RX = Receive Thou
The meaning of Rx is “prescription for medicine.” It’s the abbreviated letters for the Latin word recipe, which is a form of the verb “to take.”
So, Junior’s been pretty sick the whole of last week, as would probably be most kids that you would know. I already know 5 kids who have been sick, 3 of whom needed to be hospitalized. I’m not going to get into how scary it’s become with the various stomach bugs, viral flus, rotavirus and dengue going around. It’s quite sad really, I don’t remember being so sick always as a child. Nevertheless, I’ll leave my rantings and get back to it another day. Right now, here are a few things that you should check and double-check at your next visit to the doctors and the pharmacy. At your next doctor’s visit try the following so that you have a better understanding of the medicine that is being prescribed:
- When visiting your doctor, try to get someone to tag a long with you, like your spouse, a grandparent or another responsible adult caregiver. After the doctor has finished checking and diagnosing your child, send him outside with the accompanying adult so that you can talk to the doctor undisturbed. If you are visiting alone, try carrying a toy that can distract your child for a few minutes while you speak to the Doctor.
- After your Doctor is done examining and diagnosing your kid, ask him precisely the following. What the sickness is, what could have caused it and if there is anything that could be done in the future to prevent it (the last one is not really applicable in the case of common flus and ailments).
- Read the prescription and take note of the medicine that is prescribed and how it is to be dispensed. Don’t feel too weird if you feel like you need to write down the ‘whens and hows’ of giving the medicine.
- You may also want to ask if you can mix it up with certain medicines. For example, if your child just has a cold, you may ask what you could give if he develops a cough in the next few days.
- You could also ask a list of medication for common ailments such as colds, coughs, fever etc that you can use should your child fall sick in the future. Most Doctors are happy to give you a list of medication and educate you about when you should visit him if those medicines don’t answer.
- If you need to, you can also ask if there are different forms of the medication available. Example tablets vs syrups, drops vs sprays etc and use the one that you think would give you the least hassle.
When getting your prescription filled, check these before leaving the pharmacy:
- Make sure the correct medicine has been dispensed.
- Check for any discrepancies of the dosages between what the Doctor has prescribed and what the pharmacy has filled out and if needed speak to the doctor.
- It’s always better not to substitute any of the prescribed medicine, so make sure your pharmacist doesn’t either. Too often, they will say that they don’t have the same brand and that another is available. You may want to ask the doctor if substitution is alright as long as the generic name is the same. fyi: Every medicine (drug) has an approved generic name, which is the active ingredient of the medicine. Often, it will also have one or more brand (trade) names, which is the trade name the manufacturer gives to the medicine. ex: Ibuprofen can be bought under various different brand names, eg Nurofen (made by Reckitt Benckiser), Brufen (made by Abbott) and Anandin Ultra (made by Wyeth Consumer Healthcare),
Doctors use latin abbreviations to instruct how the medicine should be taken, make sure you ask your doctor what they mean and note them down before leaving the consultation. Below are some of the commonly used latin abbreviations and their meaning:
- a.c. – before meals
- b.d./b.i.d. – twice daily
- t.i.d. / t.d.s. – three times a day
- q.d.s. / q.i.d. – four times a day
- q.a.d. – every other day
- noct. – at night
- s.o.s – if there is a need
- tab – tablet
- syr – syrup
- tbsp – tablespoon (15ml)
- tsp – teaspoon (5ml)
- Always save your doctor’s number in several places, like on mobile phones of both parents and other caregivers, a note on a fridge, on your email contacts, etc.
- It is always better to get used to a hospital or health center that has a 24×7 emergency service. Cross check if your doctor can be contacted by the emergency services at the hospital that you consult at at times when he is not consulting.
- Talk to your doctor and get a list of things that you can do in an emergency before or while traveling to emergency services.
- Speak to other Moms about what you can do to make your child comfortable, never about what medicine to take.
- Never Never Never substitute medicine that has been prescribed to a sibling or friend’s child. Always follow Doctors instructions and prescriptions only.
- Mention allergies or other medicine that is being taken currently to all doctors.
ATTENTION: Always check and follow instructions of a licensed medical practitioner about medicine, dosages and dispensing medication to children & adults. Information available in this article is to be used as a framework to be used under the strict guidance of your licensed medical practitioner. None of the information in this article, at any time whatsoever, is to supersede information provided by your licensed medical officer.