A protocol is a procedure for handling something. A protocol is like a recipe but since a medical protocol is dealing with people, it may need to be modified depending on the patient. However, it is very useful to a health care practitioner because it does lay out the elements necessary to effect a handling of the situation. More and more medical doctors agree that the best protocol is one that avoids the use of drugs unless absolutely necessary. However, if it is necessary, drugs may need to be used. If they are used only temporarily they are called PRN drugs. PRN is an abbreviation for “pro re nata” and means “when necessary”. The main categories of PRN drugs are:

  • ANTIPYRETIC (Fever-reducing, from the Greek pyresis, which means fire.)
  • ANTI-INFLAMMATORY (Inflammation-reducing drugs that address soreness and swelling, from the Latin flamma, which means flame.)
  • ANALGESIC (Pain-relieving drugs, from the Greek algos, which means pain.)
  • OTHERS (Drugs to prevent vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, constipation, insomnia, cramping, antacids and antihistamines.)