I always thought you divide the day by those times and that would give you the amount of hours the medicine would stay on your system however my child just heard from her doctor "the 4 times a day" would be considered the awaking hours only??? So, if I am awake 16 hours that medicine would be taken every 4 hours, and if my child sleeps 12 hours during the disease she would take even 3 hours??? Even being half of my size???
When a doctor says 4 times a day, how many hours apart are they?
Question posted by edillenburg on 20 July 2012
Last updated on 18 February 2019 by dennis-77
This question has also been asked and answered here: How do you take a prescription 3x or 4x a day?
You have not mentioned the name of the medicine in your post.
You should clarify the answer with your doctor or pharmacist.
Technically 4 times a day means "4 times over 24 hours " or "every 6 hours". It depends on what the medicine is as to how "rigid" you should be in regards to dosing.
If the medicine is an antibiotic then every 6 hour dosing is important as you want to keep drug levels in the blood constant . The same can be said for pain medication if treating severe pain.
If the dosing isn't so critical then 4 times a day could be evenly spaced out during the waking hours.
As your daughter has spoken to her doctor it would seem that the dosing of the medicine is not critical so 4 times a day during waking hours is fine.
When the doctor says four times daily that is 24 hours in a day which will be six hours apart so you would take four doses six hours apart from each other/ take one pill every six hours which will be in a 24 hour period...
I just talked to a pharmacist today regarding taking Amoxicillin 4 times a day for dental purpose. She suggested taking it at least 4 hours apart during the hours when you're awake so you don't have to wake up in the middle of the night to take your medicine.
Four times a day is every six hours.
This is really not as complicated as some believe it is, we don't take medication during the hours we sleep, we don't set an alarm during the night to wake us up to take medication. The directions are during our waking hours, as someone said depending on the medication dosing is between 4 & 6 hours for 1 tablet 4 times a day.With antibiotics it's important to finish all the medication, and never to exceed the daily amount prescribed.
Ah, there is a difference. Glad that you asked. When a med is to be dosed 4 times a day, the prescription is written as “4 times a day.” That would be every 6 hours. A doc that doesn’t want to confuse you would probably write “every 6 hours.” In the strict hospital setting, if a prescriber writes every 6 hours, the nursing staff is required to provide the med at the 6th hour (with a window of usually one hour before or after). When a prescriber writes QID, that also means 4 times in the day, the dosing isn’t as strict. Hospitals might dose QID as 8 am, 1 pm, 5 pm and 9 pm. You can see the doses are closer together. Better coverage over 24 hours is 4 times a day or every 6 hours.
I have always known that to mean - during waking hours and the first waking dose starts the count of every 4 hours.
So it could be 8am... 12noon... 4pm... 8pm
I would call the pharmacist. They know best!
Also, if its imperative that its every 6 hours, the directions would show that, instead of 4x/day, you would see the order of every 6 hours.
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