Can you read your Migraine Prescriptions? 30 Medical Abbreviations

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If you take prescription medication for migraines, then it’s important to understand your doctor’s instructions clearly, without any doubt. Knowing how to read “doctor-ese” can sometimes help! Listed are some common abbreviations that physicians use when writing out prescriptions.

Can you read your Migraine Prescriptions? 30 Medical Abbreviations- Migravent

What did he say?

If it seems like your doctor’s orders are in a foreign language, then you’re right. All physicians use Latin and English abbreviations when writing out your prescription meds in shorthand. And they don’t get an A+ for neatness, either.

So if you didn’t take notes during your appointment, then you might find yourself staring at your brand-new prescription pain relievers, thinking, “Now, how often am I supposed to take these?” or, “What am I NOT supposed to take these with?”

Decoding the lingo

If you get chronic migraine headaches often…and I mean a lot…it’s very likely that you’re going to attend a lot of doctor visits feeling under-the-weather, fatigued, slow, and headache-y. So most likely, you didn’t take notes, and you don’t have a translator handy to help you read the Latin instructions on the medicine bottle.

For situations like these, it may help to have a doctor-patient dictionary on hand, for quick reference. Even if you’re only able to decipher a few words regarding your migraine prescription, those few abbreviations may be the ones to jolt your memory.

Please note, if you have any questions about prescription drugs, it is always best to call your pharmacist, nurse, or doctor.

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The following list of common medical abbreviations does not constitute medical advice, nor is it meant to serve as an alternative to your physician’s advice. Rather, it may serve as a bridge between you, the patient, and your healthcare providers.

  1. a.c. (ante cibum) – before meals
  2. ad lib. (ad libitum) – use as much as one desires; freely
  3. bis (bis) – twice
  4. b.i.d. (bis in die) – twice daily
  5. cf – with food
  6. gtt(s) (gutta[e]) -drop(s)
  7. h.s. (hora somni) – at bedtime
  8. IM – intramuscularly (by needle, injected into a muscle)
  9. IV – intravenously (by a needle in a vein)
  10. m, min (minimum) – a minimum
  11. mcg – microgram
  12. mg – milligram
  13. noct. (nocte) – at night
  14. non rep. (non repetatur) – no repeats
  15. N.T.E. – not to exceed
  16. p.c. (post cibum) – after meals
  17. prn (pro re nata) – as needed
  18. po (per os) – orally
  19. q.a.d. (quoque alternis die) – every other day
  20. q.a.m. (quaque die ante meridiem) – every day before noon
  21. qd (quaque die) – every day
  22. q.h. (quaque hora) – every hour
  23. q.h.s. (quaque hora somni) – every night at bedtime
  24. s.a. (secundum artum) – use your judgment
  25. sl – sublingually (under the tongue)
  26. s.o.s., si op. sit (si opus sit) – if there is a need
  27. SQ – subcutaneously (by needle, under the skin)
  28. stat (statim) – immediately
  29. tid (ter in die) – three times a day
  30. u.d., ut. dict. (ut dictum) – as directed

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