December 09, 2020
A patient will always hope that his or her pain or discomfort gets relieved in the easiest way possible. Most often, a patient suffering from a medical condition would want to avoid any extensive procedures or surgeries. The best way by which they would hope to be cured is through taking their pills. If all goes according to their wishes, the doctor would prescribe some medications. But here is when patients might come across a confusing part in their prescription.
Once the doctor prescribes the medications, they would explain to the patient at what time intervals and in what conditions (empty/full stomach) are they supposed to take them. If a medication needs to be taken thrice a day, the doctor would explain this verbally. However, in the prescription paper, he or she would write the letters "TDS" or "TID." So what does this mean?
What is TDS and TID?
TDS is the abbreviation for "ter die sumendus" and TID stands for "ter in die." These Latin phrases stand for "thrice a day." So why don't healthcare professionals write 'thrice a day' itself in prescriptions? The reason is that most medical terminologies have been derived from the Latin language. Since these terms are globally known to all healthcare professionals, the abbreviations too are unanimously accepted.
What do AC and PC stand for in prescriptions?
A TDS dosage means that the patient would have to take the medication at an interval of 6 to 8 hours. The first dosage should be taken between 8 to 9 a.m. in the morning, the second dosage between 1 to 2 p.m. and the third dosage between 7 to 8 p.m. These medications are most commonly taken after meals. This is because the medication gets absorbed in the bloodstream faster and begins to exert its effect better. This information too can be extracted from the prescription. A healthcare professional is likely to write AC or PC which means ante cibum (before meals) or post cibum (after meals).
The reason why a medication needs to be taken TDS is that after a certain time period the medicine will lose its effect in the body and would be removed from the body through our biological systems. In order to sustain the effect of medication and suppress the effect of the microbes, the medication needs to be taken after a few hours. In case of TDS drugs, the medication would lose its effect after 6 to 8 hours.
If a patient does not follow the TDS time-table, the drug is likely to manifest its side-effects. Moreover, if a patient consumes a previously missed dosage with the next dosage, then a drug overdose may occur leading to adverse drug reactions. It is thus advised to patients to fix a time for taking their medications which can synchronise with the body's normal rhythm clock.
People who travel frequently often face the problem of skipping their medications because of being in different time zones. The best advise for them is to set the clock's time to the time where they are traveling to. Besides, if they face any problems in the region they are traveling to, they can always show their prescription to another doctor there who would recognize not only the drug but also the frequency at which they were taking (TDS!).
The frequency of using medical abbreviations like TDS or TID has decreased compared to the past. This is largely attributed to the advent of the electronic era. Electronic prescriptions can be sent to another doctor (if needed) through emails. Moreover, they are more legible and can be understood by the patient with more clarity. Furthermore, online chats (which often act as prescriptions) with the doctor result in the patient knowing distinctly about the dosage and frequency of his or her medication.
Medical abbreviations have definitely lost their popularity. There is a certain level of difficulty that patients have in memorizing these abbreviations unless explained to them by the doctors. The increase in electronic prescriptions for better workflow of the patient, reduction is usage of papers and clearer interpretation of their treatment plan are thus fading the usage of Latin abbreviations. Yet, if a doctor uses those terms, patients should ensure its meaning for their better understanding. Despite the downhill that Latin abbreviations are facing, for effective communication between the doctors, this method is still afloat.