The Pharmaceutics and Compounding Laboratory
Prescriptions and Medication Orders


The practice of pharmacy has undergone a major transformation in the twentieth century. Pharmacists have evolved from herbalists, compounding and dispensing a limited formulary of poorly controlled products to drug information specialists handling thousands of sophisticated and highly refined pharmaceutical products.

Although pharmacists are still in a period of significant professional change, it is doubtful that their role in compounding and dispensing products will ever be totally replaced with other professional responsibilities. Regardless of his or her other professional duties, the pharmacist is ultimately responsible for ensuring that the products which he or she dispenses are safe, accurate, and appropriate for the patient. Hence, the pharmacist must possess skills, knowledge, and understanding of basic principles which allow him to maintain accuracy in compounding and dosing.

Part of the definition of compounding is to prepare, mix, assemble, package, or label a drug or device for dispensing as the result of a practitioner's Prescription Drug Order or initiative based on the pharmacit/patient/prescriber relationship in the course of professional practice.

Prescription and mediation orders convey necessary and specific information to the pharmacist. However, they are typically used in different patient-care settings. Prescriptions generally are used for outpatient care and medication orders are used in insitutional care.

                  Jacquelyn Hyde, MD

                  123 Upendown Rd.

                  Nowhere, NC 27000

Phone: 555-1234                         DEA # AH0079411

Name: Dan D. Lyon                         Date:   Today     

Address: 123 Jackla Lane                  Phone: 555-5678


    Acetaminophen           gr. v

    Alcohol USP             fl. ss

    Cherry syrup    q.s.    fl. iii

    Sig:  tsp. q4-6h prn

    Refills: 1


  Product selection permitted       Dispense as written

Medication orders are used to order medications for patients in hospitals, nursing homes, and other institutions. Medication orders also contain orders for procedures, laboratory test, and discharge instructions. One medication order form may request many different medications, whereas prescription forms can request only one medication.