Meaning Of Prescription, Rx, NRx, XRx, and Adv. Abbreviations

In this post we are discussing about meaning of prescription, meaning of Rx, NRx, XRx and Adv Symbols. You will find one or more of these short words in every medical prescription  There are differences among these symbols and they are used in a prescription for different objectives.

Meaning Of Prescription

Definition of Prescription: Prescription is an instruction written by a medical practitioner that authorises a patient to be issued with a medicine or treatment.
[box_note note_color=”#fcdd6d”]Prescription is a health plan recommended and authorised by the qualified healthcare professional.[/box_note] In India mostly only registered medical practitioner or therapist are authorised to write prescription unlike some foreign countries where some other qualified health professionals also writes prescription in their domain. However in India too, this scenario could change in near future for interest of the patients.
Thus Prescription is a health plan recommended and authorised by the qualified healthcare professional , implemented together with other healthcare professionals for patient well being.
The word “prescription”, from “pre-” (“before”) and “script” (“writing, written”), refers to the fact that the prescription is an order that must be written down before a compound drug can be prepared.
Prescription includes drugs, dosage, route of administration,  recommended tests and other instructions for the patients. Often it also contains others notings such as condition and stage of the disease.
[box_note note_color=”#fcdd6d”] Symbols Rx, NRx, and XRx means that medicine can be purchased only on a valid prescription.[/box_note] Many medicines or drugs could not be purchased without a prescription, these are called prescription drugs. Only over the counter medicines can be purchased without prescription.
In India only registered pharmacists could dispense the prescription drugs. Doctor can also dispense medicine but only on his own prescription. Pharmacists responsibility includes professional interpretation of prescription, communication of instructions contained in the prescription to patients, dispensing of medicines and answering patient’s related queries, informing patient about possible side effects and caution, pointing out any human error in prescription to doctor.

Meaning of Rx

First we need to know that Rx is a symbol and not any word. meaning of Rx symbol in modern times is to signify a ‘prescription’. Rx as such has no full form, in modern times it means a physician’s “prescription”
[box_note note_color=”#fcdd6d”] Rx sign originated from ‘recipere’ which meant ‘to take’. Mostly used for Schedule H and H1 Drugs Prescription.[/box_note] Rx sign have Greek origin. It basically originated from ‘recipere’ or recipe, which meant ‘to take’.
In earlier times doctors and pharmacists weren’t separate. Single person used to diagnose the patient, prepare the medicine and dispense it to the patient. Later the roles separated and Rx was used by the doctor to communicate with the pharmacist. Below Rx, the doctor would write formulations which were supposed to be given and their doses. The pharmacist used to formulate the medication  in the required dosages and form; and dispense it to the patient and guide him about how the medication is to be taken.
However, in modern times, Pharmacists no longer have to compound the medication when it is prescribed, there roles have evolved to other responsibilities in advanced countries. The medicines come already manufactured from the pharma industry ,which are also made by manufacturing pharmacists.
Still doctors usually use Rx before starting their prescriptions. Symbol Rx signify that this is a medical prescription. Nowadays some doctors use ‘Adv.’ before starting the prescription. Schedule H and H1 drugs are labelled Rx on their label.

Meaning  of NRx

NRx as word or symbol is used for Schedule H narcotics drugs in india. Its full form is “New Drug prescription”. Difference from Rx is that Rx prescriptions can be refilled by pharmacists for reasonable number of times. But for NRx drugs a recent date prescription should be asked every time before refill.  Rx symbol indicates that prescription has schedule H and H1 non-narcotic Drugs. NRx is also used for Schedule H drugs but which are narcotics like alprazolam, codeine and  clonazepam.
[box_note note_color=”#fcdd6d”] NRx sign is used to regulate Narcotics medicines sales.  NRx is mainly used for anti-anxiety, anti-depression, analgesic  and antitussive narcotic drugs.[/box_note] The provision of NRx is made to prevent the misuse of these drugs, The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act was enacted in 1985 for this effect to regulate the manufacture, sale, purchase, stock and use of narcotic or potentially addictive drugs. They are used for chronic conditions such as depression, anxiety, tension, psychosomatic and behavioural disorders. Narcotics drugs misuse can result in addiction , drug abuse and health problems.

Meaning Of XRx

Use of XRx Symbol is required by Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act  for Schedule X drugs. The drug retailer has to preserve the copy of prescription having XRx symbol for two years and the drugs package also should be labelled with the symbol ‘XRx’ and conspicuously displayed on the left top corner of the label.
[box_note note_color=”#fcdd6d”] XRx drugs are mostly used to treat mental disorders[/box_note] Schedule X includes narcotic and psychotropic substances-based drugs.  Difference between Nrx and Xrx is that some NRx is used for narcotics covered under schedule H while heavier narcotics are covered under schedule X and XRx is used.

Meaning Of Adv.

Nowadays many doctors use Adv. in place of Rx. The full-form of Adv. is Advice. This shortened word has no historical significance. Adv. is used in medical prescription as a matter of preference and trend. It means pharmacists should dispense medicines  as mentioned below the Adv. word.

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