Gold Standard Medication Times: Help Yourself 2021

What is Standard Medication Timing:

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There are several medications that have unique specified dosing times: to allow laboratory values to be evaluated before the dose is given (ie, warfarin, epoetin, darbepoetin, and filgrastim at 1800); to avoid meals (ie, oral fluoroquinolones at 0600 and 1600 [meals are generally given at 0800, 1200, and 1700]); convention (ie, cyclosporine at 0800 and 2000); for patient convenience (ie, furosemide at 0900 and 1800); and, to improve efficacy (ie, statins at bedtime).

Because injectable antibiotics should be started as soon as possible and prolonged intervals could affect efficacy, the dosage time for injectable antibiotics will be determined by the time of the first dose. For example, a twice-daily injectable antibiotic order is received at 1400. The first dose will be scheduled for 1500. Subsequent doses will be given at 0300 and 1500.

There will be a series of educational sessions scheduled with the medical and nursing staff to go over the more subtle implications of the new policy. These sessions will emphasize to prescribers that “3 times a day” is not the same as “every 8 hours.” For oral drugs, every8-hour dosing requires that patients be awakened to receive their dose. Waking the patient may or may not be necessary, depending on the medication.

Standard medication administration times have existed for many years. These times are in place to improve efficiency and communication.  When dosing times are not specified by the prescriber, the default times in the table (see below) will be used.

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