Appendix A: Parts of a Prescription

Appendix B: Conversion Charts

Appendix C: Latin Prescription Abbreviations and Medical Terminology

Appendix A: Parts of a Prescription

Appendix B: Conversion Charts

Table B-1.

Metric Unit Prefixes, Meanings, and Abbreviations

deci1/10 = 0.1d
centi1/100 = 0.01c
milli1/1000 = 0.001m
micro1/1,000,000 = 0.000001mc
Table B-2.

Common Metric Conversions

Metric Units of Weight
1 kg1000 g1,000,000 mg1,000,000,000 mcg
1 g1000 mg1,000,000 mcg
1 mg1000 mcg
Metric Units of Volume
1 L10 dL100 cL1000 mL
Metric Units of Length
1 km1000 m100,000 cm1,000,000 mm
1 m100 cm1000 mm
Table B-3.

Household and Apothecary Measures as Used in Text

Measurements of Volume
1 gallon4 qt8 pt16 cups128 fl oz256 tablespoonsful (T)a768 tsp
1 qt2 pt4 cups32 fl oz64 T192 tsp
1 pt2 cups16 fl oz32 T96 tsp
1 cup8 fl oz16 T tsp
1 fl oz2 T6 tsp
1 T3 tsp
Measurements of Weight
1 lb16 oz

Tablespoon may also be abbreviated “tbsp.” This abbreviation is used less often due to the potential for confusion with teaspoon (tsp).

Table B-4.

Common Metric, Household, and Apothecary Conversion Factors

Metric MeasurementHousehold MeasurementApothecary Measurement
0.065 g (65 mg)1 grain (gr)
1 g15.4 g
28.4 g1 oz
0.454 kg (454 g)1 lb
1 kg2.2 lb
1 L1.06 qt
960 mL1 qt
480 mL1 pt
240 mL1 cup (8 fl oz)
30 mL1 fl oz8 fluid drams
15 mL1 T
5 mL1 tsp
4 mL1 fluid dram = 60 minims

Appendix C: Latin Prescription Abbreviations and Medical Terminology

Table C-1.

Frequently Used Prescription Abbreviations and Medical Terminology

Dosage Forms and Routes of Administration
capcapsulea.d.auris dextroright ear
gtt(s)gutta(e)drop(s)a.s.auris sinistroleft ear
LiqLiquorsolution or liquida.u.auris utroboth ears
lot.lotionBucc.buccalin the cheek
susp.suspensionIVPIV push
tabtabletIVPBIV piggyback
tr, tinc.tinctureo.d.oculo dextroright eye
o.s.oculo sinistroleft eye
o.u.oculo utroboth eyes
p.o.per osby mouth
p.r.per rectum
Sc. or sqsubcutaneous
a.c.ante cibumbefore mealsp.m.postmeridianafternoon
ad. libitumas re nataas needed
b.i.d.bis in dietwice a dayq.d.quaque diedaily bedtimeq.i.d.quater in diefour times a day
hhourq4hevery 4 hoursa
min.minuteq.o.d.every other day
noct.noctenightstatimmediately cibumafter mealst.i.dter in diethree times a day
Other Common Abbreviations
aantebeforeNKAno known allergies
asapas soon as possibleNPOnothing by mouth
BMbowel movementNSnormal saline
BPblood pressuren/vnausea/vomiting
DC or d/cdiscontinueppostafter
dxdiagnosisSOBshortness of breath
HAheadacheURIupper respiratory infection
L or Rleft or rightUTIurinary tract infection
M.R.may repeat

Any number can be used here (ie, q12h means every 12 hours).

Table C-2.

Common Abbreviations Used in Compounding and Their Meanings

AbbreviationLatin/Early MeaningCommon Usage
aaanaof each
adadup to
aqaquaaqueous, water
d.t.d.dentur tales dosesdispense such doses
non rep.non repetaturdo not repeat; no refills
pulv.pulvis, pulverispowder
q.s.quantum sufficiata sufficient quantity
sssemisone half
u.d. or ut. dict.ut dictumas directed