Prescriptions are written in secret code. It was pointed out that I used part of that code in yesterday’s post, without providing a key. Seeing as I’m not a doctor, I don’t have the whole code, but this is a start:
|sig||signetur||let it be labeled (write on the label)|
|qd||quaque die||every day, daily|
|bid||bis in die||twice a day|
|tid||ter in die||thrice a day|
|qid||quarter in die||four times a day|
|prn||pro re nata||as needed|
|sos||si opus sit||may be repeated once|
|ac||ante cibum||before meals|
|pc||post cibum||after meals|
|hs||hora somni||at bedtime|
|po||per os||by mouth|
Additional information, which I found in YOU: The Smart Patient (pictured in my sidebar):
Doctors typically write the name of the medicine first, then the form (say, capsules or tablet), dosage, amount (say, thirty tablets) directions for taking it, and finally the number of refills.
Translated, the prescription on the left is for piroxicam, 20 mg tablets, the pharmacist puts 30 tablets in a bottle, I’m to take one tablet every day, and there were three refills. The prescription on the right is for sulfasalazine, 500 mg tablets, the pharmacist puts 120 tablets in a bottle, I’m to take two tablets twice a day, and there were three refills.
Note that the funny “T” with a dot/circle above it says how many tablets. I have another doctor whose prescription form is much easier to read:
There you have it. Now you, too, can decipher (at least part of) the secret code that you carry between your doctor and pharmacist.