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If you’ve ever received a prescription from your doctor that read something like “T. 2 cap a.c. t.i.d.” and wondered what it meant, you aren’t alone. Latin is used in the abbreviations for your prescription. This particular example translates to “Take 2 capsules before meals three times a day”. Here are some of the most common abbreviations and their meanings to help you read your Rx.

The frequency of taking your drugs each day:

b.i.d. twice a day
t.i.d. three times a day
q.i.d. four times a day
q.h. every hour
q.d. every day
h.s. at bedtime
q.o.d. every other day
p.r.n. as required
ut. dict. use as directed

The doseage amount to take:

U unit
u unit
cc cubic centimeter

How or where to place or take the prescription:

p.o. by mouth
a.s. left ear
a.u. each ear
a.d. right ear
o.l. left eye
o.s. left eye
o.d. right eye
o.u. each eye

In regard to food:

c with
s without
a.c. before meals
p.c. after meals

As you can see, unless you’re a Latin scholar some of these abbreviations can be confusing. Your best bet if in doubt is to check with your physician when the prescription is written, or with the pharmacist when the prescription is filled to make sure you comprehend the correct procedures for your medication.