All prescriptions should be written on printed blanks bearing the name, address, office hours and telephone number of the physician. It is best to have a stub for a copy and memorandum of each prescription written, or a tracing sheet may be used. It is not good form to have a pharmacy address on the prescription blank. The date had best be written at the bottom of the prescription, though it is not essential as the druggist's stamp is sufficient. The patient's name should be written on the prescription if more than one patient is prescribed for in the same family, otherwise it is not necessary.
The question of ownership of the prescription is still discussed, but there is no doubt that the prescription belongs to the druggist who compounds it, though he often yields to the desire of the patient to retain it.
The following is a suggestion for a prescription blank, ruled for the metric system:
- M. D.
Street - City - State
Weigh Solids. Measure Liquids. C. C.
heading every prescription, is the beginning of the Latin word recipe, which is the imperative mood of the verb recipio, and is an order to the compounder signifying "take." The oblique dash over the tail of the is symbolical of early times when an invocation to Jupiter, later contracted to the simple zodiacal sign, headed every prescription.
The names of the ingredients and the directions to the compounder are always written in Latin, but the directions to the patient should be in English.
When there are several ingredients, the most active solids should generally be placed first, then other active ingredients, and last the vehicle or solvent, perhaps preceded by a flavoring agent.
If there is more than one ingredient they should be followed by the imperative Misce (mix), and if powders, pills, or capsules are to be made the imperative Fac (make) should be added after the conjunction el. (Some writers prefer Fiat or Fiant (let be made) instead of Fac, The noun following these words should then be in the nominative case.) Some physicians prefer to use the imperative Divide (divide). This should be followed by the preposition in with the accusative. Lastly comes the imperative Signa (mark or write), followed by the directions to the patient.