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How can decipher the strange terms on my doctor's prescription?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Doctors should use plain language when they write scripts today, but not all got the memo. Even though the Joint Commission issued an official "do not use" list of abbreviations that are common sources of errors, you may still get scripts filled with hieroglyphics from time to time. So use this cheat sheet to decipher them.

By the way, doctors typically write the name of the medicine first, then the form (say, capsule or tablet), dosage, amount (say, 30 tablets), directions for taking it, and finally the number of refills. Or, in medical shorthand:
  • ac: before meals
  • alt die: alternate days
  • bid: twice a day
  • c (with line over c): with
  • dol urg: when pain is severe
  • hs: at bedtime
  • prn: when needed
  • sig: label
  • sos: if necessary
  • stat: immediately
  • tid: three times a day
  • ung: ointment
  • 2x: refill two times
YOU: The Smart Patient: An Insider's Handbook for Getting the Best Treatment

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YOU: The Smart Patient: An Insider's Handbook for Getting the Best Treatment

Everyone needs to become a smart patient. In fact, in the worst cases, your life may even depend on it. Number one bestselling authors and doctors Michael Roizen and Mehmet Oz have written this...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.