Prescription Requirements


Scroll down to see information on the following topics:

  • Contact Lens Prescriptions
  • Spectacle Prescriptions
  • E-Prescribing (as of 1/1/21)
  • Prescription Drugs
  • Oral Prescription Drugs
  • Prescription Monitoring Program (Controlled Substances Prescriptions)
  • Therapeutic Optometrist Authority
  • Optometric Glaucoma Specialist Authority
  • DEA / DPS Registration
  • Medicaid: Tamper Resistant Requirement
  • Computerized Signatures


Contact Lens Prescriptions

Board Rules: Board Rule 279.2 defines the requirements for a contact lens prescription, release and verification.

Federal Law: The Fairness to Contact Lens Consumers Act, effective February 2004, applies to licensees of the Texas Optometry Board. See link to Board Rule 279.2 above. The Federal Trade Commission has issued rules governing the release of contact lens prescriptions. FTC Rules (warning: this is a 118 page document).

State Law: The Contact Lens Prescription Act sets out the requirements for a contact lens prescription and release. Board Rule 279.2 incorporates these requirements (see above).

Questions: The August 2014, 2011 and 2007 Newsletters answer the most frequent questions regarding contact lens prescription release.


Spectacle Prescriptions

Board Rules: Board Rule 279.4 defines the requirements for a spectacle prescription.

State Law: Section 351.365 of the Texas Optometry Act sets out the requirements for the release of a prescription for spectacles. The Federal Trade Commission has also issued rules governing the release of spectacle prescriptions. Section 351.365 of the Texas Optometry Act incorporates part of the FTC Rules (16 CFR Part 456). See also discussion of FTC Rule in August 2002 Newsletter.


Effective Jan. 1, 2021, House Bill 2174 (86th R) requires Texas prescribers to electronically prescribe all controlled substances         (Schedules II-V) unless an exception applies or a waiver is granted.

Topical Prescription Drugs (Therapeutic Optometrist)

Board Rules: Board Rule 280.5 sets out the requirements for the prescribing of topical prescription drugs, including categories of drugs that may be prescribed. The rule also sets out the procedure to prohibit substitution of generic drugs (subsection (b)), as well as the other requirements for writing a prescription (subsection (c)).


Oral Prescription Drugs and Anti-glaucomas (Optometric Glaucoma Specialist)

Controlled Substances: Prescriptions for Schedule III Controlled Substances must contain the following information:

NOTE: See important information below concerning the Prescription Monitoring Program.

  • Quantity of the substance prescribed (written as both a number and as a word)
  • Date of issue (can not be postdated)
  • Name, address, and date of birth or age of the patient (if the patient is an animal, the species and the name and address of the owner)
  • Name and strength of the controlled substance prescribed
  • Directions for use of the controlled substance
  • Intended use of the substance prescribed unless the practitioner determines the furnishing of this information is not in the best interest of the patient
  • Printed or stamped name, address, Federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) registration number, and telephone number of the practitioner’s usual place of business
  • The signature of the prescribing practitioner, unless the prescription is called in to the pharmacy
  • The practitioner’s current and valid DPS registration number for practitioners licensed in Texas. The DPS registration number must belong to the practitioner issuing the prescription; the prescribing practitioner may be a properly registered physician’s assistant or an advanced practice nurse on Schedules III-V prescriptions. The Department of Public Safety no longer issues a Controlled Substance Permit.


Prescription Monitoring Program

State law imposes duties on health professionals, including Optometric Glaucoma Specialists, to combat the abuse of opioids. One duty is to query the Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) before prescribing an analgesic that is a controlled substance (an Optometric Glaucoma Specialist may prescribe one three-day supply of any analgesic identified in Schedules III, IV, and V). See the August 2019 Newsletter for detailed information. Also see the PMP Website. Licensees may register and query the PMP now, but must do so starting March 1, 2020, when prescribing an opioid. Only registered users can query. See also Board Rule 280.10.


MEDICAID: Tamper Resistant Requirements

Requirements: Current Federal Requirements as published by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services: “Starting on October 1, 2008, in order for Medicaid outpatient drugs to be reimbursable by the federal government, all written, non-electronic prescriptions must contain at least three tamper-resistant features, one from each of the three baseline characteristics outlined in guidance issued by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.” The Texas Health and Human Services Commission has issued a guidance document with detailed information on the requirement. The requirement does not apply to telephone, e-mail or faxed prescriptions.

Questions: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and Texas Pharmacy Board.


DEA Controlled Substance Registration

Procedure: A DEA Controlled Substance Registration is only required if the licensee prescribes or administers controlled substances. See Board Rules 280.5 and 280.10. Note: The Texas Department of Public Safety no longer issues a controlled substances permit. To obtain a DEA number, apply to the DEA: National: 800-882-9539; Dallas: 888-336-4704; Houston: 800-743-0595, or use the Internet address. Call the Board if you are unsure of the schedules you are authorized to prescribe. If you are currently licensed as an optometric glaucoma specialist, an authorized schedule is available.
Requirements: There are fees and record keeping requirements involved. DEA Numbers should be protected from misuse.


Computerized Signatures

Requirements: Computer generated signatures are permissible, but only if the guidelines in Rules 279.2, 279.4 and 280.5 are followed. The rules do not authorize the use of rubber stamped signatures. See page 7 of the August 2013 Newsletter.