This policy should be read in relation to the care service’s other medication policies and guidance on medicine management produced by NHS Wales.

Background

Most medication is prescribed with clear instructions of how much should be taken and how often.

However, some medication is prescribed on a “taken as required” dose, sometimes abbreviated as PRN (pro re nata). “To be taken as required” means medication to be taken when needed, eg when a person is in pain. Some non-prescribed medication can also be taken as required depending on the reasons for its use.

Such medication is usually prescribed to treat short-term or intermittent medical conditions and is not to be taken regularly. Painkillers are commonly prescribed on a PRN basis or obtained on an over-the-counter basis.

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