Pharmacy  Abbreviations

In order to write and read drug orders or prescriptions, pharmacists need to know how they should be written. Because it is so important to minimize the chance that someone might misread or misinterpret a drug order, there are specific units of measure, abbreviations, and rules for writing orders that the medical provider must utilize.

In this section, you will learn what these rules see how they are used in example drug orders. The metric system is the most commonly used system of measurement in the medical profession. In fact, it is the most widely used measurement system in the world today. The metric system is generally the only system of measurement used in dispensing drug dosages, and uses a decimal system based on the number 10, which is simple to understand. (The monetary system of the United States is based on the metric system.) The field of medicine uses International Metric System units for describing weights and measures. Metric unit abbreviations on a medical chart denote quantities, particularly mass, volume, and size.

Medical abbreviations are commonly encountered in hospital, medical, and dental records. They are a medical professional’s rapid and succinct way of recording information about a patient and giving instructions to other medical personnel.

Here you will find some pharmacy resources of Abbreviations and Metrics.




In affected earAEADaily D
​To the affected area AAEvening PM
In left earASEvery Q
In right ear ADEvery day QD
In both earsAUEvery eveningQPM
In affected eyeAEYEvery morningQAM
In left eye OSEvery other dayQOD
In right eye ODEvery night at bedtimeQHS
In both eyesOUEvery 4 hoursQ 4 H
In each nostril IENImmediately IMM
IntramuscularlyIMMorning AM
By mouthPOTwice a dayBID
Nostril NOSThree times dailyTID
Recatally RECFour times dailyQID
Under the tongueTNTFive times daily FID
Vaginally VAGToday TAY
AS needed forPRFWith meals WC
As needed for anxietyPRAWith orange juiceWOJ​
Cough COUApplicator full APL
Cough & congestionCNCCapsule, CapsulesC, CS
Diarrhea DHDrop, DropsGTT, GTS
Headache HADropperfulDRP
Nausea & vomitingNVPuffsPFS
Pain PSuppositorySUP
Shortness of breathSOBTablet, TabletsT, TS
ApplyAPPTeaspoonful, Teaspoons TEA, TES
Apply to rashAPRTablespoonTBL
Chew & swallowCSW
Crush CRUAs neededPRN
Inhale INLAs needed for pain PRN P
Dispense as written DAW
Inject INJFollow package directionsFPD
Instill INTInsert 1 applicator vaginally at bedtimeIVB
Insert IInsert 1 suppository vaginally at bedtimeIVS
Spray SPROn an empty stomachOES
Take TKOne-half SS
Use U1 tablet under the tongue as
needed for chest pain
Use as directed UTDSwish and swallowSAS
After a meal PCTake 4 capsules 1 hour before dental
As neededPRNUntil all takenTAT
At bedtimeHS
Breakfast BRE
Before B
Before mealsAC



1oz.30mlml = Milliliter
2oz.60mlSS = One-half ( 1/2 )
3oz.90ml10ml Insulin = 1000 units
4oz.120ml*cc is equivalent to ml*
6oz.180ml1cc = 1ml
8oz .240ml2.5cc = 2.5ml or 1/2 teaspoon
12oz .360ml5cc = 5ml or 1 teaspoon
16oz.480 ml7.5cc = 1&1/2 teaspoons
cccubic centimeter15cc = 15ml or 1 tablespoon

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