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Medical Abbre

Professional practice

ADHD Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder
BM Bowel Movement
BP Blood Pressure
BPM Beats per Minute
CA Cancer, carcinoma
CAD Coronary Artery Disease
CHF Congestive Heart Failure
COLD/COPD Chronic Obstructive Lung/Pulmonary Disease
CVA Cerebral Vascular Accident, stroke
DM Diabetes Mellitus
FBS Fasting Blood Sugar
GERD Gastro-esophageal Reflux Disease
GI Gastrointestinal
ESRD End Stage Renal Disease
HA Headache
HBP High Blood Pressure
HTN Hypertension
HR Heart Rate
MI Myocardial Infarction, heart attack
NKA/NKDA No Known Allergies/No Known Drug Allergies
N&V, N/V Nausea and Vomiting
OA Osteoarthritis
RA Rheumatoid Arthritis
RR Respiration Rate
SOB Shortness of Breath
Temp Body Temperature
URI Upper Respiratory Infection
UTI Urinary Tract Infection
amp. Ampule. A hermetically sealed glass vessel, contains a sterile drug solution usually used parenteral administration. The ampule is broken and the solution drawn into a syringe under aseptic conditions always single dose units.
cap. Capsule. A shell usually made of gelatin that contains the active ingredients in powder or liquid form. When the capsule is swallowed, the gelatin dissolves in the acid environment of the stomach releasing the material inside.
chart. A divided powder, powder in a paper. The drug or drug mixture is wrapped in folded paper. The patient unfolds the paper and transfers the contents to a tablespoon or a glass and dissolves the contents in water. Archaic dosage form.
cr., crm. Cream. A semisolid preparation containing drug intended for application to body surfaces like the skin. Creams are heterogenous systems, continuous phase is either aqueous or water soluble, absorb into the skin leaving little oily residue.
elix. Elixir. An oral solution containing drug, water, and some alcohol. When the active ingredients are dissolved exclusively in alcohol the dosage form is called a Spirit.
emul. Emulsion. A liquid, heterogenous dosage form in which a liquid oil is usually dispersed in a continuous aqueous phase. Usually the drug is dissolved in the internal oil phase. When used topically it is usually called a lotion. (also be called suspensions)
Liq. A solution
Lot. A lotion
Parenteral The word Parenteral is used to indicate routes of administration other than the gastrointestinal tract
pulv., pulvis A bulk powder. Applied directly to the skin from the container.
sol. Solution. A solution of drug usually in water. May be taken by mouth or applied to skin depending on indication.
supp., sup., suppos Suppository. Firm semisolid dosage forms that are designed to be inserted into a particular body opening. melts at body temperature releasing the incorporated drug into the local body fluids. Rectal and vaginal suppositories are most common.
susp. Suspension. A liquid, heterogenous dosage form in which a solid is dispersed in the liquid. Usually the drug is not dissolved in the dosage form. When the suspension is used topically it is frequently called a lotion.
syr. Syrup. A solution that is sweet and highly viscous. Rarely, used for syringe.
Vials Vials are glass containers with a rubber stopper through which a hypodermic needle can be inserted to remove its contents. Vials can be either single use or multiple use depending on whether a bacteriostatic preservative is present in the solution.
tab. Tablet. A compressed tablet of drug and other excipients which can only be manufactured on an industrial scale. not pills [an older type of preparation not commonly used anymore, and have a round shape (exception - colchicine is dispensed as pills).]
tab SL. or SL Sublingual Tablet,designed to be dissolved under the tongue. Intended to be absorbed across the oral mucosa avoiding gastrointestinal-hepatic degradation prior to entry into general circulation (Example Nitroglycerine SL). SL tabs should not be swallowed.
tinc., tr., tinct. Tincture. A solution containing a lot of alcohol, although other solvents may be present. Tinctures usually contain drug at high concentrations.
ung, unguetum, oint. Ointment. A semisolid preparation containing drug intended for application to body surfaces like the skin. unlike creams are continuous oil based systems. Ointments generally leave an oily residue on the applied surface for a longer time than creams.
vl Vial, a container used for sterile preparation.
disp. Dispense. Provide to the patient.
div. # Divide. The formula refers to the total amount to be made. Divide the formula into the specified number of dosage units.
d.t.d. # Give such doses. The formula refers to a single dose. Prepare and dispense a specified number of doses.
ex. aqua in water
f., ft. Make. Prepare
M Mix the contents of the formula
N.B. Note Well!!! Pay attention to this.
No., # Number of units to be prepared or dispensed.
S.A., Secundum artem According to the art. A vague phrase meaning roughly "use your skill and judgment"
tal. dos. such doses
Sig. write the following directions on the label
ad up to, don't confuse with right ear (a.d.)
appl. apply
AAA, aaa Apply to affected area
c, cum with
dil. dilute, for example: dil. 5 ml in 6 oz. OJ (orange juice)
D/C, D.C. Discontinue
e.m.p., ut dict, u.d. as directed, in the manner prescribed
et and
NMT not more than
NPO Nothing by Mouth. The patient is to receive nothing orally
non rep, N.R. do not repeat, (also, no refills when not in Sig.)
rep repeat, (also, refill when not in Sig.)
s, sine without
tg, TG, TAT till gone, until all taken, finish all the doses supplied
aa., or aa of each. Used when two or more ingredients are present in the same amount. They are listed sequentially with the symbol placed next to the last item of the group which it refers.
Agit. Shake.
Alb. White.
APAP acetaminophen (N-acetyl-para-aminophenol) an analgesic
ASA aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid) an analgesic.
aq., aqua. water, drinking water. Never used in making prescriptions.
aq. dest. distilled water, deionized water used in prescriptions. Prepared by distillation.
aq. pur. purified water USP, An official deionized water used in prescription compounding.
q.s. a sufficient quantity. Calculate and add the appropriate quantity to make the prescription. Example: the amount of lactose needed to fill capsules.
q.s. ad a sufficient quantity up to. Add sufficient quantity to achieve a specified total weight or volume. Example: amount of water needed to make 240 ml of total solution.
aa q.s. ad a sufficient quantity of each up to. Used when more than one substance is to be added in equal quantities to achieve a specified total weight or volume.
D5W Dextrose Injection USP, a sterile isotonic IV Fluid (5% dextrose in water)
HC Hydrocortisone, a steroid hormone
inj. Injection, indicating that the injection dosage form is to be used.
IOP In original packaging
MDI Metered dose inhaler
MS, MSO4 Morphine Sulfate. A narcotic analgesic (N.B. ISMP does not recommend these abbreviations)
MOM Milk of Magnesia, magnesium hydroxide suspension, an antacid.
NF National Formulary, Indicates the ingredient should conform standards prescribed in the official NF compendium
NS, N.S. Normal saline. 0.9% Sodium Chloride Solution USP, a sterile, isotonic IV fluid (0.9% NaCl in Water)
½ NS 0.45% Sodium Chloride for Injection, Half-Normal saline, a sterile IV fluid
hs, HS Half strength (not to be confused with “at bedtime”)
NTG Nitroglycerin, a drug to treat angina pectoris, and cardiovascular disturbances
TPN Total Parental Nutrition, an intravenous feeding fluid containing carbohydrates, amino acids, electrolytes, and sometimes lipids.
USP United States Pharmacopeia, Indicates the ingredient should conform standards prescribed in the official USP compendium.
cc., cc cubic centimeter, USP states 1 cc is equivalent to 1 ml
fl, fld. specifies that the measure is a fluid measure
g., Gm. Gram, NB don't confuse with gr.
gr., gr Grain, NB don't confuse with g.
gtt. Drop, In general not a rigidly standardized measure. Modern preparations are dispensed with the calibrated dropper included with the manufactured product. ƒÓ Minim, NB Don't confuse with ml
mcg., mcg, £gg Microgram, NB don't confuse with mg.
mEq Milliequivalent
mg., mg Milligram, NB don't confuse with mcg
ml., mL. Milliliter, USP states that 1 cc is equivalent to 1 ml, NB, don't confuse with minim.
mOsm, mOsmol Milliosmole
O. Apothecary pint
oz. ounce
parts Some formulas indicate the ratio of ingredient quantities to each other. In a formula given in terms of parts by weight/volume, any unit of weight/volume may be used, but it must be applied to all components.
Ratio Strength a way of representing drug concen. Denoted in terms of total amount of preparation/one unit of drug. The second number describes the total quantity. A liq solute is assumed to be (v/v). A solid solutes is assumed to be (w/v).
ss., ss one half
tbl., tbsp., tbs. tablespoonful, a household measure, nominal value 15 ml.
tsp. teaspoonful, a household measure, nominal value, 5 ml
U, u, I.U. Unit, International Unit. The potency of many antibiotics and endocrine preparations are expressed in terms of official USP units. These units are specific for each substance and determined by an official USP biological activity test
prn as occasion arises, use when or as needed. Ex. 1 cap hs prn sleep
a. before
a.c. before meals. Take before meals. Usually used in conjunction with q.d., tid etc.
a.m. morning, before midday
h. hour
hold Do not give specific dose
d. day
q. every
q4h every 4 hours, Also specified by the degree symbol. Ex. q 4°
q.d. every day, take one dose a day
q.o.d. every other day, Take one dose every other day
bid twice a day, Take one dose twice a day. N.B. does not mean every 12 hours. Loosely means morning and evening.
tid three times a day, NB. Take one dose three times a day. N.B. does not mean very 8 hours. Loosely means morning, evening, and night.
qid four times a day. NB. Take one dose four times a day. N.B. does not mean every 6 hours. Loosely means morning, afternoon, evening, and night.
t.i.w. three times a week, Take a dose three times a week. For example M, W, F
h.s., hs at bed time. Take at bedtime
ATC around the clock, Doses administered at equal time intervals. Ex: q. 6 h. ATC.
m2, M2 square meter
BSA body surface area
p. after
p.c. after meals. Take after meals. Usually used in conjunction with q.d., bid, tid etc.
p.m. evening, afternoon, after midday
noct. night
STAT immediately, give at once
s.o.s. if there is need. Administer again if required. Example: MS 2 mg IV STAT and q 30 min s.o.s. bucking ventilator
c with
a.d. right ear, (the dexter ear)
a.s. left ear, (the sinister ear)
a.u. both ears
Aur ear, ears
D. Right
i., inh. Inhalation. As in take 2 inhalation (2i) from the metered dose inhaler
IA intraarticular, inject into joint or, less commonly, intraarterially, inject into artery
ID intradermal, inject into skin
IM intramuscular, inject into muscle
IV intravenous, inject or infuse into vein. For intravenous fluid therapy IV also refers to the infusion fluid. IV bottles are consecutively numbered. Ex: IV #10 NS 1000 mL @ 125 cc/h, IV #11 D5W 1000 mL @ 125/hr
IVP, IV bolus intravenous push, a rapid injection into vein
IVPB intravenous piggy back. infuse solution into primary intravenous infusion, rate specified Ex: Ampicillin 250 mg IVPB over 30 min q 6 h
KVO keep vein open. A slow infusion. The rate is set by institution policy or specified used to maintain an intravenous catheter patent.
via Hep Loc Inject through heparin lock. A small indwelling intravenous cannula filled with a dilute heparin solution to maintain patency. After injection, the heparin lock needs to be flushed and refilled with a dilute heparin solution.
Ocul eye
o.d. right eye (the dexter eye) in the right eye
o.s. left eye, (the sinister eye) in the left eye
o.u. both eyes, in each eye
p Puff. As in take 2 puffs from the metered dose inhaler
p.o., per os, PO by mouth, take orally
R, pro rect., PR rectal
S. left
SL sublingual, Place under tongue and allow to dissolve
subq., s.c., SQ subcutaneously, inject below the skin
top topically, apply locally to affected area
vag., PV vaginally
ASHD Ateriosclerotic heart disease
Created by: Kachmiel



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