How Long Does This Order Last?

  1. Need the answer to this question (and no I'm not a nursing student). I have worked at different facilities but this one facility is different. Need your expertise on how long this example of an order lasts...6 months, 1yr, etc. Thank you

    By the way, this is something I pulled up on the internet on google images. This is not someone I know. Say, if the 3 was circled instead of PRN.

    http://www.austincc.edu/rxsucces/images/dc-1.jpg
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  2. Visit skittlebear profile page

    About skittlebear, LPN

    Joined: Sep '05; Posts: 433; Likes: 336

    13 Comments

  3. by   Altra
    You'll get your most accurate answer from a pharmacist/pharm tech, not a nurse, as this is a dispensing question, not an order question.

    I doubt it's valid to write for refills "prn" -- a precise number of refills is probably required for the Rx to be valid.
  4. by   ParvulusPuella
    At the most, 1 year from the written date, for that medication.
  5. by   skittlebear
    Thanks for the replies. We do use orders like this in our long term care facility. Say though, it's a different medication and a 3 or 4 was circled instead of the PRN. I thought (as well as most of my colleagues) that this order would expire after one year. Apparently though (if the 3 is circled, for example) the order is only good for 3 months?
  6. by   MunoRN
    The nit-picky answer is that it may not be a valid order to begin with depending on your policies. "QD" is commonly listed as a 'do not use' abbreviation, and the order contains cursive.

    Beyond that, I've never seen a 'refills prn' option, usually how long the order lasts would be defined by the number of refills and the duration of each refill.
  7. by   KelRN215
    Quote from skittlebear
    Thanks for the replies. We do use orders like this in our long term care facility. Say though, it's a different medication and a 3 or 4 was circled instead of the PRN. I thought (as well as most of my colleagues) that this order would expire after one year. Apparently though (if the 3 is circled, for example) the order is only good for 3 months?
    If there are 3 refills on the prescription, it is valid for 4 months. The original prescription gives a month's supply and then the patient can get 3 more months worth with his refills. One year is the maximum amount of time for a prescription in my state. For controlled substances, it is six months. Not all prescriptions are good for a year, which is the purpose of having the prescriber order the number of refills.

    I have never heard of "PRN" refills. I imagine this would be dispensed with a comment "refills require authorization."
  8. by   skittlebear
    Quote from KelRN215
    If there are 3 refills on the prescription, it is valid for 4 months. The original prescription gives a month's supply and then the patient can get 3 more months worth with his refills. One year is the maximum amount of time for a prescription in my state. For controlled substances, it is six months. Not all prescriptions are good for a year, which is the purpose of having the prescriber order the number of refills.

    I have never heard of "PRN" refills. I imagine this would be dispensed with a comment "refills require authorization."
    Thank you sooo much KelRN215, you have answered my question!
  9. by   amoLucia
    I hope that wasn't a real pt because some HIPAA privacy and identity theft issues are possible.
  10. by   KelRN215
    Quote from amoLucia
    I hope that wasn't a real pt because some HIPAA privacy and identity theft issues are possible.
    Being that the prescription says on it "for instructional purposes only", I doubt it's real. That and there is no such practice as "ACC Health Associates" in Austin according to Google.
  11. by   amoLucia
    Oops, missed that. Thank you.
  12. by   Ayvah
    I've had doctors write PRN refills, often it is for things like creams, and refills are based on how often insurance will fill it.
  13. by   BloomNurseRN
    PRN is actually very common for maintenance medications, such as Coumadin. It means that the prescription is good for regular refills for one year from the date of the prescription. We use this regularly in my office.
  14. by   KelRN215
    Quote from Bloomgirl118
    PRN is actually very common for maintenance medications, such as Coumadin. It means that the prescription is good for regular refills for one year from the date of the prescription. We use this regularly in my office.
    This is an honest question... why not just order 11 refills then? That's what my doctors do for me. My monthly meds have 11 refills and my q 3 month ones have 3- both ways give me refills for a year.

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