What Does Take 2 Capsules 1 to 2 Times Daily Mean?

In our latest question and answer, our pharmacist clarifies prescription directions for an individual.


Suggested Usage: Take 2 capsules 1 to 2 times daily Does that mean take 4 capsules or take 1 capsule at one time and another capsule at a different time?

Asked by Rita On Feb 20, 2023

Answered by
Medical Content Reviewed By HelloPharmacist Staff

Published Feb 22, 2023
Last updated Sep 27, 2023

Key points

  • The instructions advise taking two capsules orally (at the same time), either once or twice per day, depending on symptoms.
  • Always be sure to talk to your doctor if pharmacist if you are having trouble understanding how to take your medication.


Great question. Happy to help answer this for you.

To clarify, the instructions 'take 2 capsules 1 to 2 times daily' are telling you to take two (2) capsules orally, either once or twice per day, depending on your symptoms.

This means that you can take the two (2) capsules at the same time once or twice during the day. In other words, two capsules are considered a 'dose', and you can take that dose either one time during the day or two times during the day.

It's important to note that the instructions do not advise taking four (4) capsules simultaneously. This type of instruction typically indicates that the medication is taken on an as-needed basis, such as for pain relief or anxiety. You don't have to take the medication if you don't need it, but you can take it if you are experiencing symptoms related to the condition being treated.

Prescription Directions Format

Generally, prescription directions are formatted as follows:

  • Verb > Quantity > Dosage Forms > Route of Administration >Frequency

In your case, we have:

  • Verb: Take
  • Quantity: One to two
  • Dosage Form: Capsules
  • Route of Administration: By mouth
  • Frequency: One to two times daily (i.e., per day)

Sometimes, in regard to the frequency, this will be specified, such as every 8 hours, etc... Since your prescription directions don't have a specific time to wait between doses, you may want tor each out to your doctor or pharmacist to clarify. If you are taking something twice a day, you would wait around 8 to 12 hours between doses.

Final Words

I hope this was helpful!

Thanks, for reaching out.

About the Pharmacist

Dr. Brian Staiger, PharmD

Dr. Brian has been practicing pharmacy for over 13 years and has wide-ranging experiences in many different areas of the profession. From retail, clinical, program development, and administrative responsibilities, he's your knowledgeable and go-to source for all your pharmacy and medication-related questions! Dr. Brian Staiger also has herbalist training and educational certificates in the field of medical ethnobotany. Feel free to send him an email at Hello@HelloPharmacist.com! You can also connect with Dr. Brian Staiger on LinkedIn.

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