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Monday, February 27, 2017

The Debate

1. "Take one tablet by mouth every day."
2. "Take one tablet by mouth once a day."

Both directions say the same thing...or do they? According to some pharmacists, they are not entirely the same in their instructiveness. Let us examine a little closer.
CP's Partner and I conducted a very scientific poll. We asked our Phamilies, Phriends, Kids of Phriends, Random Strangers, and our Bartender to explain to us how they would take medication if they were given Option 1 or Option 2 on their bottles.

Conversation #1:
CP: How many tablets would you take if I told you to "take 1 tablet every day"?
People We Polled: <incredulous looks on faces> One.
CPP: And on how many days would you take one?
PWP: <still looking dumbfounded> Every day.

Conversation #2:
CP: How many tablets would you take if I told you to "take 1 tablet once a day"?
PWP: Seriously?
CP: Yes.
PWP: One.
CPP: Okay. Now the tricky question: On how many days would you take one?
PWP: Every day.
CPP: But it doesn't say "every day". It says "once A day". Couldn't this be interpreted to mean you get to select "A" day on which to take it?
PWP: You're arguing semantics with me.
CPP: Precisely!

PWP: Why are you asking me this, again?
CP: We were having a debate. At work, we noticed a number of prescriptions, prescriptions we personally typed, getting sent back for correction.
CPP: We wondered why until we noticed that the same pharmacists were sending them back for the same reason...
CP: ...The two directions listed above. I believe that both are a fine option. Personally, I prefer Option #1.
CPP: Personally, I don't care, but Option #1 works fine for me. I just wanted to try to learn why some pharmacists were stuck on Option #2 being the ONLY correct option. Hence, my reply in Conversation #2.
CP: Unless they are insisting that the medication be taken at "the same time once a day"?
CPP: Okay, but they are still taking only one tablet every day. If they were really that hung up on "at the same time" then could they not amend Option #1 to "at the same time every day"?
CP: True.
PWP: You are both really weird.
CP: But we yearn to know. To understand our fellow colleagues. To boldly go where no one has gone before. To...
CPP: They get it.

*For the record, we know "ONCE' means "eleven" in Spanish and that can be confusing but that is not the gist of this debate.
*Second, there is a HUGE difference between "Take 2 tablets once a day" and "Take 2 tablets every day". While the patient will take a total of 2 tablets either way, the timing is different. It's either 2 at the same time, or 2 throughout the day which could be taken 19 minutes or 16 hours and 11 minutes apart.
*By adding a simple "prn" or "as needed" to either of these changes them as well. Again, not the point.

What say you?

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