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What do you need to know to be able to read a prescription?

Responses (2)

Anonymous 8 Nov 2011

Hi csean. Well, the dose, how often to take it. And how say, with food, or just water. Knowing the drug, reading the precautions, allergies, etc how it works and why you're being prescribed the drug to begin with. Amount of refills, if any, when the perscription runs out. When the drug should be disposed with. ( usually a year after the perscripition is filled) Have a good day,

Anonymous 8 Nov 2011

And if the drug prescribed is generic or non generic.

DzooBaby 8 Nov 2011

Drs usually use certain symbols for their directions too. Usually on a prescription the name of the drug is first then the strength. Below that they usually write Sig: and then the directions. If you are talking about pills, one tablet is usually written like a lower case i with a horizontal line or dash between the bottom vertical line part of the i and the dot of the i, which means one, or if the directions are two tabs then you see two of the i's with the horizontal line or dash under the i's dot. qd means every day. qHS means at bedtime, BID means twice a day, TID means three times a day, QID means 4 times a day. If you are to take the pills every so many hours, you will see q 4, q6, q8, q12, etc (sometimes following the number you will see a small circle almost like a symbol used for degrees to symbolize hours or they may write hr to mean hours). gtts means drops.There are several other symbols but these are the most common things you will see. So for example you might see something written sort of like like - Ibuprofen 800mg, Sig: i q 6hr PRN for pain/inflammation. This would mean ibuprofen 800mg, take one tab every 6 hours as needed for pain or inflammation. PRN means as needed. I cant type the symbol for one or two so the closet I can get is to type an i. Another example would be Tylenol 325mg, Sig: i-ii tabs QID for pain or fever. This means Tylenol 325 mg, take one or two tablets four times a day for pain or fever. There is a place for the quantity of the drug either written in by the instructions or down at the bottom usually as a number and also written out i.e. Qty: #10 (ten) and the Rx form usually has a spot for refills, a zero with a line through it will mean none. Does this help? If you see something else on your actual script let me know what it looks like and I'll tell you what it means.

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