Handling of Prescription

The following procedures should be adopted by the pharmacist while handling the prescription for compounding and dispensing:

  1. Receiving.
  2. Reading and checking.
  3. Collecting and weighing the materials.
  4. Compounding, labeling, and packaging.

1) Receiving:

The prescription should be received by the pharmacist himself /herself. While receiving a prescription from a patient, a pharmacist should not change his/her facial expression that gives an impression to the patient that he/she is confused or surprised after seeing the prescription.

2) Reading and checking:

Reading the prescription and checking for –

  1. Legality
  2. Legibility
  3. Completeness and correctness

(1) Legality: A prescription is legal when:

  • It is written (can also be typed) by an R.M.P (Registered medical practitioner).
  • Signed by the R.M.P.
  • It has all the information required to be contained in parts of the prescription.

(2) Legibility: Legibility is a problem requiring alertness and critical judgment on the part of the pharmacist. Careless handwriting and similarity in the spelling of names of different drugs add to the difficulty.

e.g. Prednisone and Prednisolone, Digoxin and Digitoxin. When handwriting is illegible, the best thing to do is to contact the physician over the phone and confirm.

(3) Completeness and correctness: The prescription serves as a vehicle for communication from the licensed practitioner to the pharmacist about the pharmaceutical care of the patient. Details to be checked are (1) Physician’s details. (2) Patient’s details. (3) Product details.

Checking the product details will include checking the Name of the product, Dosage form, Strength/potency of the medicine, Total amount to be dispensed, and its availability Dosage and directions for use, Frequency of administration.

3) Collecting and weighing the material:

Before compounding a prescription all the materials required for it should be collected from the shelves or drawers and kept on the left-hand side of the balance. After measuring each material should be kept on the right-hand side of the balance. After compounding the prescription the materials are replaced to the shelves/drawers where-from they were collected. While compounding the label of every container of material should be checked thrice in the following manner:

  • When collected from the shelves/drawers.
  • When the materials are measured.
  • When the containers are replaced with the shelves/drawers.

4) Compounding, labeling and packaging:

 Only one prescription should be compounded at a time. Compounding should be done on a clean table. All equipment required should be cleaned and dried. The preparation should be prepared according to the direction of the prescriber or as per methods given in pharmacopeia or formulary and are according to the established pharmaceutical art of compounding. The compounded medicament should be filled in a suitable container with an appropriate label depending upon the quantity and use. While delivering the prescription to the patient, the pharmacist should explain the mode of administration, direction for use, and storage.

Make sure you also check our other amazing Article on : Parts of Prescription
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