Medical Abbreviations= Huh?

9781572227002 by QuickStudy / BarCharts
9781572227002, a photo by QuickStudy / BarCharts on Flickr.

Have you ever been given a referral or a prescription, whether from your TCM (traditional Chinese medicine) practitioner or your Western medicine practitioner, that looks like it was written in a secret code? Medical abbreviations are used to increase efficiency but can sometimes be confusing. It’s good to know what your practitioners are recommending to help you. Here is a list of commonly used medical abbreviations to help you decode your prescriptions.

aa- of each
ac- after meals
ad- up to
ad lib- use freely
admov- apply
agit- stir, shake
aq- water
ATC- around the clock

bid- twice daily
BM- bowel movement

cap- capsule
cf- with food
cib- food
comp- compound
crm- cream
CST- continue same treatment

dil- dilute
div- divide

emuls- emulsion
elix- elixir

gtt- drop

h- hour
hs- at bedtime

lin- liniment

opd- once per day

pc- after meals
po- orally
prn- as needed

q- each, every
qid- four times daily
qs- a quantity sufficient

sl- sublingually
sob- shortness of breath
sol- solution
stat- immediately

tab- tablet
tid- three times daily
tinct- tincture

u.d.- as directed