3.1. Common Abbreviations


  1. Abbreviation – a shortened form of a word or phrases;
  2. Often used in medical and residents’ records, such as physician’s orders;
  3. Learn abbreviations for terms common to medication administration;
  4. On the Medication Administration Record (MAR), abbreviations should be spelled out;
  5. Be aware that abbreviations can lead to mistakes if they are not legible;
  6. Always check with the supervisor if you have questions about abbreviations.


DOSES                                   ROUTES OF ADMINISTRATION

gm = gram                              po = by mouth

mg = milligram                        pr = per rectum

mcg = microgram                   OD = right eye

cc = cubic centimeter             OS = left eye

ml = milliliter                           OU = both eyes

tsp = teaspoonful                   AD = right ear

tbsp = tablespoonful              AS = left ear

gtt(s) = drop(s)                       AU = both ears

oz = ounce                             SL = sublingual(under the tongue)

mEq = milliequivalent             SQ = subcutaneous (under the skin)

kg = kilogram                          per GT = through gastrostomy tube

Buccal=between cheek & gum

TIMES                                    OTHER

QD = every day record             MAR = medication administration

BID = twice a day                   OTC = over the counter

TID = three times a day          DC = discontinue

Q = every                                tab=tablet

QID = four times a day            cap=capsule

q_h = every __ hours              EC=enteric coated

qhs = at bedtime                      oint/ung=ointment

ac = before meals                    supp=suppository

pc = after meals                       sol=solution

PRN = as needed                    XL/XR=extended release

QOD = every other day

ac/hs = before meals and at bedtime

pc/hs = after meals and at bedtime

STAT = immediately

C= with, s=without, x=times. R=right, L=left.