Welcome to Clinical Indications

Learn About Clinical Indications

Clinical indications are a combination of three or four words that can be used on a prescription to describe the effect on the patient of a particular drug.

See the Sample Directory of Clinical Indications for examples

This site exists to promote the use of clinical indications with the goal of seeing them widely used.

The General Medical Council has endorsed the use of Clinical Indications for all medical prescribers in its latest guidelines on Good Practice in Prescribing published in February 2013. In the section Keeping up to date and prescribing safely the guidance advises “You should consider including clinical indications on your prescriptions.”

Click here to go to this document. The guidance can be found in paragraph 10 (which is on Page 2 of the PDF).

Recent News

  • GMC Reaffirmed that Clinicians Should Consider Including Clinical Indications on Their Prescriptions - In April 2021 the GMC reaffirmed that clinicians should consider including clinical indications on their prescriptions. Keeping up to date and prescribing safely. 
  • 2019 Hospital Medicines Management United Kingdom - Katherine Shemilt and others explored the impact of including clinical indications on inpatient prescriptions. Pharmacists thought this would be helpful and practical to implement on new prescriptions but time consuming and difficult to apply to pre-existing medicines. Clinical Pharmacist 8th January 2019. 
  • 2015 Research in Primary Care in Quebec, Canada -

    2015 Research in Primary Care in Quebec, Canada using the Medical Office of the XX1ST Century electronic health record that supports treatment indications and outcomes has shown greater adverse drug reactions with off - label use of medications. (Published online. Title :Association of Off-Label Drug Use and Adverse Drug Events in an Adult Population.

Dr Nigel Masters

Enhancing Care

Clinical Indications allows all Healthcare staff to understand why drugs are being prescribed. Thus the health team can reinforce prescribing indication and drug compliance.

Increasing Safety

Clinical Indications clarifies need for specific medication use and adds essential safety information. Drug prescribing indication is a valuable risk assessment tool as it helps the prescriber balance risk and benefit of the medication.

Empowering Patients

Clinical Indications provides simple explanations of the reason for each prescription. This benefits patients who are on numerous medications. Carers can quickly identify important drugs and reassure confused vulnerable patients.