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Commonly used medical prescription abbreviations are listed below, with English and Latin meaning;

  • a.c. — before meals (ante cibum)
  • a.d., ad, AD- right ear (auris dextra)
  • a.m., am, AM- morning (ante meridiem)
  • nocte- every night (Omne Nocte)
  • a.s., as, AS- left ear (auris sinistra)
  • a.u., au, AU- both ears together or each ear (aures unitas or auris uterque)
  • b.d.s, bds, BDS—2 times a day (bis die sumendum)
  • b.i.d., bid, BID- twice a day / twice daily (bis in die)
  • gtt., gtts - drop(s) (gutta(e))
  • h., h- hour (hora)
  • qhs, h.s., hs - at bedtime or half strength (quaque hora somni)
  • ii—two tablets (duos doses)
  • iii- three tablets (trēs doses)
  • n.p.o., npo, NPO- nothing by mouth / not by oral administration (nil per os)
  • o.d., od, OD- right eye/ once a day (oculus dexter /omne in die)
  • o.s., os, OS—left eye (oculus sinister)
  • o.u., ou, OU- both eyes (oculus uterque)
  • p.c.- after food (post cibum)
  • p.m., pm, PM- afternoon or evening (post meridiem)
  • p.o., po, PO—by mouth / oral administration (per os / nonstandard form per orem)
  • p.r., pr, PR- rectally / rectal administration—(per rectum)
  • p.r.n., prn, PRN—as needed (pro re nata)
  • q—every (quaque)
  • q.1.h., q1h- every hour (quaque hora)
  • q.2.h., q2h- every 2 hours (quaque secunda hora)
  • q.4.h., q4h- every 4 hours (quaque quarta hora)
  • q.6.h., q6h- every 6 hours (quaque sexta hora)
  • q.8.h., q8h- every 8 hours (quaque octava hora)
  • q.a.m., qAM, qam- every morning (quaque ante meridiem)
  • q.d., qd- every day / daily (quaque die)
  • q.h.s., qhs - every night at bedtime (quaque hora somni)
  • q.d.s, qds, QDS—4 times a day (quater die sumendum)
  • q.i.d, qid- 4 times a day (quater in die)
  • q.h., qh- every hour, hourly (quaque hora)
  • q.o.d., qod- every other day / alternate day (quaque altera die)
  • q.p.m., qPM, qpm- every afternoon or evening (quaque post meridiem)
  • q.s., qs- a sufficient quantity (enough) (quantum sufficiat)
  • q.wk. also qw- weekly (once a week) (quaque week)
  • Rx, Rx, ℞- prescription (recipe)
  • Sig., S.- directions (signa)
  • Stat. — Immediately, with no delay, now (statim)
  • t.i.d., tid, TID- 3 times a day (ter in die)
  • t.d.s., tds, TDS—take by mouth 3 times a day (ter die sumendus)
  • u.d., ud - as directed (ut dictum)
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