My dentist is trying to kill me!

She prescribed an antibiotic for my periodontal disease. The directions on the bottle say:

Take one capsule(s) twice a day until gone.


I don’t get it.

The OP seems to think “until gone” means “until you are dead”.

It’s obvious, isn’t it? Either commasense or the periodontal disease goes. The antibiotic doesn’t care which one. I’m rootin’ for commasense to come out unscathed.

Thanks, truthbot.

Should we put it to a vote? I like polls. :stuck_out_tongue: Just sayin.

ETA: Oh yeah, and feel better soon, commasense.

I’m a writer and editor, so I pay attention to the precise meaning of words. As with any imperative statement, the unspoken antecedent of “Take” is “you,” and since the instructions don’t say “Take the pills until they are gone,” the default meaning of the sentence as written is that the one expected be gone is “you.” Meaning me.

Do you think I should call the police?

See, what I just don’t get is how your doctor expects you to take the same capsule twice every day. Regurgitate it and take it again…over and over?


Wait, you mean I’m supposed to take a *different *capsule each time?

The great news is that you got it in writing. You can totally own her in court.

But then again, perhaps it’s the pharmacy that is the culprit here.

Capsule(s)? Are you supposed to take one or two at a time, and if you take two at a time once, do you not need to take any more for that day? Love me when I’m gone? I’m so confused.

Prescription labels are notoriously small and some things have to be shortened. A good pharmacist or assistant will make sure to point out that it means to take the pills until they are gone, just to avoid this sort of confusion. So if your pharmacist did not point this out to you then it is not your dentist that wants you dead but the pharmacist. You should have realized this because of his shifty eyes.

My confusion came from the fact that I write prescription labels as part of my job. On the veterinary side, we tend to be a little more specific, I guess, because I would have written the instructions this way (remember this would be for an owner’s dog or cat)

Give one capsule by mouth every 12 hours. Give until gone.

And yes, we have to make the wording as concise as possible while making sure the “route of entry” for the medication is stated (so people don’t try to stick the capsule up their dog’s nose or, uh, elsewhere).:dubious:

Hope you feel better! Dental issues are not fun, ever.

Thanks, BTW, for all the good wishes. I feel fine now. It’s the gum surgery coming up in the next few months that won’t be much fun.