List of medical abbreviations: Latin abbreviations

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The main discussion of these abbreviations in the context of drug prescriptions and other medical prescriptions is at List of abbreviations used in medical prescriptions. Some of these abbreviations are best not used, as marked and explained there.

Abbrev. Meaning Latin (or New Latin) origin Avoid abbreviating[1][2]
a.c. before meals ante cibum
a.d., ad, AD right ear auris dextra spell out[1]
a.m., am, AM morning ante meridiem
a.s., as, AS left ear auris sinistra spell out[1]
a.u., au, AU both ears together or each ear aures unitas or auris uterque spell out[1]
b.d.s, bds, BDS 2 times a day bis die sumendum
b.i.d., bid, bd twice a day / twice daily / 2 times daily bis in die spell out[2]
gtt., gtt drop(s) gutta(e)
h., h hour hora
h.s., hs at bedtime or half strength hora somni spell out[1]
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 spell out[2]
o.d., od, OD once a day
right eye
omne in die
oculus dexter
spell out[1][2]
o.s., os, OS left eye oculus sinister spell out[1]
o.u., ou, OU both eyes oculus uterque spell out[1]
p.c. after food post cibum
p.m., pm, PM afternoon or evening post meridiem
p.o., po, PO orally / by mouth / oral administration per os / nonstandard form per orem spell out "orally"[1][2]
p.r., pr, PR rectally per rectum
p.r.n., prn, PRN as needed, (also Pertactin - a key antigen of ac.Pertussis vaccine) pro re nata spell out[2]
q. every quaque
q.1.d., q1d every day quaque die spell out[1]
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 spell out[1][2]
q.h.s., qhs every night at bedtime quaque hora somni spell out[1]
q.d.s, qds, QDS 4 times a day quater die sumendum
q.i.d, qid 4 times a day quater in die spell out[2]
q.h., qh every hour, hourly quaque hora
q.o.d., qod every other day / alternate days quaque otra die spell out[1][2]
q.p.m., qPM, qpm every afternoon or evening quaque post meridiem
q.s., qs a sufficient quantity (enough) quantum sufficiat
Rx, Rx, Medical Recipe Symbol mod.JPG, prescription recipe
Sig., S. directions signa
Stat. immediately, with no delay, now statim
t.d.s, tds, TDS 3 times a day ter die sumendum
t.i.d., tid 3 times a day ter in die spell out[2]
u.d., ud as directed ut dictum spell out[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Institute for Safe Medication Practices, ISMP’s List of Error-Prone Abbreviations, Symbols, and Dose Designations (PDF). 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j American Medical Association, "Section 14.11", AMA Manual of Style.