Why Rx Abbreviation for Prescriptions or Drugs?
Drug Plans Made Easy
Prescription Drugs – Why Rx?
There is no “x” following either “r” in prescription and in drugs, the “r” is followed by a “u,” not an “x.”
Why do we call prescription drugs Rx?
These are a few of the theories that more people seem to agree on than any others:
Another more popular theory is that it refers to the Greco-Roman god, Jupiter. As Health and Fitness History explains, Rx was derived from the astrological sign for Jupiter which was once placed on prescriptions to invoke that god’s blessing on the drug to help the patient recover. This practice in turn was passed down from Roman to European physicians.
Jupiter was considered a patron of medicine, and the most important deity in ancient Roman times preceding the adoption of Christianity, so presumably having his blessing on any drug would be viewed as a good step toward making the drug more effective. To shorten this blessing, they used the symbol for Mercury.
Commentators point out that the written character representing Jupiter looked somewhat like a modern day “R” with a slanted slash across the letter’s “leg.” This would be roughly equivalent to a capital “R” and a lower case “x” being written as a single unit, with the “x” attached to the leg of the “R.” Consequently, this is how the modern Rx symbol used to be written.
Since most keyboards do not have a single “Rx” key, we just write it out as Rx. But people who support the Rx symbol’s Jupiter theory often point out that “Rx” written out with two individual letters is not the correct form of the symbol representing prescriptions and prescription drugs. The form of “Rx” that they insist is correct is the form that corresponds with the symbol representing the Roman king of deities, Jupiter.
Another view of the Jupiter theory focuses on Jupiter the planet, and not the god. Some ancients seemed to view the largest planet in our solar system as a place representing good luck, which you certainly can’t get enough of when it comes to matters of health and the effectiveness of drugs.
Rx is a simple Latin abbreviation for the word “recipe.”
By starting off a prescription with Rx, your doctor is admonishing you to take the drug he/she is giving you at a certain frequency or time of day — as in Rx two aspirin and call me in the morning. Many say the “x” seems to be simply a popular addition to many abbreviations in the medical world, such as dx for diagnosis, sx for signs and symptoms and hx for a patient’s history.
There it is the most popular theories to explain where that Rx symbol came from and what it stands for.
There may be some disagreement on all these theories, but it’s hard not to agree on the importance of a good Medicare Part D prescription drug plan (PDP) to help keep Rx costs within your budget. Contact Ashford Insurance for information about prescription drug plans designed to save you money.
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Sarah began working in the healthcare industry in 2001, where she worked for many years with elderly Alzheimer and Dementia patients. From there she worked as a Group Benefits Administrator with a local healthcare company in the Human Resource Department for a period of 10 years. Since then, she has decided to work in the Medicare insurance industry full time and has joined the family business, Ashford Insurance, as a Medicare Insurance Agent.