The peculiarities of homoeopathic pharmacy entail certain peculiarities in prescribing which must be noticed.
1. Since there are numerous preparations of each medicine, it is essentially necessary to mark this after the name of the medicine. For example, it is not sufficient to order Belladonna. The name must be followed by the sign denoting the particular preparation. Thus: -
Bell. φ , Bell. 3x, Bell. 6, Bell. 30, would denote respectively the mother tincture, the third decimal, the sixth centesimal, and the thirtieth centesimal attenuations of the medicine.
2. After the sign denoting the preparation must follow the usual signs for the quantity; and in connection with it must be a notification as to whether triturations, tinctures,pilules, or globules are wanted. Thus: -
Merc. vivus 3x grs. ij. = 2 grains of 3rd decimal trituration.
Merc. vivus 6 gtt. ij. = 2 drops of 6th centesimal tincture.
Merc, vivus 6 pil. ij. = 2 pilules of 6th centesimal attenuation.
Merc, vivus 30 gls. iij.= 3 globules of 30th centesimal attenuation.
These may be written thus: -
Merc. vivus grs. 2/3x gtt. 2/6 pil. 2/6 gls. 3/30
Following these necessary rules, the homoeopathic prescriptions will assume some such forms as these :-
Aconitum 3x gtt. iij.; Sacchar. Lactis, grs. vj. M. Fiat pulvis. Mitte tales iv.
Sigt. - Dissolve a powder in dessert-spoonsful of water, and take one dessert-spoonful every hours.
Belladonna 12, gtt. vj.; Aqua destill., vj. M.
Sigt. - A dessert-spoonful to be taken every hours.
-Nucis Vomicae 6, gtt. xij.; Aquae destill.,viij. M.
Sigt. - A tablespoonful to be taken three times a day. And in the event of a medicine being ordered without any strength being indicated, if the physician cannot be communicated with, the chemist shall dispense No. 3 or 5 according to the character of the prescription, but not φ or lx, which should only be dispensed when specially ordered.
Two things are especially to be recommended - viz., that all prescriptions should be written in such a manner that any homoeopathic chemist may read them with certainty and facility; and that the directions for taking the medicines should be so written that both the patient and chemist can understand them.