P o and then I would have B ID then it would have a big X capital X and then would have won over 52 or am I ask you right one week so you should base on everything I just taught you you should be able to interpret what I just said verbally there and turn it back into what it was meaning to fulfill so that ladies and gentlemen is how we write prescriptions and as you can see from the volume that we have to write that is part of the reason we have such horrible handwriting and I actually put another video up here on why doctors have bad handwriting which you might also find amusing thank you for watching and don't forget to subscribe so if you keep that data result a billion billion don't you get a van or SUV thanks for watching get notified of new videos subscribe now you

1 thought on “How to Read Your Doctor Prescription

  1. Thanks for the info. I have been to pharmacy technician classes and you just added a few gems to what I knew.

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