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A prescription is a legal document written by your doctor and provided to your pharmacist to dispense a specific medication to you.
Before writing you a prescription, your doctor will assess you, determine your medical needs, consider your other medical conditions, review your current medications and then decide what medicine is most appropriate for you.
Your prescription can be generated electronically or on paper, and for added convenience, you can receive it via SMS or email.
For a prescription to be valid, it must include all of the following:
Another important aspect of ensuring your prescription is valid is how long ago it was written, as prescriptions do expire. How long a prescription is valid depends on the type of medication that is prescribed on it.
This is the category most prescribed medications fall into.
It includes most of your regular medications for common health conditions such as (but not exclusively):
Schedule 4 medications also include antibiotics, strong painkillers like Panadeine Forte and most benzodiazepine-based medications.
Schedule 4 prescriptions are valid for 12 months from the prescription date.
This category refers to medications that are opioid-based and risk-causing addiction. It includes (but not exclusively):
Schedule 8 prescriptions are valid for six months from the date of prescription.
As your health conditions change, your regular medications may need to be changed or adjusted, or you might need another medication in the short term – perhaps an antibiotic to treat an infection. Also, some medications have side effects that your doctor will monitor and adjust your medication if necessary. Therefore, the expiration of prescriptions is there to protect you and keep you safe.
If the doctor has provided repeats on your prescription, you can get the next supply without seeing the doctor. Typically, for chronic conditions, it is common to get up to five repeats on your prescription, meaning the script will provide up to six months supply of your medication before you need to go back to the doctor for a new script.
Keeping track of and having a valid prescription is crucial because, without it, you will be without your medication, and your health may suffer. Keeping on top of your prescriptions, especially if you take multiple medications daily, can be challenging. But here at MedAdvisor, we are on a mission to put your health in your hands!
The MedAdvisor app is a useful tool to help you track your prescriptions, know how many repeats you have left, and keep on top of your medication supply! It will even notify you when you need a new prescription.
Whilst prescriptions may seem like simple documents, they are, in fact, legal documents that contain important instructions from your doctor to your pharmacist.
They must meet prescribing requirements and be used within their expiry date; otherwise, they are not valid.
It's not uncommon to run out of valid prescriptions, especially if you have a busy lifestyle and take multiple medications.
MedAdvisor is a hassle-free solution for all your prescription management needs. Click here to learn what our medication management app can do for you. And, if you are ready to take the guesswork out of prescription validity, download the MedAdvisor app for free today!
Having the MedAdvisor app on my phone has just taken away any angst and concern that I had beforehand. It does all the thinking for me.
Brooke Stroke Survivor andMedAdvisor User
*For Schedule 8 and monitored Schedule 4 drugs, the following must be written in both words and numbers. The quantity and a statement regarding if refills are prohibited OR the number of times refills are allowed, with a legal maximum of five.
** For Schedule 8 medications prescribed electronically, a handwritten signature from the provider is also required.
Disclaimer: This article is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. Always consult with a healthcare professional for medical advice.