Labelling of medicines
Dog Latin abbreviations
Using Latin abbreviations in the instructions how to take the medicine
is especially hazardous (this should of course be directed to the
physicians, but it IS relevant for pharmacists too). There are three
reasons for this.
*One, the danger of confusing abbreviations generally.
*Two, the danger of confusing Latin abbreviations. Latin is Latin, but
it is used differently in different countries and in differents working
environments. In these days of global migration this is of growing
*Three, the danger of translation. Directions for use should be written
in plain language on the prescription. Plain in the meaning that it
should be understandable for the patient. It really is unrational to
tell the patient in his/her mother tongue how to take the medicine.
Then write the same message in a foreign language (maybe even in
abbreviated codes) on the prescription, which then has to be translated
back (hopefully to the intended meaning) by the pharmacist.
Both QD and OD are among the abbreviations that ISMP Institute for Safe
Medication Practice warn about in their May 2, 2001 issue of ISMP Medication Safety
So is also mug (using the Greek letter for μ).
But aside from that, I think is a dangerous (and very old) habit to use
these abbreviations in a foreign language. I feel that is a way that
too many health professionals use to protect the privileges of