Thursday, February 16, 2012

Medical Prescription Terms

Commonly used medical prescription terms and their meaning that you should know.

Frequency or time of drug usage:
  • QID / QDS: 4 times a day (about 6 hourly)
  • TID / TDS: 3 times a day (about 8 hourly)
  • BID / BD: twice a day (about 12 hourly)
  • OD: once a day
  • HS: once at night / bedtime
  • SOS: whenever required
  • q2h: every 2 hours
  • q4h: every 4 hours, etc.
  • CM: coming morning
  • Stat: once immediately
Type of medicine preparation:
  • Tab: Tablet
  • Cap: Capsule
  • Inj: Injection
  • Oint or oc: Ointment
  • G or ED: Eye Drops
  • ND: Nasal Drops
  • Lot: Lotion
  • Cream: Skin cream
  • Suppository: per rectal application
  • Pessary: per vaginal application
Routes of administration:
  • PO: per orally or by mouth
  • Topically: local application on affected area
  • IM: intra-muscularly
  • IV: intra-venously
  • SC: sub-cutaneously or just under the skin
  • PR: per rectal or into the anus
  • PV: per vaginum or into the vagina
  • Inhalation: to be inhaled as puffs
  • Nebulize: to be atomized or nebulized using a special equipment & then inhaled with breathing
  • Sub conj: just under the conjunctiva (surface layer) of the eye
  • Intra Vit: intra-vitreally or into the vitreous cavity of the eye
  • Intra-cameral: into the anterior chamber of the eye
  • Sub-tenon: under the Tenon layer / space of the eye surface
  • Retro-bulbar: behind the eye ball
  • Intra-articular: into the joint space
  • Spinal / Sub-dural: into the spaces of vertebral spine
Other common terms:
  • NPO: nil per orally
  • F: fasting
  • PP: post-prandial or after meal (in relation to blood sugar measurement it means 2 hours after meal)
  • Infusion: slow intra-venous administration
If there is any other confusing term that you may want to understand, please mention in the comments.

Dr. Sanjay Dhawan
Senior Eye Surgeon
New Delhi & Gurgaon


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