Explain Prescription

Explain Prescription

The prescription is a common medical record and we must understand its significance and role in the treatment of any disease.

A doctor communicates through the medical prescription and we must follow it correctly always.

The medicine name, its route of administration, the dosage, the duration, the time to be taken, and before/after food are usually an integral part of any prescription.

The name of the patient with relevant details is always filled in.

The doctor's, and hospital's credentials are usually printed and available clearly.

The doctor starts each prescription with 'Rx' which in Latin means "to take

The details in a prescription are actually a communication from the doctor to the pharmacist who dispenses the written medications. However, the actual user is the patient, the one who takes the dispensed medicines.

The date is very important in every prescription and it is imperative we do not follow an old prescription that may not be suitable now.

The prescription is complete only if it is duly signed by the doctor.

Some examples of prescriptions are given here for us to consider-

A family of 7 members consisting of husband, wife, 12-year-old son, 7-year-old daughter, 2-year-old son, 3-month-old daughter, and the grandmother with minor liver ailment go to a doctor with symptoms of fever and cold. The doctor prescribes only paracetamol for all of them for 2 days and advises review.

  • For the healthy adults- husband and wife- Oral tablets- Paracetamol 650 mg thrice daily.
  • For the 12-year-old son with a body weight of 46 kgs, Oral tablets- Paracetamol 500 mg thrice daily.
  • For the 7-year-old daughter with a body weight of 25 kgs, Oral tablets- Paracetamol 250 mg thrice daily.
  • For the 2-year-old son with a body weight of 13 kgs, Syrup paracetamol, 125 mg/ 5ml, 1 tsp (5 ml) four times daily.
  • For the 3-month-old daughter, with a body weight of 5 kgs, Syrup Paracetamol suspension, 125 mg/ 5ml, 1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) thrice daily.
  • For the grandmother with a body weight of 55 kgs, Oral tablets- Paracetamol 500 mg used sparingly only if the temperature is persistently high.

In the above family after 2 days of taking a prescribed dose of paracetamol, at review, the doctor's prescription is written only for the 2-year-old son who now in addition to paracetamol also requires antibiotics and antihistamines for another 5 days.

As the child also has a cold and cough, the pharmacist suggests cough syrup. But the father rightly says that he will not give any new medicine to a child without informing the doctor.
We must understand that cough syrup is best avoided in young children with a fever. Paracetamol often presents in decongestant syrup and can result in unnecessary overdose. Salbutamol can further increase the pulse rate. Diphenhydramine, Codeine is contraindicated in children less than 4 years of age. Cough need not be suppressed if it is productive and the child coughs out phlegm.

It is always important that one informs the doctor about medicines one is already taking like BP, Sugar medicines.
Any known allergy to drugs must be told and this is very significant.
Also any pre-existing conditions like Liver, a Kidney ailment. osteoporosis, Acid peptic disease (ulcer), Previous surgery, Previous injury, and Infections must be discussed.
If pregnant, any medicine taken by the mother can reach the growing fetus and so ample caution is required.
Habits like smoking, Alcohol consumption must be considered as this can alter the functions of the medicines.
Most of the medicines we take are handled by the liver and kidneys and the doses need adjustment in the event that their function is compromised.

Oral medications - tablet, syrup, lozenges, capsules
Inhaled Medications- Nasal puffs, steam, Nebulised
Adhesive Patches- For heart pain
Injections- Insulin subcutaneously can be self-administered

Injections require assistance from healthcare professionals

Each and every detail in the prescription should be thoroughly considered and followed always.