alternate - to alternate medications

Encolpius

Senior Member
Hungarian
Alternate Tylenol and Motrin every three hours.

Can I use change instead of alternate? Or do common people also undertand the verb alternate? Or can I use another verb? thank you in advance.
 
  • bibliolept

    Senior Member
    AE, Español
    By alternate, you are indicating that the person should take a dose of tylenol, then a dose of motrin three hours later, then tylenol again three hours after that?
    I think that "alternate" is the best choice; it is clearer to me than "change" would be.
     

    MJRupeJM

    Senior Member
    USA
    English- U.S.
    Substituting "change," for "alternate," would make the sentence less clear. "Alternate," is a common, well-understood verb, and your original sentence makes your point succinctly. I wouldn't change it.
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    I would understand the original, but it does not seem at all familiar.
    I'm not sure how I would expect this particular direction to be expressed.
     

    MJRupeJM

    Senior Member
    USA
    English- U.S.
    "Alternate doses of Tylenol and Motrin every three hours."
    "Take a dose every three hours, alternating between Tylenol and Motrin."

    To me, these are the best way to express this direction. You could use something like "switch," but "alternating" means "switch back and forth," which is really what you are directing the patient to do. "Alternate," also seems like it would be the verb used on a medicine bottle, more so than the less formal "switch."
     

    MJRupeJM

    Senior Member
    USA
    English- U.S.
    If this is a common form of prescription, there will be a standard, formal way to express it that is (supposedly) clear and unambiguous.
    It is common for doctors to advise patients to take both ibuprofen ("Motrin") and acetaminophen ("Tylenol") to avoid taking too much of either. A brief search seems to show "alternate," as the common prescription.

    From the University of Michigan:


    "If instructed by your healthcare provider to alternate ibuprofen and acetaminophen, do it as follows:

    • Alternate doses of ibuprofen and acetaminophen every 4 hours.
    • Alternate medicines for only 24 hours or less, then return to a single product.
    Combining acetaminophen and ibuprofen is generally not recommended. "

    http://www.med.umich.edu/1libr/pa/pa_medchart_art.htm
     
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