Few technicians enter the pharmacy profession with aspirations of functioning as translators, however many find themselves playing that role the minute they step behind the drop-off counter.

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Few technicians go into the pharmacy profession through aspirations of functioning as translators, however many find themselves play that function the moment they action behind the drop-off counter.

Those that have challenge decoding a prescriber’s directions have the right to refer to the following guide, which lists many of the abbreviations and sig codes that are frequently found ~ above prescriptions; however, there is at this time no overview that can aid techs or pharmacists decipher a prescriber’s handwriting.

Note that prescribers may omit durations where lock are included below, and often capitalize a number of abbreviations that are detailed in lowercase.

Abbreviation

Meaning

Notes

aa

of each

Derived indigenous Latin, ana

AAA

apply to influenced area

a.c.

before meals

Derived native Latin, ante cibum

a.d.

right ear

Derived from Latin, auris dextra

ad lib.

as lot as desired; freely

Derived native Latin, ad libitum (“at one’s pleasure”)

a.m.

morning; before noon

Derived native Latin, ante meridiem

amp.

ampule

amt.

amount

APAP

acetaminophen

aq.

water

Derived native Latin, aqua

a.s.

left ear

Derived indigenous Latin, auris sinistra

ATC

around the clock

a.u.

both ears

Derived indigenous Latin, auris utraque

bib.

drink

Derived native Latin, bibe

b.i.d.

twice a day

Derived indigenous Latin, bis in die

BP

blood pressure

bucc.

inside cheek

Derived native Latin, bucca


c.

with

Derived from Latin, cum; often written through a bar above it

cc

cubic centimeter (cm3)

Less typically used as an abbreviation for cum cibo (“with food”)

cap.

capsule

cm

centimeter

Also provided as one abbreviation because that cream

d.

day

Derived indigenous Latin, dies

DAW

dispense together written

d.c.; d/c

discontinue

dil.

dilute

disp.

dispense

div.

divide

dL

deciliter

DR

delayed-release

EC

enteric-coated

EOD

every various other day

ER; XR

extended-release

et

and

Derived indigenous Latin, et

f., ft.

make; allow it be made

Derived native Latin, fiat

fl.

fluid

FXD

for 10 days

X = Roman character for 10

g, gm

gram

gal

gallon

gr.

grain

gtt.

drop

Derived native Latin, gutta

h., hr., hor.

hour

Derived native Latin, hora

HCT; HCTZ

hydrochlorothiazide

h.s.

at bedtime

Derived native Latin, hora somni (“at the hour the sleep”)

ID

intradermal

IM

intramuscular

IN

intranasal

inf.

infusion

inh.

inhalation

inj.

injection

IR

immediate-release

IU

international unit

IV

intravenous

K

potassium

kg

kilogram

L

liter

lb

pound

Derived from Latin, libra

liq.

liquid

lot.

lotion

m

meter

max.

maximum

mcg; μg

microgram

μ = Greek letter mu

MDP

Medrol Dosepak

Pre-dosed packaging that methylprednisolone (Medrol)

mg

milligram

min.

minimum

mL

milliliter

mm

millimeter

neb.

nebulizer

NSAID

nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug

Drug class that contains ibuprofen (Motrin)

o.d.

right eye

Derived from Latin, oculus dexter

ODT

oral disintegrating tablet

oint.

ointment

o.s.

left eye

Derived from Latin, oculus sinister

OTC

over the counter

o.u.

both eyes

Derived from Latin, oculus uterque

oz

ounce

PA

prior authorization

p.c.

after meals

Derived from Latin, post cibum

p.m.

evening; ~ noon

Derived from Latin, post meridiem

p.o.

by mouth; orally

Derived indigenous Latin, per os

p.r.

rectally

Derived native Latin, per rectum

p.r.n.

as needed (for)

Derived indigenous Latin, pro re nata

pt

pint

p.v.

vaginally

Derived from Latin, per vaginam

q

every; per

Derived indigenous Latin, quaque

q12; q. 12 h.; q12°

every 12 hours

12 can be substituted with any number

q1-2; q. 1-2 h.; q1-2°

every 1 come 2 hours

1 and 2 deserve to be substituted with any kind of number

q.a.d.; q.o.d.

every other day

Derived from Latin, quaque alternis die

q.a.m.

every morning; every day before noon

Derived indigenous Latin, quaque anti meridiem

q.d.

every day

Derived native Latin, quaque die

q.h.s.

every day at bedtime

Derived from Latin, quaque hora somni

q.i.d.

4 times a day

Dervied native Latin, quater in die

qt

quart

qty.

quantity

q.p.m.

every evening; every day after noon

Derived from Latin, quaque post meridiem

q.s.

a enough quantity

Derived native Latin, quantum sufficiat

q.w.

every week

Rx

prescription

Derived native Latin, recipere (‘to take”)

s.

without

Derived indigenous Latin, sine; regularly written v a bar above it

SC; SQ; SubQ

subcutaneous

sig.

write; label

Derived from Latin, signa

SL; s.l.

sublingually; under the tongue

SOB

shortness the breath

sol.

solution

SSRI

selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor

Drug course that consists of escitalopram (Lexapro) and also fluoxetine (Prozac)

stat.

immediately

Derived native Latin, statim

supp.

suppository

susp.

suspension

syr.

syrup

tab.

tablet

TAD

take as directed

tbsp

tablespoon

t.i.d.

3 time a day

Derived native Latin, ter in die

top.

topical

troch.

lozenge

Derived from Latin, trochiscus

tsp

teaspoon

U

unit

u.d., ut. Dict.

as directed

Derived indigenous Latin, ut dictum

ung.

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ointment

Derived from Latin, unguentum

w.

with

w/f

with food; with meals

w/o

without

Looking to test your understanding of sig codes through some an especially difficult-to-understand prescriptions? shot reading some of these Rxs!