PharmCatalyst Home Page

Common Drug Abbreviations


For dosing sig codes, go to our Sig Codes page.
Also see the Health Conditions Abbreviations page.
Warning: Drug abbreviations are not standardized.  Use professional judgment.

We strongly support the Institute for Safe Medical Practices (ISMP) and their work in reducing errors in pharmacy. ISMP has created a list of dangerous medical abbreviations. If the abbreviation is on the list, then you will find it linked to the ISMP page describing the danger.  See the abbreviation "HCT" as an example.

Abbreviation Meaning Suggest an abbreviation
AIDS drugs
APAP
ASA
BC
Ca, Ca++
CHF
Cl
Cod
CR
DM
DCN, DN100
doxy
EC
EC ASA
ER
EtOH
Fe, FE++
FeSO4
HC
HCT
HCO3
HCTZ
HS
INH
K, K+
LA
Mg, Mg++
MgSO
4
MSO4

MOM
MTX

MVI
Na, Na+
NaCl 0.9%
NS, NSS
NSAID
NTG
OC
ORS
PB
PCN
PNV
PTU
SMX/TMP
SMZ/TMP
SR
TAC
TCN
TMP/SMX
TMP/SMZ
TR
XL
XR
Zn, Zn++
ZnSO4
access Pocket Guide to HIV, and see pp5-6
acetaminophen
aspirin
birth control
calcium
congestive heart failure
chloride, chlorine
codeine
controlled release
dextromethorphan
Darvocet N-100
doxycycline
enteric coated
enteric coated aspirin
extended release
(ethyl) alcohol
iron
ferrous sulfate (iron)
hydrocortisone
hydrocortisone or hydrochlorothiazide (careful)
bicarbonate
hydrochlorothiazide
half strength
isoniazid
potassium
long acting (time released)
magnesium
magnesium sulfate (careful)
morphine sulfate (careful)
milk of magnesia
methotrexate (careful)
multivitamin
sodium
normal saline
normal saline
non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug
nitroglycerin
oral contraceptive
oral rehydration solution
phenobarbital
penicillin
prenatal vitamin
propylthiouracil
sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim
sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim
slow release or sustained release
triamcinolone
tetracycline
sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim
sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim
time release
extended release
extended release
zinc
zinc sulfate




© Copyright 2001-2003 PharmCatalyst. All rights reserved.