What does ‘Take three tablets once daily’ mean?

What does ‘Take three tablets once daily’ mean?

Taking three tablets once daily means you have to take 3 tablets at the same time once daily. 

Prescription instructions could be a little confusing for some people and if you ever have such confusion as to how many times a day you’re supposed to take your meds, it’s best to ask your pharmacist right away. Let’s break the sentence down to help you understand better. 

Take three tablets once daily

  • The word ‘once’ in your instruction is indicating the frequency of dose administration. That means you are supposed to take the prescription meds at one time each day.
  • ‘Three tablets’ are indicating the number of tablets you’re supposed to take. 

This simply means taking three tablets – all at once – each day. 

If your prescription was written as ‘Take one tablet three times a day’, it means you were supposed to take three tablets at three different times during the day. 

So, the best tip to help you understand the prescription instructions is to focus on the quantity (one tablet, two tablets, three tablets) and the frequency (once, twice, thrice) of dose administration (1). 

And again, you can always ask your pharmacist about the right prescription instructions. Even if you fail to understand the first time, ask again! Proper use of meds is crucial to achieving the best therapeutic outcome. 

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Davis TC, Federman AD, Bass PF 3rd, Jackson RH, Middlebrooks M, Parker RM, Wolf MS. Improving patient understanding of prescription drug label instructions. J Gen Intern Med. 2009 Jan;24(1):57-62. doi: 10.1007/s11606-008-0833-4. Epub 2008 Nov 1. PMID: 18979142; PMCID: PMC2607498. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18979142/