Commonly Used Latin Prescription Abbreviations

It is a common practice by physicians to use Latin abbreviations when writing prescriptions. You may have noticed these in your prescriptions. Although well known to Doctors, Nurses, Pharmacists and other healthcare professionals, these abbreviations can be the cause of medication dosing errors especially in the hospital setting. Avoiding these abbreviations and the use of Electronic Medical Records (EMR) helped reduce these errors. The following abbreviations are common:

AC    Ante Cibum means BEFORE MEALS

BID  Bis In Die means TWICE A DAY


QID  Quater In Die means FOUR TIMES A DAY

PRN  Pro Re Nata means AS NEEDED

QD   Quaque Die means EVERY DAY

HS   Hora Somni means AT BEDTIME

GT   Gutta means DROP

OD   Oculus Dexter means RIGHT EYE

OS   Oculus Sinister means LEFT EYE

PO   Per OS means BY MOUTH

PC    Post Cibum means AFTER MEALS

SIG  Signa means WRITE

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