Handling of Prescription - Pharmaceutics - I B. Pharma 1st Semester

Handling of Prescription

Learning Objectives

At the end of this lecture, student will be able to:

• List the steps involved in processing / handling of prescription

• Describe each step involved in handling of prescription

• Explain the importance of each step involved in handling of prescription

Steps in prescription handling

1. Receiving the prescription

2. Reading and checking the prescription.

3. Collecting and weighing the ingredients

4. Compounding

5. Packaging

6. Labeling

7. Rechecking

8. Rechecking

9. Dispensing and patient counseling

10. Recording and filling

1. Receiving the Prescription

Professional manner

• While receiving or reading the prescription the pharmacist should not show any signs of confusion or surprise as it may cause anxiety in the patient.

2. Reading and Checking the Prescription

• A brief examination of each prescription

• Read completely and carefully in privacy of the prescription department

• Time taken for compounding

• Any doubt regarding the prescription??

• Never guess….

• Oral prescriptions should be immediately written down and should be verified by repeating it.

• This is important because there are a number of drugs with the same pronunciation.

Example: Digoxin – Digitoxin, Indocin – Lincocin, Prednisone – Prednisolone, Quinine – Quinidine.

3. Collecting and weighing the ingredients

• Assemble the necessary materials in a single location on the prescription counter.

• Ingredient collected on the left hand side of the balance.

• Weighed ingredients should be shifted to the right hand of the balance.

4. Preparing the prescription

• The pharmacist should decide on the exact procedure to be followed in dispensing or compounding the ingredients.

• The pharmacist should take into consideration

• The compatibility of all the ingredients,

• The right order of mixing,

• The need for special adjuvants / additives

• Techniques and the mathematical calculations to be followed.

• Most of the present day prescriptions are branded prescription.

• Care must be exercised that the product dispensed is of the prescribed dosage form, strength and number of dosage units.

• Verify:

• The manufacturer’s label for expiry date

• Products which show signs of poor manufacturing or

• Signs of deterioration

5. Packaging

• Container selection

• Container shapes, sizes mouth openings, colors and compositions.

• Majority containers - colorless or amber colored glass or plastic containers.

Types of containers for different products.

Type of container

Type of product

Round vials

Solid dosage forms like tablets and capsules

Prescription bottles

Liquids of low viscosity

Wide-mouthed bottles

Bulk powders, large quantities of tablets and capsules and viscous liquids

Dropper bottles

Opthalmic, nasal, ear or oral liquids to be administered by drop

Ointment jars and collapsible tubes

Semisolids like creams and ointments


6. Labeling

• Aesthetic and professional in appearance.

• Label - appropriate to the size of the container

• Written or typed in indelible ink.

• Label contains:

- Name and address of the pharmacy

- Prescription number

- Prescriber name

- Patient’s name, directions for use and the date of dispensing.

• Directions should be written as clearly as possible

• Auxiliary labels should be used to emphasize a number of important aspects of the dispensed medication, including:

- Its proper use

- Handling

- Storage

- Refill status

- Necessary warnings or precautions









7. Rechecking

• Prescription rechecked

• Ingredients and amounts verified

• Label details rechecked

• Check directions

• Recheck patient’s name,

• Prescription number, date and prescriber name.

8. Dispensing and patient counseling

• While delivering the prescription to the patient, the instructions on the label should be reinforced to the patient.

9. Recording and filing

A record of all the dispensed prescriptions should be maintained in the pharmacy by using prescription files.


• Receiving the prescription – No signs of confusion

• Reading and checking the prescription - confirmation

• Collecting and weighing the ingredients - Accuracy

• Compounding - Procedures

• Packaging – Container type and size

• Labeling – Sufficient information

• Rechecking

• Dispensing and patient counseling – directions

• Recording and filling – documentation

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