Elvis' (fake) drug prescription

201011091019 Elvis Presley's physician had very good handwriting! (Click to embiggen.) (Via)

UPDATE: Boing Boing reader Brock says: "It's a fake. The zipcode should be '38104,' not '34108.'" He's right!


  1. holy speedball, man! i’m taking it, from his heft in the later 70s, that he was more into the downers.

  2. Did Elvis show this prescription to Nixon when he got his badge?

    You have to love a doctor that gives a relatively normal person dilaudid (form of morphine) to take at home. I guess it couldn’t be much worse than the fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches he ate.

  3. Interesting date on this. Elvis died on Aug 16 of 1977. So if this is real, wonder who got all these drugs?

  4. George Nichopolous isn’t fooling anybody. Look at that handwriting. It’s readable. Clearly this wasn’t written by a real doctor.

  5. Oohhh Dexedrine, nice! I scored a year prescription of 15 mg spansules from my doc for my “ADD” in college. Waaaaay better than the crummy Adderall (which is composed of 2 amphetamines and 2 methamphetamines).

  6. Duh @ HowardsGrl. He died the day after the prescription was written. Overdose if I remember correctly…..

  7. Of course this is real, look at the date, “’77”, abbreviated exactly the way everyone wrote the date in ’77.

  8. as a pharmacist, this in one f*&ked up prescription…no directions for taking meds, incomplete address for patient (not to mention the combo is alarming).

  9. There’s no dosage (as in how many to take), frequency or indication (as in what to take them for).

  10. I’m not saying it’s not a fake, but are we sure the zip code is the tell? Maybe today the zip ends in 04, but 30 years ago it ended in 08? Zips can change . . .

  11. DUH !

    The word ” Quaalude ” is a street term, not used in the medical vernacular.
    It would be Methaqualone. Way too obvious before the zip code.

    1. Quaalude is the brand name. It’s no different than writing Valium instead of Diazepam. This is long before the generic drug revolution.

  12. Uh, just because the zip code is wrong doesn’t mean it’s fake. It may be fake, but not necessarily because the doctor made a mistake when writing the zip.

    More interesting would be to compare the handwriting to that of other prescriptions written by Dr. N.

  13. I grew up in the Memphis area in the 70s, so I can assure you that Memphis zip codes have begun with “38” at least since then.

    I lived just around the corner from 1734 Madison in the late 90s. It is physicians’ offices – I used to go there to see my doctor. Based on the architecture I’d guess it was constructed in the 60s, so Dr. Nick might have had a practice in that building. But it seems very unlikely that he would have had a prescription pad with an incorrect zip code.

  14. I have to agree with those who call this fake.

    I have never in my life encountered any doctor who could write prescriptions so legibly.
    In fact, most of them have had handwriting like that of a drunken crab.

    Seriously. I still don’t understand how pharmacists cope.

  15. I’m a pharmacist, and can tell you I’ve run into printing errors on prescription blanks plenty of times, especially before special papers began to be required. Used to be you could print prescription pads on any old paper (leading to plenty of forgeries, natch). Zip code is one of the more frequent ones, since it’s not as crucial a number for an Rx.

    “Quaalude” was the trade name of methaqualone, so the terminology is correct. Percodan at that time only had one strength, so didn’t need a strength written.

    I have seen prescriptions this clearly written…but not very often. Unless I was familiar with the doctor’s writing, I would’ve called to confirm this was not a forgery, even if the combination of drugs and dosing was not insane–which it is. You could trank an elephant with this! As a pharmacist, I really, REALLY hope this was a forgery/joke.

    As for how we cope with bad doc writing: most of the time, there’s only so much they CAN say on a prescription. They aren’t writing “War and Peace”, they’ve got a limited vocabulary to work from, and within that, we can usually tell what they’re saying. The worst part is the signature: if they forget to stamp it or have their name printed, we can’t fill it if we don’t know who they are…so if you ever get a prescription from an ER, BE SURE they have a legible doctor name written somewhere on the Rx before you leave.

  16. Did anyone notice that the DEA number next to Dr. Nick’s signature is short a letter and a digit (yes, I’m another pharmacist). If the stories are true, this is probably representative of his drug intake.

  17. as a nurse Id send this order back to the doctor. Dunno about the rules back then but these days that is not a legal Rx.

  18. Allow me to add two more points to the reasons why this is fake.

    A. The correct name of Dr is Nichopoulos and not Nichopolous. As Dr had a Greek origin, please note that there is no Greek surname ending -polous. The correct ending is -poulos.

    I don’t think a Dr would have his prescription notepad mispelled.

    B. There are no Greek physicians with a good handwriting.

    Athens, Greece


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