How to take a prescription 3x or 4x a day in a image

Caregivers all over the world prescribe drugs to treat medical conditions. You are advised to adhere to the medication plan(s) your doctor gives without fail. Some drugs are prescribed as a single dose within a 24-hour timeline; some meds however are taken thrice or 4 times per day. The frequency of doses depends on the severity of your medical condition along with other factors such as age, body weight, etc. So, how to take a prescription either 3-times or 4-times within a day? It is a wise thing to know more prior to pursuing your medication plan.

It may be surprising to know that taking a med “thrice or four times each day” are not standard terms. These terms do not refer to the interval (in terms of hours) for spacing out each dose. In latin, ter in die means thrice in a day; quater in die refers to four times within 24-hours. Your treating doctor will refer these dosage plans as TID (meaning ter in die) or QID (i.e., quater in die) on your prescriptions. On reading these instructions, your pharmacist will provide needful advice / write the intake advice on the drug’s label.

A proper understanding of such dosage plans becomes a necessity of you are taking a drug thrice (or more no. of times) per day. In general, if you are advised to take a med thrice per day, it refers to taking the med once every 8 hours while you are active. This dosage plan does not mean you need to wake up mid of nights to take a dose; this is not done unless your caregiving team advises to take it in such timings.

A 3x per day prescription plan

The dosage plan for a prescription for 3x dose each day depends on your wake up time and bedtime. For instance, if you are waking up at 7:30 am and go to sleep at 10:30 pm, your 3x prescription plan works like this: first dose is at 7:30 am – as you wake up; 2nd dosage is at 2:30 pm (early part of the afternoon) and the last dose is at 9:30 pm (an hour prior to going to sleep).

A 3x dosage along with a meal

In some instances, a 3x prescription is advised with a meal. It is recommended to take the first dose of the day along with your morning meal (breakfast); 2nd dose during lunch hour and the last dose is taken as you have dinner. However, there is always some wiggle room in such dosage instructions. Dosages taken an hour or so earlier / later may not alter your medications’ efficacy in a significant manner.

But, in some cases, your treating physician may tell you to take it at evenly spaced intervals of 8 hours in between each dose. For such medication plans, it is advised to take the first dose at 7 am, 2nd at 3 pm and the last dose of the day at 11 pm. These timings may change based on the nature of ailment. For example, people with mental conditions are provided 3 doses at 8 am, 12-noon and at 5 pm.

Taking a 4x per day dosage plan

Intake of meds 4-times within a 24-hour timeline is quite tough for people at home. Thankfully, not many meds are prescribed 4-times per day. A 4x plan may be dealt with the 1st dose at 7 am (or when you wake up in the morning), 2nd dose is taken at noon (mid-day), 3rd dose comes in later in the afternoon say, at 4 pm and the last / 4th dose of the day is taken at 9 pm (or before you hit the bed).

There may be some plans wherein you are advised to take a drug 4x per day along with a meal. In such instances, you can time the doses with your meals –i.e., with breakfast, lunch and dinner. For the last / 4th dose of the day – you may have a late-evening snack prior to your sleeping time, and may take this dose along with it. If you need added clarifications, it is a good practice to talk to your caregiving team / pharmacist prior to starting your 3x or 4x per day medication plans.

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