Common Medical Abbreviations


aa of each
ac before meals
AD right ear
ad lib as desired
ADR adverse drug reaction
AM morning; before noon
amt amount
ANDA Abbreviated New Drug Application
ante before
APAP acetaminophen
aq water; aqueous
AS left ear
ASA aspirin
AU both ears
AUC area under the curve
bid, BID twice a day
biw twice weekly
BMR basal metabolism rate
bp boiling point
BP blood pressure
BUN blood urea nitrogen
c with (c with bar above it)
C Centigrade
Ca calcium
cap(s) capsule(s)
cath catheter
CBC complete blood count
cc cubic centimeter
chol cholesterol
Cl chloride
cm centimeter
Cmax maximum effective plasma concentration
Cmin minimum effective plasma concentration
c/o complains of
comp compounded of
CR controlled-release
CV cardiovascular
DAW dispense as written
DC, D/C discontinue
dil dilute
disch discharge
disp dispense
DNR do not resuscitate
DR delayed-release
Dx diagnosis
EENT Eye, Ear, Nose & Throat
ER extended-release
etc and so on
EtOH alcohol
exp expired
ext extract, external
F Fahrenheit
FBS fasting blood sugar
Fe iron
fl fluid
fl dr fluidram
fl oz fluid ounce

FUO fever of unknown origin
Fx fracture
g, gm gram
gr grain
gtt(s) drop(s)
H, h, hr hour
H2O water
HDL-C high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol
HR heart rate
HRT hormone replacement therapy
hs at bedtime, hour of sleep
h/o history of
IM intramuscular
INDA Investigational New Drug Application
inh inhalation
INH isoniazid
inj injection
IPPB intermittent positive pressure breathing
IR immediate-release
IU international units
IV intravenous
kg kilogram
L liter, left, put left first
lb pound
LDL-C low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol
liq liquid
MAOI monoamine oxidase inhibitor
mcg microgram
MDI metered dose inhaler
mEq milliequivalent
mg milligram
Mg magnesium
mL milliliter
mm millimeter
MOM milk of magnesia
Na sodium
NaCl sodium chloride
NDA New Drug Application
neg negative
NKA no known allergies
No. number
noct in the night
NPO nothing by mouth
NR no refill
NSAID nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug
OD right eye
oint ointment
OS left eye
OTC over the counter
OU each eye
oz ounce
P pulse
PB phenobarbital
pc after meals
per by

PI Package Insert
PM evening; after noon
po by mouth; orally
prn as needed; whenever necessary
pt patient, pint
pulv powder
pwdr powder
q every
q4h every 4 hours
q6h every 6 hours
qh, qhr every hour
qid four times per day
qiw four times per week
ql as much as desired
qs a sufficient quantity
qt quart
qw once per week
R/O rule out
Rx prescription only
SC, SQ subcutaneously
sig label; let it be printed
SL sublingual
SOB shortness of breath
sol solution
solv dissolve
sos if necessary or required
ss one half
stat immediately
supp suppository
susp suspension
Sx symptoms
syr syrup
t½ half life
tab(s) tablets
tbsp tablespoonful
temp temperature
tid three times per day
tiw three times per week
Tmax time to maximum concentration
top topically
TPN total parenteral nutrition
tr, tinc, tinct tincture
tsp teaspoonful
Tx treatment
ud as directed
UD unit-dose package
ung ointment
URI upper respiratory infection
USP United States Pharmacopoeia
UTI urinary tract infection
vag vaginal
VO verbal order
vol volume
VS vital signs
wa while awake
wt weight
x times

(Rev. 11/2021)