Michel Cymes tells you everything you need to know about doctor’s prescriptions

Every day in France, some 4 million people cross the threshold of a pharmacy, most of them with a prescription in hand. But sometimes the document is a little complicated to decipher, literally as well as figuratively. Yes handwritten prescriptions are increasingly rare, they often require a lot of patience to understand them.

Several information must imperatively appear on the prescriptions. In this case, this is the name and affiliation number of the doctor, patient’s first and last name, the weight of the patient, especially if it is a child because this can have consequences on the dosage, the doctor’s signature and finally, the date of the prescription, because they are generally valid for three months.

Some prescriptions may be valid up to 1 year as is the case with some chronic disease treatments such as diabetes. However, the very first time you go to the pharmacist, your prescription is less than 3 months old. In addition, do not expect to stock up on medication for more than a month, even if you have a long-term prescription. You will have to return to the pharmacy every month.

Some exceptions to know

However, there are rare exceptions to this rule of returning to the pharmacy every month. When the drug exists in quarterly packaging, in other words, the box contains everything you need for three months of treatment. The other exception is when you go abroad for more than a month. You must have reported it to your doctor and that he himself has done the same with Social Security so that it gives its approval.

Pharmacists are prohibited by law from giving you medication if you do not have your prescription. The rare cases that are an exception to this rule are when you have a chronic illness and are on treatment. The pharmacist can then help you outone box of drugs, as small as possible, if he considers that the treatment is essential for you and that its suspension could be harmful to your health.

Other case where a prescription is not necessarily necessary, for women, it is the pill. The pharmacist can help you out, but only if you are able to present a prescription for less than a year.

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