Prescription. This consists of four parts: 1. Superscription (date, name and address of patient; also regular sign, ℞, fr. L. recipio, re-cipere, to take; recipe, take thou); 2. Inscription (the body, consisting of 60 basis or chief ingredient, adjuvant or assistant to basis, corrective or anything to correct the injurious quality of the two preceding, vehicle or excipient to make it pleasant and of suitable form; 3. Subscription (directions to the compounder, usually in Latin); 4. Signature (directions for taking, also physician's name, in English).
A prescription may consist of a single article, the base, and although the fewer the drugs combined often the better, yet sometimes much good results from mixing several, as in the case of cathartics, of which different ones act upon various portions of the canal. Every article should be written in the Latin genitive, and if of several parts each should receive this ending. It is, however, very seldom that the physician adheres absolutely to this rule, as he so often omits terminations and otherwise abbreviates, a habit that frequently gives ambiguity and sometimes annoyance to the compounder.
Words having nominative ending in a, have genitive in oe; those in us um, os, on = i; as = atis; is = idis, eris, itis; o = onis, inis, etc. The quantities are governed by the verb recipio, hence are in the objective case, and when expressed in Latin nomenclature, which is very rare, should be placed in the accusative. The English of the average prescription has about this form: Take thou (imp.) of drugs (gen.) certain quantities (ace), mix thou (imp.), let (thou) a solution, mixture, pills, etc. (nom. s. or pl.), be made (sub. used as passive imp.).
For Mr. Bonaparte, 1241 St. Paul St.,
Dec. 15; 1916.
Aquae Cinnamomi, q. s. (ad)
M., ft. mist. (sol.).
S. (Sig.) Teaspoonful every 3 hours.