Discharge prescription

Writing discharge prescriptions in the ED

Discharge prescriptions for patients going home should be written on a yellow hospital prescription rather than on HSE headed note paper.

Legal requirements for prescriptions

  • Must be legible
  • Must be in ink
  • Must be dated & signed by practitioner in their usual signature
  • Clearly indicate the prescriber’s name
  • Specify the prescriber’s address (HSE notepaper doesn’t have an address on it)
  • State whether the prescriber is a doctor, dentist or nurse. (The Medical Council recommends including doctors registration number – not a legal requirement)
  • Specify the name & address of the patient
  • State the age of the patient if under twelve years

Legal requirements for Controlled Drug prescriptions (CD schedule 2 & 3)

  • Must be written in indelible ink
  • Must be dated & signed by practitione
  • Must specify the address of the prescriber
  • Patient’s name & address must be handwritten (no addressograph stickers)
  • Must handwrite the following drug details:
    • Dose to be taken
    • Form
    • Strength
    • Total quantity to be supplied in words & figures
    • Clearly indicate the prescriber’s name & state whether the person is a registered medical practitioner. (The MC  recommends including doctor's MCRN - not a legal requirement)
    • Telephone number at which the prescriber may be contacted
Schedule Example
Schedule 1 Substances not ordinarily used as medicines e.g. Raw Opium, Coca Leaf
Schedule 2 Opiate substances for example, Morphine, Fentanyl and Oxycodone. Some Stimulants e.g. Lisdexamphetamine
Schedule 3 Certain Benzodiazepines and painkillers e.g. Temazepam, Flunitrazepam, Pentazocine, Ketamine
Schedule 4 (1) Most Benzodiazepines and 'Z-drugs' e.g. Diazepam, Alprazolam, Clonazepam, Midazolam and Zolpidem
Schedule 4 (2) Certain Anti-Epileptics for example, Phenobarbitone <100mg. Certain MAOIs e.g. Selegiline
Schedule 5 Lower strengths of painkillers for example, Codeine (below specified concentration)

Content by Dr Íomhar O' Sullivan. Last review Dr ÍOS Ms Regina Lee 15/04/24.