How To Write A Prescription?


Ever seen the sign of Rx on your medical prescription? In Roman mythology, Jupiter was believed to be the king of Roman Gods. The symbol Rx represents a prayer call to Jupiter for healing and is a symbol of healing for the patient.  A prescription is a legal document that allows a doctor to prescribe medication. It contains detailed information about the patient as well as a doctor’s diagnosis and treatment plan. In some cases, a prescription is just a doctor’s recommendation for a patient to buy medicine at a pharmacy. In other cases, the doctor will prescribe a certain dose and the amount of medication that should be given to the patient. Prescriptions can often prevent much more serious conditions. This is why prescription writing is a crucial skill for any healthcare professional.  Let us learn about prescription writing. 

Prescription Writing

Prescription writing is a critical skill for those who write prescriptions such as practicing clinicians. It requires the ability to communicate complex medical information in a way that is clear, concise, and effective.

Prescription writing

It also requires the ability to understand the medical context of a patient’s complaint or symptoms and to communicate the appropriate diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up recommendations in light of that context.

The world’s recorded prescriptions date back to around 2100 B.C.

For example, if a patient is looking for a referral to a specialist for abdominal pain, the prescription writing professional needs to understand that the patient is likely experiencing some type of gastrointestinal pathology and that the location of the pain is relative to other symptoms such as nausea and vomiting may be relevant to the diagnosis. There are five distinct levels of scheduling for medications (I-V), with the schedule I having the tightest controls, and V being the least restrictive.

The most common schedule for medications is V, which allows for the management of chronic pain and other disorders while schedule I medications include narcotics, such as morphine, and the sedatives Xanax and Valium.

medical prescription

Image source:

Parts of a Prescription 

A prescription usually contains the following parts: a patient information section, a direction section, and a doctor’s signature.


The patient information section constitutes the header of the prescription. It contains information about the patient and the drug that the doctor has prescribed. This section includes:-

  • Date of issue
  • Patient’s name and address
  • Patient’s date of birth
  • Patient’s gender 


The direction section describes the drug that the doctor has prescribed and tells the pharmacist exactly how much of the drug to dispense and when. It constitutes the body of the prescription and includes:-


It consists of the symbol Rx, which is used to indicate that the contents of the prescription should be taken in the given amounts, following the prescription.


It contains details such as the drug name, quantity and strength, the route of administration, and the dosage. It may also include other instructions such as how often to administer the drug, how long to maintain the dosage, or when further doses are needed.

Parts of a prescription

Image Source:


The subscription directs pharmacists on what to make from components i.e. mixture, liniment, ointment, etc., and what kind of it to dispense.


The doctor must sign the prescription after it has been filled. This signature is required by law to ensure that patients are receiving legitimate prescriptions.

Abbreviations in Prescription Writing 

Abbreviations have a long history of use in medical prescription writing. They allow the doctor to record a lot of information in a small space and also allow for greater speed in writing. The right abbreviation can reduce the amount of writing you need to do and make your prescriptions easier to read.

Joint commission has removed q.d. and q.o.d abbreviations due to high chances of confusion and complications. 

Here are some of the common abbreviations used in prescription writing:- prescription abbreviations

Abbreviations in prescriptions


To wrap it all up

When it comes to writing prescriptions, your patients depend heavily on what you write. A wrong dosage, an incorrect drug, or a poorly worded sentence can have major health consequences. 

That’s why it’s so important to develop your prescription writing skills. Not only will this improve your patients’ health outcomes, it will also increase your credibility. Prescription writing can be improved with time and practice. It is important to apply your medical knowledge effectively so as to make the healing journey of your patient as smooth and effortless for your patient. 

With this we conclude our guide to prescription writing. If you like a novice at prescription writing, have patience and give it some time and practice. You’ll surely refine your skills with experience. Check out our blogs for more insights and information.

Team MBD

Read more: Types of Cancer – My Biology Dictionary

Must Watch about prescription writing:


1 Response

  1. Anoopkotnala says:

    Very informative.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *