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Prescription Abbreviations

May 17, 2021
by TammyS | For Seniors
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Most seniors are on some type of prescription medication, a pharmaceutical drug that legally requires a prescription to be dispensed. Below is a list of the most commonly used prescription medication abbreviations. If Seniors Helping Seniors can help you in any way, please call (772) 492-8381

Prescription Abbreviations

a.c.        Before meals, taking a medicine before meals
a.u.        Apply to or in left ear
a.d.        Apply to or in right ear
a.u.        Apply to or in both ears
alt.h.      Take or apply every other hour
b.i.d.      Twice daily, taking a medicine twice daily
cap        Capsule
D/C        Discontinue or discharge.  For example, a doctor will D/C a drug
ex aq      In water
g            Gram
gr           Grain
gtt          Drops
h.s.         Take medication at bedtime
i.d.          Intradermal
inj           injection
IM          Intramuscular.  Where the injection is to be administered
IU           International units
mcg       Microgram
mg         Milligram
ml          Mililiter
N/V        Nausea and/or Vomiting
NPO       Nothing by mouth – as in no food 12 hours before surgery
O.D.       Right eye
O.S.       Left eye
O.U.       Both eyes
p            After meals
per         By or through
p.o.        By mouth
p.r.         Per rectum
p.r.n.      As needed when the situation calls for it, as in pain medication
q.d.        Each day, as in take medication daily
q.i.d.      Four times a day
q2h        Every two hours
q3h        Every three hours
Qam      Each morning
qhs        At bedtime
qod        Every other day
qPM       Each evening
SL          Sublingual (under the tongue)
SQ         Subcutaneous, as in fatty tissue under the skin, I.e. insulin shots
supp      Suppository
syr         Syrup
tab         Tablet
t.i.d.       Three times daily
t.i.w.       Three times a week
top         Topical
U or u     Unit, as in measurement of unsulin
ut dict     As directed
vag         Vaginally
w/o         Without


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