Deciphering Prescriptions

Deciphering the meaning of the doctor's squiggles on a prescription need not be difficult with the handy-dandy chart below. Once you get past the notoriously bad handwriting, the rest is easy.

Every week I'm going through a box of clutter from the dozen boxes I carted up here to store. I came across an article I'd torn our of a newspaper years ago that explains all those Latin words abbreviated on the prescriptions doctors write. No need to be puzzled by the esoteric words any longer. Just check the chart below.

Latin Prescription Vocabulary

Rx (prescription) = recipe

a.c. = ante cibum = before meals

p.c. = post cibum = after meals

č = cum = with

s (s with a line over it -- can't find the proper HTML mark) = sine = without

d = dies = day

b.i.d. = bis in die = 2 times a day

t.i.d. = ter in die - 3 times a day

q.i.d. = qauter in die = 4 times a day

p.r.n. = pro re nata = as needed

h.s. = hora somni = bedtime

O.D. = oculo dextro = right eye

O.S. = oculo sinistro = left eye

O.U. = oculo utro = in each eye

p.o. = per os = by mouth

git = gutta = drop

Takeaway Truth

There you have it. Latin medical jargon demystified.

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