The doctor has just scribbled a new prescription and now the pharmacist must translate it when they fill the order. What does all those chicken scrawls mean?

Here is an example of what a prescription could look like- “drug name 250 mg Ac bid x 10 days?” To start, the first part of a prescription is the name of the drug; it can be a brand name or generic. The next part — 250 mg — denotes the strength of the drug. In this case, it’s 250 milligrams. “Ac” means before meals, “bid,” or twice a day. The “x” indicates this prescription is taken for a period of 10 days.

Most of us believe that the term “Rx” means prescription, but it is actually an abbreviation for the Latin word meaning “recipe.” The abbreviations used in prescriptions are derived from Latin terms.

Listed below are many commonly used medical prescription abbrevations you will see:

Ac: before meals
Bid: twice a day
Cap: capsule
Gt: drop
Hs: at bedtime
Po: by mouth
Pc: after meals
Pil: pill
Prn: as needed
Q2h: every two hours
Qd: every day
Qh: every hour
Qid: 4 times a day
Tab: tablet
Tid: three times a day

Understanding your prescription entails more than just filling it at the pharmacy. Remember — no drug is without ris