If you try to buy medicine online or in-store you might encounter the term prescription medicine. What really are prescription drugs? These are pharmaceutical drugs that need a valid prescription from a doctor to buy from a pharmacy. These are different to over the counter(OTC) medicine which you can buy directly from your pharmacy, supermarket, or online.

Main reasons behind such categorisations are , Avoidance of drug misuse, prevent unlicensed prescription, and prevent hazarded effects of dangerous drugs.

things to be included in a prescription

  1. patient identification – Name, age, gender, hospital number, ( Name and at least one other identifier)
  2. Type of medicine, dose, frequency, route
  3. Amount to be given at the pharmacy or number of refills
  4. Doctors signature, name, seal.

Frequency abbreviations in prescriptions

  • daily (no abbreviation)
  • every other day (no abbreviation)
  • BID/b.i.d. (twice a day)
  • TID/t.id. (three times a day)
  • QID/q.i.d. (four times a day)
  • QHS (every bedtime)
  • Q4h (every 4 hours)
  • Q4-6h (every 4 to 6 hours)
  • QWK (every week)

Route abbreviations in prescriptions

  • PO (by mouth)
  • PR (per rectum)
  • IM (intramuscular)
  • IV (intravenous)
  • ID (intradermal)
  • IN (intranasal)
  • TP (topical)
  • SL (sublingual)
  • BUCC (buccal)
  • IP (intraperitoneal)