Chapter 5. Deciphering Dosage Timing With 4-Times-A-Day or Every 6 Hours, How to Read Your Physician's Prescription, More Deaths Than You Might Think Are Caused by Medical Error, How to Take Your Meds: The Many Routes of Medication Administration, How to Get Low-Cost Vaccines for Adults Without Health Insurance, Earn the Most With Lucrative Medical Health Careers, Patients Have Certain Responsibilities in the Medical Care Field, When You Need to File a Complaint About a Doctor, Reading Your Doctor's Medical Services Receipt, How to Correct Errors in Your Medical Records, Little-Known Benefits of Working With Your Pharmacist. How to Safely Dispose of Your Old Medications. Administration within an artery or arteries. June 12, 2019. When the systemic absorption of a drug is desired, medications are usually administered by two main routes: the enteral route and the parenteral route. Luckily you don’t have to; it’s the pharmacist’s job to put the medical abbreviation in plain english on your medication label. Parenteral route, on the other hand, refers to any routes of administration that do not involve drug absorption via the gastrointestinal tract (par = around, enteral = gastrointestinal), including injection routes (e.g., intravenous route, intramuscular route, subcutaneous route etc. Many abbreviations on a prescription pertain to how often a person should take a medication, like before a meal, or the route of administration, like inhaled versus by mouth. Some examples include: The problem with medical abbreviations is that they can be misread or misunderstood by pharmacists, leading to a medication error, and this can be harmful to a patient., Let's face it, bad handwriting is common, and a slip of the finger on an electronic prescription is also not far-fetched., To prevent these medical errors, the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Organizations (JCAHO) created a "Do Not Use" list of abbreviations in 2003.. Required fields are marked *. Trust your gut and your keen eye. Regulations, Guidelines and Clinical Trials, Abbreviations Commonly Used In Prescriptions and Medication Orders. July 1, 2002. See the table for timed-release technology abbreviations. Aguwa, C. and Akah, P. (2006). Route of Administration: OD: Right Eye: OS: Left Eye: OU: Both Eyes: AD: Right Ear: AS: Left Ear : AU: Both Ears : PO: By Mouth : SL: Sublingual: NG or NGT: Feeding Tube through the nose into stomach: IEN or NAS: by Nostril: Bucc: Held Inside the Cheek: S&S: Swish & Swallow : HHN: Hand Held Nebulizer : PR: Into the Rectum : PV: Into the Vagina: SubQ, SC, SQ: Immediately under the skin: Top: Topical: GT or PGT The local route is the simplest mode of administration of a drug at the site where the desired action is required. or pc (after meals) 6. s.o.s. "inh" for inhaled (like an asthma rescue inhaler) 9. or bid (twice daily) 3. t.i.d. A Microgram of Prevention is Worth a Milligram of Cure: Preventing Medication Errors in Animals. Can grapefruit juice interact with my medications? © 2020 Pharmapproach Limited. or "QOD" or "Q.O.D." What are the risks vs. benefits of medications? Oral agents must be able to withstand the acidic environment of the stomach and must permeate the gut lining before entering the bloodstream. ). Some of the typed or computer-generated abbreviations, prescription symbols, and dose designations can still be confusing and lead to mistakes in drug dosing or timing. Examples of drugs administered through sublingual and buccal routes are nitro-glycerine (glyceryl trinitrate), buprenorphine, and desamino-oxytocin. Route of Administration Abbreviations. All drug names, dosage units, and directions for use should be written clearly to avoid misinterpretation. Rectal route can also be preferred when the patient has persistent vomiting or is unable to swallow. Read Also: Abbreviations Commonly Used In Prescriptions and Medication Orders. Accessed July 17, 2019 at, FDA. For a drug to produce its desired therapeutic effect, it must come in contact with the tissues of organs and cells of tissues by one way or the other; and for this to take place the drug must be administered in the appropriate manner. Start studying Abbreviations: Medication Administration Routes. Last updated on Jul 17, 2019. doi:10.1093/ajhp/60.24.2540, Horon K, Hayek K, Montgomery C. Prohibited abbreviations: seeking to educate, not enforce. JCAHO issues 'do-not-use' list of dangerous abbreviations. These types of errors can be linked with severe patient harm. When writing out a dose, do not use a trailing zero and do use a leading zero. Enteric-coated formulations, such as enteric-coated aspirin, help to protect the stomach by allowing the active ingredient to bypass dissolution in the stomach and instead dissolve in the intestinal tract. Accessed July 17, 2019 at, The Joint Commission. This is the second commonest route of drug administration. Use a computerized prescription system and electronic delivery of prescriptions to minimize misinterpretation of handwriting. They state that a “trailing zero” may be used only where needed to demonstrate the level of precision of the value being reported, such as for laboratory results, imaging studies that report size of lesions, or catheter or tube sizes. or sos (if necessary) 7. p.r.n. But there may be more to know about this shorthand than meets the eye. Administration within the vitreous body of the eye. Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. We comply with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information -. Kuhn, I.F. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2125.2009.03425.x, Sokol DK, Hettige S. Poor handwriting remains a significant problem in medicine. Top 9 Ways to Prevent a Deadly Drug Interaction. Dyasanoor S, Urooge A. Drug Topics. ), inhalational and transdermal routes. Abbreviations and acronyms in healthcare: when shorter isn't sweeter. It's time to throw out old-fashioned Latin abbreviations. Insight Into Quality of Prescription Writing - An Instituitional Study. In 2005, the Institute of Medical Practices, or ISMP, also created a list of medical abbreviations that can cause errors. This list is much larger that the JCAHO list. J R Soc Med. Apothecary prescription abbreviations, like the ones you might see written by your doctor on your prescription or a hospital medication order, can be a common source of confusion for healthcare providers, too. https://www.tabers.com/tabersonline/view/Tabers-Dictionary/767492/all/Medical_Abbreviations, https://www.jointcommission.org/resources/news-and-multimedia/fact-sheets/, https://www.fda.gov/safety/medwatch-fda-safety-information-and-adverse-event-reporting-program, https://www.drugs.com/fda-consumer/fda-and-ismp-work-to-prevent-medication-errors-213.html, https://www.fda.gov/animal-veterinary/resources-you/microgram-prevention-worth-milligram-cure-preventing-medication-errors-animals, https://www.jointcommission.org/-/media/tjc/documents/resources/patient-safety-topics/do_not_use_list_6_28_19.pdf, Better to spell out drug name; can be misinterpreted as five tablets of aspirin per FDA, abdominal aortic aneurysm (called a "triple-A"), Can be misinterpreted as 'apply to affected area', Can be misinterpreted as 'abdominal aortic aneurysm', Caution not to confuse with AD (meaning right ear), Better to spell out drug name "acetaminophen", Better to spell drug name out; can be misinterpreted as azathioprine per FDA, In U.S., 'hs' or 'HS' is more commonly used for bedtime, Do not confuse with "cancer of the prostate", Better to spell drug name out; can be misinterpreted as chlorpromazine per FDA, Multiple possible meanings; spell out instead of using "D/C", 5% dextrose and normal saline solution (0.9% NaCl), 5% dextrose and half normal saline solution (0.45% NaCl), Better to spell out vaccine name; can be misinterpreted as Demerol-Phenergan-Thorazine per FDA, dextrose in water, diabetes mellitus or distilled water, Multiple possible meanings; spell out instead of using "DW", Apothecary measurement (obsolete and may be misinterpreted as gram; do not use), Can be confused with GTT for glucose tolerance test, Better to spell out drug name; can be misinterpreted as hydrochlorothiazide per FDA, Better to spell out drug name; can be misinterpreted as hydrocortisone per FDA, better to spell out; do not mistake for "bedtime", Multiple possible meanings; spell out word instead of using "ID", Mistaken as IV (intravenous) or 10 (ten); Instead spell out "units" per Joint Commission's "Do Not Use" List of Abbreviations, Could be confused with 'intravenous pyelogram', Can be misinterpreted to mean "mg" or milligram, better to spell out 'microgram', May be confused with "MSO4" (morphine sulfate), spell out "magnesium sulfate" - Joint Commission's "Do Not Use" List of Abbreviations, Can mean either morphine sulfate or magnesium sulfate, spell out drug name - Joint Commission's "Do Not Use" List of Abbreviations, May be confused with "MgSO4"; instead spell out "morphine sulfate" - Joint Commission's "Do Not Use" List of Abbreviations, Preferred by AMA to spell out "nothing by mouth", Can also mean "overdose" or "once daily"; better to spell out, route of administration, ophthalmic abbreviations, Preferred in the UK; Can also mean "overdose" or "right eye"; better to spell out, AMA prefers to spell out "by mouth" or "orally"; can be mistaken as "os" meaning left eye per FDA, AMA prefers to spell out "by mouth" or "orally", Mistaken as q.i.d; Instead write "daily" or "every day" per Joint Commission's "Do Not Use" List of Abbreviations, Can be confused with "qh" meaning every hour; better to spell out, Not commonly used in U.S.; 'hs' more common for bedtime, Can be mistaken as qd (daily) or qid (four times daily); Instead spell out "every other day" per Joint Commission's "Do Not Use" List of Abbreviations, Used ONLY in Veterinary medicine to mean "once daily". The full dosage regimen includes the dose, frequency, duration, and route of administration of the drug to be administered. Ashley Hall is a writer and fact checker who has been published in multiple medical journals in the field of surgery. For veterinarians, when calling in or writing out a human drug prescription for animals, verbally state or write out the entire prescription because some pharmacists may be unfamiliar with veterinary abbreviations. BID, PO, XL, APAP, QHS, or PRN: Have you ever wondered what these odd, encrypted medical abbreviations mean on your prescription? However, internal enforcement and consistency are always the key. Your email address will not be published. or prn(as needed) 8. Thus administration involves risk of infection, pain, and local irritation. doctors must write 0.5mg instead of .5mg), "cc" be written as "mL" or "milliliters," as "cc" can be mistaken for "U" for units, micrograms should be written as "micrograms" or "mcg" and not "μg", avoiding the symbol "@," as this can be confused for a "2. Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances. 2012;65(4):294–299. Official “Do Not Use” List. Drugs may be inhaled as gases (e.g., nitrous oxide) and enter the bloodstream by diffusing across the alveolar membrane.