Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Humpday Hint: Read the Prescription and the Label

Contributing Author: Alice Krueger

Doctors are notorious for difficult-to-read handwriting. What does that scribble on the prescription pad actually mean? It’s important that you be able to read the prescription and understand what it is for and how to take it properly. Many abbreviations are used in written prescriptions. Here are a few to remember:

  • Tab = tablet
  • Caps = capsule
  • Top = topically
  • Po = by mouth
  • Prn = as needed
  • Hs = at bedtime
  • Ac = before meals
  • Pc = after meals
  • Q4h = every 4 hours
  • Qd = daily
  • Bid = twice a day
  • Tid = 3 times a day
  • Qid = 4 times a day
  • Disp#60 = dispense 60 pills

You should also always ask the prescribing pharmacist what the prescription is for, how to take it, and if there are any warnings. Often you will find warning labels on the pill bottle: Do not operate heavy equipment. Do not drink grapefruit juice. These warnings are added by the pharmacist, and are not part of your doctor’s prescription. Again, it’s important to find out why these warnings are being given. Every pharmacy has a pharmacist on duty who can answer your questions.

Images from Morguefile

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