The Everyday Nurse

Common Medical and Medication Abbreviations

This is not a comprehensive list but a common list. 

Confusing eardrops and eyedrops. Always double-check the label. If a medication says "otic," it's for the ears. If it says "ophthalmic," it's for the eyes.

AC - before meals

HS -Bedtime

Otic - Ears

Opthamalic - eyes

AD - right ear

AS - left ear

OD- right eye

OS - left eye

OU- both eyes

PRN - as needed

PO - by mouth

QD - every day


Q4 - every four hours

QID - four times a day

ATC - around the clock

BID - twice a day

D/C - discontinue or discharge

gtts - drops

ER - extended-release

DR - delayed release

IR - immediate release

SR - sustained release

Supp - suppository

TID - three times a day

IJ- injection

IM - intermuscular

SQ - subcutaneous

NPO- nothing by mouth

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