Definition of q.h. (on prescription)

q.h. (on prescription): Abbreviation for "every hour." On a prescription or doctor's hospital orders, q.h. means every hour. Also written qh (without the periods). From the Latin quaque meaning once + h for hour. However it is written, it is one of a number of hallowed abbreviations of Latin terms that have been traditionally used in prescriptions to specify the frequency with which medicines should be taken.

Other examples include:

  • q.d. (qd or QD) is once a day; q.d. stands for "quaque die" (which means, in Latin, once a day).
  • b.i.d. (bid or BID) is twice a day; b.i.d. stands for "bis in die" (which means twice a day).
  • t.i.d. (or tid or TID) is three times a day ; t.i.d. stands for "ter in die" (in Latin, 3 times a day).
  • q.i.d. (or qid or QID) is four times a day; q.i.d. stands for "quater in die" (in Latin, 4 times a day).
  • q_h: If a medicine is to be taken every so-many hours, it is written "q_h"; the "q" standing for "quaque" and the "h" indicating the number of hours. So, for example, "2 caps q4h" means "Take 2 capsules every 4 hours."

Last Editorial Review: 10/9/2012

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