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Knowing when to take your medicine is important.  Taking it at the wrong time can prevent your medicine from working as it should.  Here are the meanings of some common symbols you might see on your medicine bottles:

  • Dose: Dose is how much medicine you take each time.  A dose could be 2 tablets, 1 capsule or 1 tablespoon.  It depends on the medicine.
  • BID = Take 1 dose, twice a day.  This usually means take 1 dose in the morning and 1 dose when you go to bed.
  • TID = Take 1 dose, 3 times a day.  This usually means take 1 dose in the morning, 1 dose at lunch, and 1 dose when you go to bed.
  • QHS = Take 1 dose before you go to bed at night.
  • PO = Take your medicine by mouth.
  • PRN = Take as needed. For example, if you feel pain, then you take your pain medicine. If you don’t feel pain, don’t take your medicine.
  • Q4HRS = Take 1 dose of your medicine every 4 hours.