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TIPS FOR SAFE PRESCRIPTION WRITING** LEGIBILITY 1. Take time to write legibly. 2. Print if this would be more legible than handwriting. 3. Use a typewriter or computer if necessary. In the near future, healthcare providers will generate all prescriptions by computer to eliminate legibility problems. 4. Carefully print the order to avoid misreading. There are many “sound alike” drugs andmedications that have similar spellings (ie, Celexa and Celebrex). DANGEROUS PRESCRIPTION-WRITING PRACTICES 1. Never use a trailing zero. Correct: 1 mg; Dangerous: 1.0 mg. If the decimal is not seen, a 10-fold overdose can occur. 2. Never leave a decimal point “naked.” Correct: 0.5 mL; Dangerous: .5 mL. If the decimal point is not seen, a 10-fold overdose can occur. 3. Never abbreviate a drug name. As theabbreviation may be misunderstood or have multiple meanings. 4. Never abbreviate U for units. As it can easily be read as a zero, thus “6 U regular insulin” can be misread as 60 units. The order should be written as “6 units regular insulin.” 5. Never use qd (abbreviation for once a day). When poorly written, the tail of the “q” can make it read qid or four times a day.

(**From Clinician’sPocket Reference, 11th ed. Gomella, LG and Haist, SA, eds., McGraw-Hill, 2007, New York. Used with permission)



Judith A. Barberio, PhD, APN,C, ANP, FNP, GNP

Leonard G. Gomella, MD, FACS

Steven A. Haist, MD, MS, FACP Aimee Gelhot Adams, PharmD

New York Chicago San Francisco Lisbon London Madrid Mexico CityMilan New Delhi San Juan Seoul Singapore Sydney Toronto

Copyright © 2010 by Judith A. Barberio. Based on Clinician’s Pocket Drug Reference 2009.Copyright © 2009 by Leonard G. Gomella. Published by The McGraw-Hill Companies,Inc. All rights reserved. Except as permitted under the United States Copyright Act of 1976, no part of this publication may be reproduced or distributed in any form or byany means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, without the prior written permission of the publisher. ISBN: 978-0-07-163685-8 MHID: 0-07-163685-4 The material in this eBook also appearzs in the print version of this title: ISBN: 978-0-07-162743-6, MHID: 0-07-162743-X. All trademarks are trademarks of their respective owners. Rather than put a trademark symbol after every occurrence of atrademarked name, we use names in an editorial fashion only, and to the benefit of the trademark owner, with no intention of infringement of the trademark. Where such designations appear in this book, they have been printed with initiacaps. McGraw-Hill eBooks are available at special quantity discounts to use as premiums and sales promotions, or for use in corporate training programs. To contact arepresentative please email us at

Medicine is an ever-changing science. As new research and clinical experience broaden our knowledge, changes in treatment and drug therapy are required. The authors andthe publisher of this work have checked with sources believed to be reliable in their efforts to provide information that is complete and geerally in accord with thestandardsaccepted at the time of publication. However, in view of the possibility of human error or changes in medical sciences, neither the authors nor the publisher nor any other party who has been involved in the preparation or publication of this work warrants that the information contained herein is in every respect accurate or complete, and they disclaim all responsibility for any errors oromissions or for the results obtained from use of the information contained in this work. Readers are encouraged to confirm the information contained herein with other sources. For example and in particular, readers are advised to check the product information sheet included in the package of each drug they plan to administer to be certain that the information contained in this work is accurate and...
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