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Professional practice

Quiz yourself by thinking what should be in each of the black spaces below before clicking on it to display the answer.

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  


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