How to interpret a prescription?

Is there a website that permits me to input my prescription, and it translates it into plain old English?

My doctor gave me a prescription for domperidone, which is a lactation aid. He doesn’t believe breastfeeding is important after the baby is 3 months old, where he got that idea, I don’t know. Anyway, he was very reluctant to give it to me, and only gave me a week’s worth. Everything I have read about this medication indicates a certain amount per day, as an ongoing remedy. In other words, once you stop taking it, the effects go away. I’ve also read that it takes 4-5 days to even START working, and that the dosage needs to be much higher than what he has given me.

I’ve made another appointment with him for later this week, but I would like to have my facts straight before I see him. I haven’t had the prescription filled yet, for TMI reasons I won’t go into right now.

I don’t know about your question, specifically, but there are several sites that you can get to by simply typing in your medicine name in google. When you get there, you see the substance, the side effects, the typical dosages, etc. You can go to the pharmaceutical house’s site, or other sites that provide the information you are looking for, I’m sure. Try it. You’ll like it. xo, C.

Could you change doctors?

vetbridge - I wish. It’s hard to find a doctor in this town … :frowning:

He may be concerned about prescribing it because he would be prescribing it for an off-label use (i.e. not what the manufacturer officially recommends it for) - see and because the FDA has concerns about it being used for breastfeeding - see

Note I’m not trying to suggest that you shouldn’t use it (IANAMD), only pointing out why your doctor may have been leery of prescribing very much of it.

This URL=]page has the definitions of many abbreviations used in prescriptions. That might help with deciphering it.

Crap, let’s try that again.

I’m not sure exactly what you’re asking, but if your question is basically “How do I interpret sig codes”, which is what doctors and pharmacists use to describe dosage, strength, quantity, etc…if you care to type what you believe it says onto here, I’m sure either I or any of the doctors on here could tell you what it says.

Or there are lists online of sig interpretations that will give you a good idea what’s written on there.


Thanks for the offer! But Mishell’s information helped me.

I found out 1po tid = 1 pill orally twice per day. Which is all I needed to know in order to determine that my doctor has woefully under-prescribed this medication, probably in order to prove his point that it won’t work for me. :frowning:

actually, 1 po tid means three times a day.

Three times?? Oh, crap! I hope I get to my pills in ti

Stainz, you don’t have email enabled, but if you want to give me a shout re: domperidone, I have some experience. My email is listed in my profile.

Fellow Canadian new mom,


I know we’re in the tech age and all, and Google is your friend… but it seems to me that the simplest way to figure out what the prescription is all about is to stop by the pharmacy and ask a pharmacist about it. You don’t have to get it filled or anything, just tell him/her you need an explanation. I’ve done that before, and they’re usually very happy to discuss medication and answer my questions.

D’oh! :smack:

Thanks …

Thanks - I would, but with a teething baby, it’s been tougher than usual to get out of the house this week. You’re absolutely right though.

Here is what the Canadian Medical Journal has to say about domperidone for breastfeeding.

IANYMD. A dose of 10mg three times a day, which is what I would often precribe for GI symptoms, is a dose that has been shown to have positive effects in some studies (e.g. see footnote 7 in the above article). This dose is much less than the 30-40mg three times a day some breastfeeding sites seem to advocate. Using a lower dose makes sense if this is the study dose and if the FDA has issues warnings about the drug’s cardiotoxicity. I have not prescribed this drug for lactation, so can’t say why “one week” (presumably since more can be given if it does start working, while minimizing the risk of heart problems).

There is lots of information on domperidome in the forums at Dr. Hale’s website:

Dr. Jack Newman in Canada is an internationally respected resource. He has some concise handouts on Galactogogues:

Dr. Newman is indeed a respected expert on breastfeeding, and does advocate a higher dose of domperidone (30-40mg TID). He also believes the FDA warning to be overblown, in that it applies to intravenous domperidone and is a “political statement”. He states he has never personally seen these side effects, and states other drugs are also dangerous.

For what it is worth, I prefer the website for information about drugs in pregnancy and lactation.

I am certainly not an expert on breastfeeding. But in medicine, experts are often wrong – this is the reason “medical opinion” and “anecdotal observation” are considered poorer evidence than a proper study. I have not seen the evidence the FDA used to decry domperidone – it seems there are case reports of “cardiac arrythmias, cardiac arrest and sudden death” in some patients on IV domperidone. If this is true, oral domperidone should be used with some caution, even if blood levels seem to be much lower PO than IV. But it is allegedly available over the counter in England, and I prescribe it once in a while for GI complaints and am unaware of problems. Nevertheless, the problem with medication side effects is they are uncommon – which is why they are not identified until years after a drug is released. The fact one doctor has not seen a given side effect is pretty meaningless. The side effect would seem to be quite serious. If case reports of cardiotoxicity exist, it is hard to say that the warning is “political”.

To me, a dose of 10mg three times a day for one month would seem a reasonable compromise (having perused the journal articles). Should you be unhappy with your doctor, who is probably aware of the FDA warning, I would ask for a referral to a breastfeeding expert or (another?) pediatrician – who knows more about this debate.