- The first part is the medication name, which can be a brand name or have a generic name.
- The second part is 250 mg. This refers to how strong the medication is. In this case, it is 250 milligrams.
- PO means the medication is taken by mouth.
- The bid means twice a day.
- The x 5 days means that this prescription is to be taken for 5 days.
|ac||before meals||ante cibum|
|bid||twice a day||bis in die|
|hs||at bedtime||hora somni|
|od||right eye||oculus dexter|
|os||left eye||oculus sinister|
|po||by mouth||per os|
|pc||after meals||post cibum|
|prn||as needed||pro re nata|
|q2h||every 2 hours||quaque 2 hora|
|qd||every day||quaque die|
|qh||every hour||quaque hora|
|qid||4 times a day||quater in die|
|tid||3 times a day||ter in die|
- Make sure the doctor knows the entire medical history. Include past reactions to medications like rashes, indigestion, dizziness, and loss of appetite even if only a minor reaction.
- If taking vitamins, supplements, and herbal compounds a doctor needs to know what is being taken, how much, and how often. This is because certain supplements are known to react with certain medications.
- Over-the-counter medications can be purchased without a prescription but that does not mean not without risk. Tell the doctor precisely what is being taken, the dosage, frequency, and the reason for taking these medicines.
- Ask the doctor for the full name of the medication that is being prescribed.
- Discuss the use of the medication
- The proper dosage
- How often to be taken
- If a dose is missed
- Possible interactions with other medications including over-the-counter
- Reaction/s to the medication
- How it’s supposed to work
- Side effects
- Activity level affects
- Can it be taken with coffee, alcohol, supplements, etc
- Take notes to help remember the information.
- Ask for available written material/information about the medication.
- The pharmacy and the patient’s profile is needed for the information included in the records like surgeries, allergies, and other medications being taken. This is to prevent a medication/s interaction complication.
- Tamper-resistant caps will be provided if children or young adults are present.
- Ask the pharmacist to include what the medication is used for on the label or if it is too long then a printout.
- Not remembering how to take the prescription happens. Contact the pharmacy/pharmacist and do not guess.
- For many, the doctor will telephone, or have a direct line with a pharmacy/s to send prescriptions instantly. However, it is a good idea to review the dose and frequency with the doctor or pharmacist to be completely sure.
- If a new medication has been prescribed, the pharmacist can fill only half the prescription. This is in case a reaction or side effect presents and can help in saving on the cost.
- Traveling to a different state/city/climate could require modifications, as some medications will not work properly if there is exposure to sun or other elements.
- Certain large pills or tablets can be difficult to swallow, so before crushing or splitting, check with the pharmacist. Some medications have alternative forms of ingestion.
At Home Medication Safety
- With children in the house don’t keep the medication in the nightstand or on the bathroom counter or cabinet. Always keep medications in a secure area.
- Keep an antidote like Syrup of Ipecac. This is to induce vomiting if poison or harmful chemical is swallowed. Learn the dosing directions and precautions before an emergency.
- Keep the phone numbers for poison control center and EMS.
- Reaction or any side effects, call the doctor immediately.
- Do not mix medications with other medicines along with their bottles. Keep medications in the bottles they came in. Mixing medications in one bottle can alter stability.
- Keep medications in a dark, dry, and cool (non-refrigerated unless indicated) place. Heat, light, and humidity can affect medication potency and stability.
- Take medications as directed by the doctor. Medications that are strong enough to heal can also cause damage/injury if taken incorrectly.
- Never share or take another person’s medication.
- Only give children medication when fully awake and alert.
- Some prescriptions and over-the-counter medications come with a dosing cup. Cups can be different sizes along with the dosing measurements. Do not use a cup from another product.
- When the prescription expires, destroy the unused medication and bottle or take them to a drug disposal site. Some pharmacies offer this service.
- Keep a list including medical history and medications being taken on a regular basis along with the dose and frequency in a wallet or purse. This information can help during a medical emergency.