Know what to expect when a prescription is sent electronically


A woman reported an error to us after her child’s doctor sent a prescription to a community pharmacy for her 11-year-old daughter. The prescription was for the laxative Miralax powder (polyethylene glycol 3350). The woman was instructed to give her daughter 3 TEAspoonfuls by mouth mixed with 6 ounces of liquid. This was to be taken once a day for 30 days.

However, when the woman picked up the prescription, the label on the bottle said take three TABLEspoonfuls mixed with 6 ounces of liquid daily for 30 days. Although the doctor sent the prescription to the pharmacy electronically, he gave the woman a hard copy of the prescription in case there was a problem. The woman told us that she would not have remembered the correct dose if she had not received the copy of the prescription. She would have given her daughter more than the required dose for her age and weight.

Here’s what you can do: You should always receive verbal instructions from your doctor about how to take your medicines. This will give you an opportunity to ask questions. If the prescription is sent electronically to the pharmacy, you should also be provided with a clearly marked copy or corresponding “voucher.” This voucher should list the medicine that was ordered, the dose, and the directions for use. You can use the voucher to check the prescription by matching it to what you actually receive in the pharmacy to assure it is the correct medicine and instructions.



Created on December 7, 2012

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