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Abbreviation or

Medical Abbreviaton & Meanings
every other day; on
Abbreviation or alt. d., alt. dieb.
English Possible confusion alternate days
symbol II every other hour; at
aa, aa, of each alt. h., alt. hor.
alternate hours
AA Abdominal Aortic a.m. morning, before
AAA apply to affected area
Aneurysm noon
a.c. before meals amp.
ampule (ampul,
before meals and at amt ampoule)
a.c.h.s., ac&hs
bedtime aq. amount
A single-storey "a" can be aq. bull. water
mistaken as an "o" which aq. com. boiling water
a.d. right ear
could read "o.d.", meaning
aq. common water
right eye
<lest. aq. water hot
ad. ferv. water
let there be added "a" can be mistaken as an
add a.1., a.s. left ear "o" which could read "o.s."
add. or "o.l", meaning left eye
let there be added
Compare pro re nata, "as ATC around the clock
needed", which by "a" can be mistaken as an
Latin, "at one's convention includes an a.u. both ears "o" which could read
ad lib. pleasure"; as much as aspect of "up to some "o.u.", meaning both eyes
one desires; freely maximum". Similarly, BDS, b.d.s. twice daily
compare s.o.s., gl_, and bib. drink
ll bis twice
apply [or] add
admov. AMA style avoids use of
add; let there be added
ad us. b.i.d., b.d. twice daily this abbreviation (spell out
according to custom
"twice a day")
ceq. equal bis ind. twice a day
bis in 7 d. twice a week
Abbreviation or Abbreviation or
English Possible confusion En lish
symbol symbol
M bowel movement ochl. spoonful
British an ample spoonful (a
NF ochl. ampl.
National tablespoonful)
as a large single dose a small spoonful (a
ochl. infant.
(usually intravenously) teaspoonful)
P, Ph.Br. British Pharmacopoeia a large spoonful (a
ochl. mag.
s blood sugar
body surface area a modest spoonful
SA ochl. mod. dessert-spoon ful)
mistaken for "b.i.d",
bedtime a scant spoonful (a
meaning twice ochl. parv.
buccal (inside cheek daily teaspoonful)
olet. let it be
cap., caps. ) capsule
omp. strained
let him take (let the
cap. patient take) ontin. compound
c.m. tomorrow morning let it be
to be taken tomorrow continued
c.m.s. mommg r., crm let him take (let the
with (usually written ST patient take)
with a bar on top of the UJ. cream
C. "c") .v. continue same treatment
cib. food yath. of which
mistaken for "U", meaning yath. tomorrow evening
units; also has an vinos. a glassful
with food [or] ambiguous meaning, write
c.c. 'd. a wine-glassful out "days" or "doses"
ambiguous meaning; use
cubic centimetre "mL" or "milliliters" (1
cm 3 = 1 mL) days [or]
cf. SLR doses
dextrose 5% in
lactated Ringer's
solution (intravenous
Abbreviation or Abbreviation or I.
Possible confusion English Possible confusion
symbol symbol
D5NS dextrose 5% in opmm with "diluted tincture of
normal saline (0.9%) opium," which is 1125th
(intravenous sugar the strength of deodorized
solution ) tincture of opium; deaths
dextrose 5% in water have resulted due to
D5W, DsW (intravenous sugar massive morphine
solution) overdose.ill Compare
laudanum and paregoric.
dextrose 10% in water
DlOW, D10W (intravenous sugar distilled water [or]
solution) dextrose in water
da give
sugar solution)
dispense as written (i.e.,
DAW elix. elixir
no generic substitution)
as directed (in the
discontinue [or] e.m.p.
DC, de, DIC, disc discharge ambiguous meaning manner prescribed)
emuls. emulsion
decoction et
EOD every
and other day
let it be
dieb. alt. given ex aq. in water
every other day; on let it be given
alternate days exhib. make; let it be made
dilute f. make a draught
d. in
p. one-half f.h. fluid (usually meaning
re. divide into equal fl., fld. specifically liquid in
parts health care)
disp make a mixture
dL dispersible [or] f.m.
dispense f. pil. make a pill
divide f.s.a. make according
deciliter to art
give of
Abbreviation or English Possible confusion Abbreviation or English Possible confusion
symbol symbol II
ft. make; let it be made intravenously
gram (modem SI symbol daily
g, gm
is g, not gm) infusion (extraction} /
garg. gargle intravenous infusion
gr. gram one tablet
gtt(s) drop(s) 11 two tablets
gutt. drop(s) lll three tablets
H hypodermic IP intra12eritoneal
h, hr, hor. hour mistaken for other
IT intrathecal
habt. let him have abbreviations; spell out
every other hour (every mistaken for "IV" or "10",
hor. alt. second hour; at alternate IU international unit spell out "international
hours) unit"
hor. decub. IV intravenous
at bedtime
hor. intermed. IVP intravenous 12ush
at intermediate hours
hor. tert. IVPB intravenous 12iggyback
every third hour
kg kilogram
at bedtime [or] ambiguous (2 meanings,
h.s. LAS label as such
half-strength easily conflated); spell out
ideal body lat. dol. to the painful side
IBW weight based
dosing (for on lb. 12ound
clearance estimation) l.c.d. coal tar solution
ID intradermal lin
mistaken for "IV", liq. liniment
IJ, inj. injection
meaning intravenously
IM intramuscular M.,
mistaken for "IM", m. solution
IN intranasal meaning intramuscular, or
"IV", meaning lotion
in the morning
Abbreviation or English Possible confusion Abbreviation or English Possible
symbol symbol confusion
mcg Recommended no repeats (no refills) II
replacement for "µg" AMA style avoids use of
which may be confused nothing by mouth this abbreviation (spell out
with "mg" "nothing by mouth")
m.d.u. to be used as directed
normal saline (0.9%)
mEq millieguivalent
half-normal saline
mg l/2NS
milligram (0.45%)
mg/dL milligrams per deciliter NTE not to exceed
may be confused with "0 2" u s ually means
0 2, 0 2 both eyes
MgSO4 magnesium sulfate "MSO4", spell out oxygen or oxygen thera12y
"magnesium sulfate" every day (once daily)
minimum [or] o.d. (preferred to "qd" in the
mm. minim [or] UK™)
minute "o" can be mistaken as an
mist. mixture "a" which could read
o.d. right eye
mit., mitt. send "a.d.", meaning right ear,
mL confusion with "omni die"
o.m. everymommg
mod. in the
pnescript. manner omn. bih. every 2 hours
can mean either morphine
directed sulfate or omn. every hour
MS sulfate or magnesium
magnesium sulfate hor. o.n. every night
sulfate, spell out either
may be confused with OPD once per day
MSO4 momhine sulfate "MgSO4", spell out "o" can be mistaken as an
"morphine sulfate" o.s. left eye "a" which could read
a fil2@Y ( such as for "a.s.", meaning left ear
nebul, neb.
insufflation)- nebulizer "o" can be mistaken as an
NMT not more than o.u both eyes "a" which could read
noct. at night . "a.u.", meaning both ears
Abbreviation or English Possible confusion Abbreviation or English Possible
symbol II symbol confusion
ounce q.a.d. every other day II
continue every morning (every
equal parts day before noon)
by or through mistaken for "QOD" or
after meals "qds," spell out "every
day" or "daily". AMA
after meals and at every day
p.c.h.s., pc&hs style avoids use of this
bedtime abbreviation (spell out
Ph.Br., BP British "every day")
Ph.Eur. Pharmaco2oeia
Euro2ean Pharmaco2oeia once daily in the
International mornmg
Pharmaco2oeia once daily in the
pig./pigm. paint evening can be mistaken for "qd"
p.m. 4 times a day
evening or afternoon (every day)
AMA style avoids use of every evening (every day
p.o. by mouth or orally this abbreviation (spell out after noon)
"orally") every hour
ppt. prepared can be mistaken as "q.h.r."
p.r., PR rectally every night at bedtime
(every hour)
p.r.n., PRN as needed can be mistaken for "qd"
pt. continue or "qod," write out "4
pulv. 2owder times a day". AMA style
4 times a day
avoids use of this
p.v., PV vaginally
abbreviation (spell out "4
q every, per times a day")
every 1 hour (can replace as much as is requisite
q. l h, q.1° "1" with other numbers)
can be mistaken as "q.h."
at 4 pm (can replace "4" mistaken to mean every 4 every night
(every hour)
q4PM with other numbers) hours every other day mistaken for "QD," spell
Abbreviation or Abbreviation or
symbol English Possible confusion symbol English Possible
out "every other day". without (usually written II
AMA style avoids use of with a bar on top of the
this abbreviation (spell ou "s")
"every other day") of each
q.q.h. every 4 hours sublingually, under the
q.s. a sufficient quantity tongue
at will [or] SOB shortness of breath
which see sol. solution
QWK every week s.o.s., si op. sit if there is a need
rep., rept. repeats one-half [or]
S.S., SS mistaken for "55" or "1/2"
RL,R/L Ringer's lactate sliding scale
take (often effectively a mistaken to mean "strong
nounmeanmg sliding scale insulin or solution of iodine" or
Rx, Rx, , lJ, R "prescription"- medical SSI sliding scale regular "selective serotonin
prescription drug) insulin reuptake
also SSRIinhibitor". See
rep. let it be repeated "SQ" can be mistaken for
s. write (write on the label) SQ subcutaneous!y "5Q" meaning "5 every
dose". See also SC
according to the art
s.a. (accepted practice or best selective serotonin
practice) reuptake inhibitor [or] ambiguous. Do not
sliding scale regular abbreviate
"SC" can be mistaken for
SC subcutaneous "SL," meaning sublingual.
See also _S_Q let it stand (for example,
for settling)
sem. seed
stat immediately
used exclusively in
s.i.d. once a day SubQ subcutaneously
veterinary medicine
s1g. write (write on the label) sum. let him take [or]
let it be taken
Abbreviation or English Possible confusion Abbreviation or English Possible confusion
symbol II symbol II
gsupp. suppository while awake
with food (with meals)
tal., t. years old
tbsp mistaken for "mg",
such microgram
t.d.s., meaning
TDS tablespoon milligram
AMA style avoids use of at
3 times a mistaken for "2"; spell out
t.i.d., t.d. 3 times a day this abbreviation (spell out
day greater than "at"
"3 times a day")
tinct. tincture less than mistaken for a "7"
mistaken for "twice a tb pound mistaken for an "L"
t.i.w. 3 times a week
week" ounce
top. topical dram (drachm)
TPN total parenteral nutrition scruple
tr, tine., tinct. tincture
trit. grind to a
troch. powder lozenge
tsp teaspoon
u unit
mistaken for a "4", "O" or
"cc", spell out "unit"
u.d., ut. diet. as directed
ung. ointment
United States
USP Pharmacopeia
vag. vaginally
w with