This is knowledge was gained from personal experience from when I used to work as a pharmacy tech for a few years.
Everyone has gone to the doctor and been given a prescription to take to the pharmacy in order to pick up medication one time or another. That medication can range from something term like antibiotics for your cold to something long term like a statin drug for your high cholesterol.
From the hospital to the private practice setting, prescription papers can and will look different from each other. Some will be handwritten and some will be typed. But despite these differences, the information on it is what’s important and without it, the speed at which you receive your medication will differ from days to not at all.
There are five important features that need to be on your prescription to make sure that your prescription won’t get turned away from the pharmacy or result in delays as the pharmacist calls your doctor’s office.
The features are:
1) Your name
If the doctor or medical personal forgets to write your name on the prescription, this means that the medication could be for anyone. It may not be a problem if it’s ibuprofen, but it will be if it’s a controlled drug.
If your medication is not a controlled medication, the prescription will expire in a year. It doesn’t matter if you never fill the prescription, it will still expire in a year. So if the doctor wrote your ibuprofen on 3/3/17, the last date you can fill it on 3/3/18.
If it’s a controlled drug, the prescription will expire in 6 months.
3) Drug name and strength
Without the drug name or strength, the pharmacist doesn’t know what they’re giving you. Most drugs also have different strengths and a pharmacist can’t randomly give you whatever strength if it’s blank. That is under a physician’s scope of practice different strengths can affect your body differently.
4) Drug directions
Some drugs are pretty standard in their directions, but some are not. The pharmacist needs to know how you’re taking the medication in order to fill it for you.
5) Doctor’s signature
Without a doctor’s signature, there is no guarantee that this prescription is legitimate and not from a stolen doctor’s pad, especially if the medication is a controlled drug.
While every state have different pharmacy laws, these five features on your prescriptions are needed when you hand in the paper to your pharmacy.
Good luck in filling your prescriptions!