Can Anybody Tell Me Why Doctors Use Rx Terms? What Does It Mean?

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Rajesh Shri Profile
Rajesh Shri answered
Doctors are known to use a number of medical specific terms when interacting with patients and fellow doctors. Many of these terms are not clearly understood by the lay man and arouse much curiosity.

Nevertheless, the terms make perfect sense to the doctor and his diagnosis. One of the terms used by doctors is 'Rx'. In fact, Rx is a medical prescription. The symbol "Rx" is associated with the Latin word "recipe", which means "to take." It is customarily a part of the superscription or heading on the prescription issued by the doctor.

Interestingly, there is another explanation for the origin of Rx. It states that the term was derived from the astrological sign for Jupiter, which was once placed commonly on most prescriptions to invoke the god's blessing on the drug. This was believed to help the patient recover quicker and increase the surety of the medication to deal with the ailment.


A prescription observed today displays the term on the top of the chart or doctor's letter-head. The curiosity arises more because of the oddness of the placement and the fact that the layman is not conversant with medical jargon. Nevertheless, it is good to identify with the terms doctors use, just as we show a natural aptitude towards memorizing medication.

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