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Deciphering a medical record can be a real headache, especially handwritten records. Once you break through the handwriting code, you have to deal with the alphabet soup that is medical jargon. Below is some of the abbreviations used in medication administration. I hope this helps you make some sense of the medical records you are looking at. Use this prn.


cc = cubic centimeter

gm = gram

gr = grain

gtt = drop

mcg = microgram

mEq = milliequivalent

mg = milligram

ml = milliliter

oz = ounce

tsp = teaspoonful

Tbsp = tablespoonful

U = units


ac = before meals

BID = twice a day

pc = after meals

PRN = as needed (commonly written with a time frame and reason the medication is being given. For example q 2-4 h prn for pain meaning every 2-4 hours as needed for pain)

Q = every

QD = every day

QID = four times a day

QOD = every other day

q h = every hour (so q2h would be every two hours)

qhs = every bedtime (sometimes written as just hs)

TID = three times a day

Stat = immediately

Routes of Administration

AD = right ear

AS = left ear

AU = both ears

buc = inside the cheek

IM = intramuscular injection

IV – intravenous

IVPB – intravenous piggyback

OD = right eye

OS = left eye

OU = both eyes

opth. = pertaining to the eye

otic = pertaining to the ear

PO = by mouth (NPO means nothing by mouth)

PER G.T.= through gastrostomy tube

PR = per rectum

SL = sublingual

SQ or sub-Q = subcutaneous (also written as SC)

Supp – suppository

Susp = suspension

TPN – total paternal nutrition

Tab = tablet


c- with

s – without

MAR – medication administration record

OTC – over the counter

Sig- label

EC – enteric coated

DC – discontinue

Per – through or by

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