Drugs anyone?
May 23, 2007 8:41 AM   Subscribe

Do physical therpists prescribe drugs? I have been trying to google this for the last 20 minutes. My freind is going in to physical therapy in college and I am sure my grandpa's physical theraist prescibed him things but she claims she wont be able to. can someone please settle this.
posted by DJWeezy to Health & Fitness (7 answers total)
posted by bitdamaged at 8:55 AM on May 23, 2007

The physical therapist (the person), is usually not a doctor (or PA or NP) and does not have the authority to write a prescription.

The physical therapy practice (the office) may include a doctor on staff, or be part of a larger practice which includes doctors. Obviously, those doctors can (assuming they've seen the patient).

When I had my MCL repaired, the physical therapist that I saw worked in the same office as the orthopedist that I saw. During the course of physical therapy, my orthopedist did write me a prescription during one of my appointments with the therapist.

But no, a physical therapist does not prescribe drugs themselves.
posted by toxic at 9:16 AM on May 23, 2007

If your grandpa's PT prescribed meds for your grandpa, then s/he is almost certainly certified as more than a PT. Most PTs are only PTs, and most states do not allow PTs to prescribe meds. If your grandpa's PT is also a registered practical nurse or physician's assistant (or a medical intern) then s/he can write a 'script for some meds. It's also possible that while your grandpa's PT suggested the 'script that there is an actual doctor on the clinic staff who signed off on the prescription.
posted by jlkr at 9:22 AM on May 23, 2007

A PT cannot prescribe.
posted by docpops at 9:54 AM on May 23, 2007

There are some states where there are efforts currently ongoing to have this changed, and let PTs dispense medication in certain situations (I think with standing authorization from a physician, similar to how Paramedics do it), right now they can't usually dispense meds, and definitely can't write their own Rxes.
posted by Kadin2048 at 11:11 AM on May 23, 2007

When I was in physical therapy my therapist gave me a note for a prescrition muscle relaxant - which I then took to the medical clinic where the doctor gave me a 5-10 minute quiz to ensure there wasn't a contraindication (allergy, other meds, whatever) and then signed off on the meds.

I think it's quite common from therapists to recommend certain types of drugs or pain killers, but it's the doc who actually makes it into a prescription.
posted by tiamat at 12:29 PM on May 23, 2007

i may be just making this up but i believe that one actually must have an MD to be able to prescribe drugs.
posted by violetk at 12:57 PM on May 23, 2007

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