You may need to write a prescription for your patient one day. In order to do so, you must be able to understand the dosage of medication being prescribed in the correct units.
Thus, you can effectively write a prescription for your patient. If you are working as a pharmacy technician, it is important to know how much time and effort you should spend on studying Rx skills and learning how to prescribe medication.
The ability to prescribe medication quickly and accurately is essential when working as a technician. You will have more responsibilities and need to be able read prescriptions at lightning speed in order to fulfill them.
The process of writing a prescription is lengthy, but once you’ve learned the rules, you can do it in seconds with ease.
Here are some useful tips and tricks for writing an accurate prescription that follows all the necessary rules and regulations.
Learn the Basics
The first thing to do when learning how to write a prescription is to familiarize yourself with the basic concepts and vocabulary of prescription writing.
These terms are outlined in the International Pharmaceutical Federation’s (IPF) Model Regulations on Pharmaceutical Compounding, Packaging, and Labelling.
- Active Ingredient: The substance that is intended to provide the desired therapeutic effect.
- Excipient: The substance that is not the desired therapeutic agent but is added during the manufacturing process to facilitate the handling or administration of the drug.
- Strength: The amount of the active ingredient in each dosage unit.
- Dosage Form: The physical state of the drug such as solid, liquid, or gas.
- Route of Administration: The way the patient takes their medication. This could be orally, sublingually, etc.
- Special Requirements: Any special conditions or situations that must be met before administering the drug.
Make a Template
Once you have a basic understanding of how to write a prescription, write a few prescriptions using your normal method of writing.
This will help you pinpoint and notice any mistakes or areas that could use improvement. Once you have identified these areas, you can create a template to avoid making the same mistake again.
For example, if you find that you are consistently writing incorrect units, you can create a template that reminds you to check the units before writing the prescription.
You can also create a template to help you remember important facts such as the special requirements or route of administration.
Use Syringe Measurements
When prescribing a liquid medication, knowing the syringe measurements of the dose can help you avoid mistakes.
For example, if you are prescribing a drug in milliliters, remember that there are 10 ml in a teaspoon, 5 ml in a tablespoon, and 3 ml in a half tablespoon. If you know these syringe measurements, you can simply measure out the correct dosage without having to convert it to teaspoons or tablespoons.
Use Dosing Units
For every medication you prescribe, there is a different unit of measurement. It is important to use the correct unit for each medication to avoid any confusion or mistakes.
For example, if you are prescribing a drug in milligrams, don’t write the dosage in teaspoons or tablespoons.
This may confuse the pharmacist or your patient, or even cause an error. If you are prescribing a drug in grams, don’t write the dosage in milligrams. It is important to use the correct unit of measurement for every medication.
Be Familiar with Dosage Forms
While some may believe that the dosage form is irrelevant, it is actually a very important factor when writing a prescription. The dosage form is the physical state of the drug; it is the way the medication looks.
The dosage form can be a liquid, solid, or gas. Liquid dosage forms include syrups, suspensions, and solutions.
Solid dosage forms include powders, pills, capsules, and tablets. The gas dosage form includes things like nitrous oxide.
Depending on the medication, you may need to switch between dosage forms.
For example, if you are prescribing a liquid for a child, you will want to switch to a powder or solid form.
Be Familiar with Pharmacology
The next step in learning how to write a prescription is to be familiar with pharmacology. Pharmacology is the study of drugs and how they interact with the body.
By being familiar with pharmacology, you can understand the effect the medication will have on your patient.
For example, if you are familiar with cyclobenzaprine hydrochloride and its side effects, you can avoid prescribing it to patients who should not take it.
You can understand that cyclobenzaprine hydrochloride is used to relieve muscle spasms. You can also understand that it may cause drowsiness, dry mouth, blurred vision, and other side effects.
Being familiar with pharmacology will help you avoid prescribing that medication to patients who shouldn’t take it. It will also help you avoid prescribing the incorrect dosage.
When you know how to write a prescription, you will be able to help patients receive the proper care and treatment they need. You will be able to effectively communicate with doctors and pharmacists so that they can provide the best medication for each individual.
It is important to remember that writing a prescription is not simply about following a formula. It is about using your knowledge and understanding of medication and healthcare to effectively treat your patient.