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Veterinary Prescriptions: A Comprehensive Guide for Pet Owners

Veterinary Prescriptions: A Comprehensive Guide for Pet Owners


If you frequently buy your pet’s medication online, you’re probably used to requesting a written veterinary prescription from your vet. But do you know what information the prescription contains and when it becomes exhausted? Understanding these details can help you manage your pet’s health more effectively.

Why Buy Pet Medications Online?


If you’re not purchasing your pet’s meds online, it might be time to start! Here’s why:

*Cost Savings:* Online dispensaries often offer lower prices compared to buying directly from the vet.
*Convenience:* Ordering online is convenient and can be done from the comfort of your home.

Discuss this option with your vet. They can provide the medication themselves or give you a written prescription to use online. While there may be a fee for the prescription, vets are obligated to provide it if requested.

Understanding Your Pet’s Prescription


Once you’ve requested and received the prescription, it’s essential to understand how to read and use it. A typical veterinary prescription includes the following information:

  • Veterinary Practice Name and Address
  • Client Name and Address
  • Pet’s Name
  • Medication and Strength Prescribed
  • Quantity Prescribed
  • Frequency of Administration
  • Route of Administration
  • Duration of Treatment
  • Any Necessary Warnings About the Product
  • Repeats of Prescription and Quantity
  • Veterinarian’s Name and Professional Qualifications
  • Veterinarian’s Signature
  • Date of Prescription
  • Expiry Date of Prescription


Special Requirements for Controlled Medications


If your pet requires controlled medications (e.g., certain painkillers or epilepsy medications), additional requirements apply:

  • Quantity Prescribed Written in Words and Numbers
  • Veterinarian’s RCVS Number

Note that prescriptions for controlled medications are only valid for 28 days from the date written and cannot include any repeats. These prescriptions must be physically posted to the online dispensary and cannot be emailed.


Expiry Dates and Repeats Explained


Understanding the expiry dates and repeat rules of your prescription is crucial:

Standard Expiry Date: If no expiry date is written and the medication isn’t controlled, the prescription is generally valid for 6 months. This timeframe allows for the prescription to be dispensed, especially if there are repeats.

Example: Daisy the Beagle has a prescription for Loxicom oral solution. The vet prescribes one 100ml bottle with three repeats, totaling four 100ml bottles within six months. Once all four bottles are purchased, the prescription is exhausted, even if it’s within the six-month validity period.



No Repeats: If no repeat is provided, only the exact amount prescribed can be dispensed, regardless of the prescription’s remaining validity period.



Navigating veterinary prescriptions doesn’t have to be complicated. By understanding the details of your pet’s prescription and knowing your options, you can ensure your pet gets the necessary medication efficiently and cost-effectively. Always consult your vet with any questions or concerns, and take advantage of the potential savings and convenience of purchasing medications online.




Dr Nicola Endersby MRCVS

Cura Founder and Veterinary Surgeon