10 Everyday Medical Terms You Ought to Know by Heart

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Physicians have forever been blamed for their poor handwriting which makes the prescriptions almost impossible for normal people to decipher. But the truth is even if you did read it you will in all probability not be able to understand it. This is because doctors use abbreviations in the prescriptions based on Latin words which would be indecipherable to general public and understandable for your pharmacist who knows which medicine to give you and direct you on the dosage and in take directions.

But it is not an impossible. You could easily read your doctor’s prescription if you understood the short hand and abbreviations of medical terms the doctor uses. A doctor’s prescription commonly has the medicine being prescribed, the dosage, number of pills to be taken, the mode of intake and the time interval between intakes. Here are a few common abbreviations of medical terms that will help you in deciphering the prescription.

medical terms

  1. Mg/g/Ml/Mcg

These refer to the amount taken per dose of medicine usually written in numerical form followed by the abbreviation beside the name of the medicine. The quantity varies depending upon the medication. Mg is milligrams, g refers to grams, and Mcg refers to micrograms and if your medicine is a liquid Ml refers to milliliters.

  1. Po/Pr/Sl/IV/IM/SQ

These refer to the mode of intake of the medicines and unless you are from a medical background you probably won’t understand the meaning.

Po – Po refers to oral intake of medicines. It is derived from Latin ‘per os’ meaning by mouth.

Pr – This refers to per rectum which means the medication is administered by the way of rectum.

SL – This refers to sublingual mode of intake referring t medicine intake under the tongue.

IV – Intra Venous which denotes injection of medicine into the vein.

IM – Intra muscular referring to injection of medicine into the muscle.

SQ – Subcutaneous referring to administration of medicine under the skin.

  1. Qd/od/bid/tid/qid/qam/qpm/q2h/qod/hs

After the mode of administration, the time intervals at which the medicines are to be taken is mentioned denoted by the following abbreviations.

Qd – Qd refers to taking medicines every day.

Od – od means the medicine is to be taken once per day.

Bid – bid refers to administration twice a day.

Tid – medicine is taken three times a day.

Qid – four times a day medicine intake.

Qam – medicine is taken every morning.

Qpm – This refers to medicine intake every night.

Q2h – q2h refers to taking medicines once in every two hours.

Qod – refers to medicine taken every other day.

Hs – This refers to taking medicines at bedtime.

  1. Pc/Ac/Prn

This refers to the time at which the medicine should be taken.

Pc refers to intake of medicines after meals or when your stomach is not empty.

Ac refers to taking medicines in an empty stomach or before meals.

Prn refers to medicine intake as required. For instance, pain killers are prescribed to be taken at the time of pain.

Few other abbreviations to look for:

Rx – Treatment

Hx – History

Dx – Diagnosis

S – Without

SS – one half

C – With

SOS – If needed

BBF – Before Breakfast

BD – Before Dinner

TW – Twice a Week

ID – Intradermal

I TSF – 1 teaspoon – 5 ml

1 Tablespoon – 15 ml

So, now no need to boggle your mind as you have all abbreviations on your hand.

Featured Image Courtesy: aestheticclinic.com

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A writer by passion and profession I am driven by the spirit of Creative Lord. A bookworm and movie buff, I have written about pretty much everything during the past 6 years and would continue doing so for next 60! I haven’t limited myself to a particular genre. Ask me why, and I will reply with the clichéd statement, ‘creativity knows no limits’.