Writing Veterinary Prescriptions

In the best interests of patient welfare, it is important for veterinarians to deliver clear and unambiguous written prescriptions to avoid medication errors.

In compliance with state rules, statements such as “no substitutions” or “dispense as written” can be included in written prescriptions to help avoid unintended medication substitutions or alterations of dosages. Veterinarians should also be familiar with and use currently accepted abbreviations, symbols and verbiage in their written prescriptions.

The AVMA encourages prescribing veterinarians to exercise initiative and establish strong collegial relationships with pharmacists in their sphere of practice. Proactively establishing open lines of communication will establish the pharmacist as part of the veterinary health care team, promote education and foster consultations to address issues and questions that ultimately will arise.