The superscription is found at the top portion of the paper. The importance of the superscription is to ensure that the pharmacist is dispensing the right medication to the right person.
If you are filling a prescription on behalf of someone else, like your elderly family members, you will need to show proof. Having a signed authorization letter and government ID may be needed to fill the prescription.
In some cases, the pharmacy may not dispense certain drugs unless you are the owner of the prescription. This is especially true for dangerous or controlled drugs like opioid painkillers.
The ℞ symbol comes from the Latin word “recipere”, which is closely translated as “to take or receive”. The word recipe also comes from this word.
In the past, pharmacists were known as chemists or apothecaries and the “recipes” were used to make or compound medicines from scratch.
Today, some doctors prescribe medications that require compounding and reconstitution. The compounding instructions are in the prescription.
This is the body or main part of the prescription. The inscription contains the name of the drugs and their respective strengths.
By Philippine law, under RA 6675, all prescriptions must contain the generic name of the drug. A brand name is allowed, but it must come after the generic name and be enclosed in parentheses.
If your doctor has written you a prescription without the generic name, you should remind him/her to include it.
This also makes it easier to purchase the medications in the pharmacy, as not all pharmacies carry branded drugs.
The pharmacist needs to read the subscription to know how many tablets or capsules need to be dispensed. Sometimes, this part is written with the inscription.
In some cases, there will be additional instructions to the pharmacist. They may need to compound or reconstitute certain medications before giving it to you.