Prescription medications are used for treating various types of pain and their causes like inflammation and muscle spasms. Medication can be an important component of a multi-approach treatment plan. Today they are computer-generated and transmitted electronically to a local pharmacy. This article is to help understand what they say and what they mean.
Prescription Shorthand example could be something like – Medication Name 250 mg PO bid x 5 days.
- 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.
Most of us know the Rx to mean prescription. This is true, with Rx being the abbreviation for the Latin word that means to receive. Prescription abbreviations come from Latin terminology. Here are some common ones used today.
|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|
Understanding what a prescription says is more than just getting it filled at the pharmacy. Remember medications are not without risk. Here are a few guidelines designed to help individuals at the doctor’s office, pharmacy, and at the house.
- 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.
Understanding the medication is the key to treating the condition. These recommendations could help to be healthy and safe.
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