Help DeskSpinal Cord Injury & Disorders LexiconMedical Terms and AbbreviationsMedical Prescription Abbreviations

1.3. Medical Prescription Abbreviations

Medical prescription abbreviations can be confusing and difficult to understand. This alphabetical list of mecial prescription abbreviations can help you to interpret medical notes and prescriptions. Please do not relie on this list as a definitive guide to your personal prescriptions. Please contact your prescribing physician with any questions regarding your medical prescriptions.


aa, __, __ of each
AAA apply to affected area
a.c. before meals
a.c.h.s., ac&hs before meals and at bedtime
a.d. right ear
ad., add. add
  let there be added
ad lib. Latin, "at one's pleasure"; as much as one desires; freely
admov. apply [or] add
  add; let there be added
ad us. according to custom
aeq. equal
agit. agitateÊ(stir or shake)
alt. d., alt. dieb. every other day; on alternate days
alt. h., alt. hor. every other hour; at alternate hours
a.m. morning, before noon
amp. ampuleÊ(ampul, ampoule)
amt amount
aq. water
aq. bull. boilingÊwater
aq. com. common water
aq. dest. distilled water
aq. ferv. hot water
a.l., a.s. left ear
ATC around the clock
a.u. both ears
BDS, b.d.s. twice daily
bib. drink
bis twice
b.i.d., b.d. twice daily
bis ind. twice a day
bis in 7 d. twice a week
BM bowel movement
BNF British National Formulary
bol. as a large single dose (usuallyÊintravenously)
BP, Ph.Br. British Pharmacopoeia
BS blood sugar
BSA body surface area
b.t. bedtime
bucc. buccalÊ(insideÊcheek)
cap., caps. capsule
cap. let him take (let the patient take)
c.m. tomorrow morning
c.m.s. to be taken tomorrow morning
c, c. with (usually written with a bar on top of the "c")
cib. food
c.c. with food [or]
  cubic centimetre
cf. compare
c.n. tomorrow night
cochl. spoonful
cochl. ampl. an ample spoonful (aÊtablespoonful)
cochl. infant. a small spoonful (aÊteaspoonful)
cochl. mag. a large spoonful (aÊtablespoonful)
cochl. mod. a modest spoonful (aÊdessert-spoonful)
cochl. parv. a scant spoonful (aÊteaspoonful)
colet. let it beÊstrained
comp. compound
contin. let it be continued
cpt. let him take (let the patient take)
cr., crm cream
CST continue same treatment
cuj. of which
c.v. tomorrow evening
cyath. aÊglassful
cyath. vinos. aÊwine-glassful
D, d. daysÊ[or]
D5LR dextroseÊ5% inÊlactated Ringer's solutionÊ(intravenous sugar solution)
D5NS dextroseÊ5% inÊnormal salineÊ(0.9%) (intravenous sugar solution)
D5W, D5W dextroseÊ5% inÊwaterÊ(intravenous sugar solution)
D10W, D10W dextroseÊ10% inÊwaterÊ(intravenous sugar solution)
da give
DAW dispense as written (i.e., noÊgeneric substitution)
DC, dc, D/C, disc discontinue [or]
decoct. decoction
det. let it be given
dieb. alt. every other day; on alternate days
dil. dilute
dim. one-half
d. in p. ¾. divide into equal parts
disp. dispersible [or]
div. divide
dL deciliter
DS double strength
d.t.d. give of such doses
DTO deodorized tincture of opium
DW distilled waterÊ[or]
  dextroseÊinÊwaterÊ(intravenous sugar solution)
elix. elixir
e.m.p. as directed (in the manner prescribed)
emuls. emulsion
et and
EOD every other day
ex aq. in water
exhib. let it be given
f. make; let it be made
f.h. make a draught
fl., fld. fluidÊ(usually meaning specificallyÊliquidin health care)
f.m. make a mixture
f. pil. make aÊpill
f.s.a. make according to art
ft. make; let it be made
g, gm gramÊ(modernÊSIÊsymbol is g, not gm)
garg. gargle
gr. grain
gtt(s) drop(s)
gutt. drop(s)
H hypodermic
h, hr, hor. hour
habt. let him have
hor. alt. every other hour (every second hour; at alternate hours)
hor. decub. at bedtime
hor. intermed. at intermediate hours
hor. tert. every third hour
h.s. at bedtime [or]
IBW ideal body weightÊ(for dosing based onÊclearanceÊestimation)
ID intradermal
IJ, inj. injection
i.m., IM intramuscular
IN intranasal
ind. daily
inf. infusion (extraction)Ê/Êintravenous infusion
i oneÊtablet
ii twoÊtablets
iii threeÊtablets
IP intraperitoneal
IT intrathecal
IU international unit
i.v., IV intravenous
i.v.p., IVP intravenous push
IVPB intravenous piggyback
kg kilogram
LAS label as such
lat. dol. to the painful side
lb. pound
l.c.d. coal tar solution
lin liniment
liq. solution
lot. lotion
M., m. mix
mane in the morning
max. maximum
mcg microgram
m.d.u. to be used as directed
mEq milliequivalent
mg milligram
mg/dL milligrams per deciliter
MgSO4 magnesium sulfate
min. minimumÊ[or]
mist. mixture
mit., mitt. send
mL millilitre
mod. pr¾script. in the manner directed
MS morphine sulfateÊorÊmagnesium sulfate
MSO4 morphine sulfate
nebul, neb. aÊsprayÊ(such as forÊinsufflation)- nebulizer
NMT not more than
noct. at night
non rep. no repeats (no refills)
NPO, n.p.o. nothing by mouth
NS normal saline (0.9%)
1/2NS half-normal saline (0.45%)
NTE not to exceed
oÊ2, o2 both eyes
o.d. every day (once daily) (preferred to "qd" in the UK[8])
o.d. right eye
o.m. every morning
omn. bih. every 2 hours
omn. hor. every hour
o.n. every night
OPD once per day
o.s. left eye
o.u. both eyes
oz ounce
p. continue
part. ¾q. equal parts
per by or through
p.c. after meals
p.c.h.s., pc&hs after meals and at bedtime
Ph.Br., BP British Pharmacopoeia
Ph.Eur. European Pharmacopoeia
Ph.Int. International Pharmacopoeia
pig./pigm. paint
p.m. evening or afternoon
p.o. by mouthÊorÊorally
ppt. prepared
p.r., PR rectally
p.r.n., PRN as needed
pt. continue
pulv. powder
p.v., PV vaginally
q every, per
q.1 h, q.1¡ every 1 hour (can replace "1" with other numbers)
q4PM at 4 pm (can replace "4" with other numbers)
q.a.d. every other day
q.a.m. every morning (every day before noon)
q.d./q.1.d. every day
q.d.a.m. once daily in the morning
q.d.p.m. once daily in the evening
q.d.s. 4 times a day
q.p.m. every evening (every day after noon)
q.h. every hour
q.h.s. every night at bedtime
q.i.d. 4 times a day
q.l. as much as is requisite
q.n. every night
q.o.d. every other day
q.q. every;[9]Êeach
q.q.h. every 4 hours
q.s. as much asÊsuffices; a sufficient quantity
q.v. at will [or]
  which see
QWK every week
rep., rept. repeats
RL, R/L Ringer's lactate
Rx, Rx, RX,Ê,Ê_ take (often effectively a noun meaning "prescription"Ñmedical prescriptionÊorÊprescription drug)
rep. let it be repeated
s. write (write on the label)
s.a. according to the art (accepted practice orÊbest practice)
SC subcutaneous
sem. seed
s.i.d. once a day
sig. write (write on the label)
s without (usually written with a bar on top of the "s")
sing. of each
SL, s.l. sublingually, under theÊtongue
SOB shortness of breath
sol. solution
s.o.s., si op. sit if there is a need
s.s., SS one-half [or]
  sliding scale
SSI sliding scaleÊinsulinÊor sliding scale regularÊinsulin
SQ subcutaneously
SSRI selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor[or]
  sliding scale regular insulin
st. let it stand (for example, forÊsettling)
stat immediately
SubQ subcutaneously
sum. let him take [or]
  let it be taken
supp. suppository
susp. suspension
syr. syrup
tab. tablet
tal., t. such
tbsp tablespoon
t.d.s., TDS 3 times a day
t.i.d., t.d. 3 times a day
tinct. tincture
t.i.w. 3 times a week
top. topical
TPN total parenteral nutrition
tr, tinc., tinct. tincture
trit. grindÊto aÊpowder
troch. lozenge
tsp teaspoon
U unit
u.d., ut. dict. as directed
ung. ointment
USP United States Pharmacopeia
vag. vaginally
w with
w/a while awake
w/f with food (with meals)
w/o without
X, x times
YO, y.o. years old

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