Time Hour Apart Between Taking Medicine (2/3/4 Times a Day)

15 February, 2021

Time hour apart between taking medicine (2/3/4 times a day) depend on the half-life of medicine, time dependent or concentration dependent, and how strict schedule the medicine is. The longer half-life, the less medicine must be taken.

When your doctor or pharmacist instructs how to take your medicine, such as twice daily or three times a day. What does it mean? What time hour apart between taking medicine?

Let’s say, most of us will take it in the morning, afternoon, or at night, but have we considered the time gap? Of course, we want to get better by taking medicine, and not get side effects. But, if we take without concern about time hour apart, such as earlier or later, it can affect the level of medicine in our body.

How to Take Prescription 2 Times a Day

Twice a day, two times a day, 2 x 1 daily, or BID (b.i.d), what notations you got on your prescription? How do you take it? BID is an abbreviation for bis in die in Latin means twice a day. 2 times a day over 24 hours means you take the medicine every 12 hours. For instance, take your medicine at 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.

How to Take Prescription 3 Times a Day

Have you found t.i.d or TID or tid notation on your prescription? It is an abbreviation for ter in die the Latin for 3 times a day. Also, maybe you found another notation such as 3 x 1 daily. Some may be still confused if the notation on prescription is 3 x 1 tablet daily because assuming if they should take their medicine 3 tablets at the same time. However, it turns out; you take 1 tablet instead, and there is a gap time for the second and third tablet. 3 times a day over 24 hours, so, take your medicine every 8 hours. For example, the first dose at 8 a.m., the next 4 p.m., and the last midnight.

I fell asleep at midnight. Can I take my medicine before sleeping? I assume many of you ask that question. However, if the dose of medicine isn’t critical, you can take your medicine during the waking hours.

How to Take Prescription 4 Times a Day

QID or q.i.d or qid stands for quarter in die, the Latin for 4 times a day. SO, if it is over 24 hours, take your medicine every 6 hours. Can you maintain to take your medicine every 6 hours? Maybe, set an alarm can help you take it on schedule. Taking your medicine regularly can maintain a steady level of the drug in the bloodstream. Thus, it can effectively cure your illness.

If your prescriptions namely are for high blood pressure, life-threatening infection, severe pain, you need to take it regularly to maintain the level of medicine is constant over time and never below therapeutic levels. On the other hand, if your prescriptions are for such as itchy, mild pain, you can take your medicine during waking hours.

Take Your Medicine Regularly

Take your medication regularly to make sure your medicine never below therapeutic levels. As I mentioned above, some doses that are taken more than once a day need the concern to take those on schedule. For example, antibiotics or antiviral need a strict schedule. Not only to maintain a steady level of medicine in the bloodstream, but also to avoid bacteria or viruses from multiplying. If the dose in the bloodstream is too low to kill bacteria effectively, it increases the chance of bacteria to mutate or become resistant.

As a result, even of doses that take in sleeping hours, you need to wake up to take your medicine to maintain the level of medicine in the blood is constant. If the type of dose of medicine is not really “strict”, you can take it in waking hours.

Don’t forget to ask your doctor or pharmacist whether you can take your medication on waking hours only or not, and taking it before, with, or after a meal.

Early or Delayed Medication Doses

The NHS issued guidance for early or delayed medication doses. Generally, it depends on the drug. For instance, insomnia with SSRI may not allow you to take it earlier or later because its side effects can cause a problem. The other example, some medicines have a specific minimum interval between doses, namely 4 hours for paracetamol. You can read more about NHS Guidance.


Taking medicine more than twice such as 3 times a day is not only taking in the morning, afternoon, or at night but also, we must consider the time gap between them. Every 12 hours for twice a day, every 8 hours for 3 times a day, and every 6 hours for 4 times a day. If we take medicine regularly on the right schedule and time gap, it helps to keep a steady level of our medicine in the bloodstream, and it avoids the medicine below the therapeutic level. Please, ask your doctor or pharmacist about how to take your medicine in the right way.

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Selvi Megawati
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