Antiretroviral medicines should only be dispensed to treatment ready patients with clear instructions and advice.
Antiretroviral drugs are prescription only medicines. Therefore a dispenser should ensure that the prescription is appropriately written and signed by an authorized prescriber whose name, signature and where applicable a prescriber code also appears on the prescription.
The prescriptions for ARVs should clearly indicate the name, age, sex of patient; medicines and dosage.
Antiretrovirals should only be given to the named patient or appointed adherence assistant.
Adequate time should be devoted for antiretroviral dispensing and counselling.
Pharmacist/dispenser should make sure that the patient understands the dosage and drug intake schedule as well as instructions regarding storage and food requirements. Possible drug interactions should be discussed with patient.
• Patients should be warned about possible side effects and measures to be taken to reduce them. Patients should be informed of side effects which require prompt and immediate return to the clinic.
• Pharmacist/Dispenser should respond to specific questions and problems related to ARV treatment encountered by patients (side effects, interactions).