You are on page 1of 2

abbreviations used in prescription writing adapted from australian pharmaceutical formulary and handbook (apf) 15 th edition

ABBREVIATION

LATIN

TRANSLATION

WORD/PHRASE

a.c.

ante cibum

before food

b.i.d.

bis in die

twice a day

b.d.

bis die

twice a day

c. (or with a dash over it)

cum

with

gutt/gtt

guttae

drops

h.s.

hora somni

at bedtime

m.

mane

in the morning

m.

mitte more dicto utendus

send/give to be used as directed

m.d.u.

n.

nocte

at night

ocul/oc

oculentum

eye ointment

p.a.a

parti affectae applicandus

to be applied to the affected part

p.c.

post cibum

after food

p.r.n.

pre re nata

when necessary

q.d.s.

quarter die

four times daily

q.q.h.

quarta quaque hora

every four hours

q6h

quaque 6 horis

every 6 hours

q8h

quaque 8 horis

every 8 hours

sig.

signatur si opus sit

let it be labelled if necessary

s.o.s.

stat

statim

immediately

t.d.s.

ter die sumendus

to be taken three times daily

t.i.d.

ter in die

three times daily

ung.

unguentum

an ointment

Roman numerals are used to determine the dose, that is, the number of tablets to be taken

each dose. These have also been adapted: 1 = i

6 = vi

with the dots sitting on top.

5 = v

and so on. These are often also written with a line across the top of the strokes

2 = ii

3 = iii

4 = iv

Period of supply:

This is often written as fractions – however these are not fractions with a base ten, they depend on the number of weeks, or months in a year.

There are 7 days in a week so:

1/7 = one day 2/7 = two days 10/7 = ten days … and so on

There are 52 weeks in a year so:

1/52 = one week 2/52 = two weeks …. And so on

There are 12 months in a year so:

1/12 = one month 2/12 = two months 3/12 = three months (which is the maximum period for which you can prescribe)