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Prescription Abbreviations

Pharmacy technician students need to know the basic prescription abbreviations used in the field. On a prescription order, Rx abbreviations are constantly used. Pharmacy Techs must be able to decode every term in order to avoid filling errors and billing discrepancies. The list on this page are only a fraction of what prescribers currently use**. If you're in a pharm tech program (i.e. - Carrington, Penn Foster, etc) please consult the list provided in your training materials.


Specific Directions

SIG
PRN
C
CF
UD
SS
AA
QS
DC

Rx Directions
As Needed
With
With Food
As Directed
Half
Of Each
Qty. Sufficient
Discontinue


Measurements

GTT
DR
mL
TSP
TBL
OZ

L
Gal
Mcg
Gr
mG
GM
KG
LB

Drop
Dram
Milliliter
Teaspoon
Tablespoon
Ounce

Litre
Gallon
Microgram
Grain
Milligram
Gram
Kilogram
Pound


Type

UNG
SOLN
CRM
AMP
PR
PV

Ointment
Solution
Cream
Ampule
Rectally
Vaginally

Location / Route

OU
OD
OS

AU
AD
AS

PO

IV
IM
INJ
SQ
SL
SUPP
TAB
CAP
UD
SUSP
NG

Both Eyes
Right Eye
Left Eye

Both Ears
Right Ear
Left Ear

Per Oral

Intravenously
Intramuscular
Injection
Subcutaneous
Sub-lingual
Suppository
Tablet
Capsule
Unit Dose
Suspension
Naso-gastric

Frequency

STAT
BID
TID
QID
QD
QH
Q _ H
QAM
QPM
X _ D
HS
PRN
PC
AC
SD


Immediately
2X /Day
3X /Day
4X /Day
Every Day
Every Hour
Every _ Hrs
Every A.M.
Every P.M.
For _ Days
At Bedtime
As Needed
After Meal
Before Meal
Single Dose





Q. Why memorize these prescription abbreviations?

A. Knowing them will help keep patients (and your job) safer!

When a medical doctor writes a prescription order, they use sig codes / prescription abbreviations to let the pharmacy know the quantity, frequency and route of administration for medications. As a pharmacy technician student studying for the PTCB or ExCPT exam, it's highly recommended to memorize all of the abbreviations your training program covers. After you pass the pharmacy tech test and start your career, knowing all of these sig codes will be a vital part of your competency.

Q. Is this list all of the abbreviations used in medicine?

A. Not exactly.

This is a custom list that's been customized for pharmacy tech students studying for the PTCB exam. It was carefully decided upon with regards to not overload students with info not needed for the PTCB. If you're in a program, you may get a bigger list and want to adhere to it.

**This list of pharmacy abbreviations is not a complete list, but designed to cover the most common. As with the rest of this site, this list is more of a quick reference of the prescription abbreviations and acronyms most likely to be found when studying for the PTCB or ExCPT exams.



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