Elephant Formulary

© 2003-17 Susan K. Mikota DVM and Donald C. Plumb, Pharm.D. Published by
Elephant Care International

Disclaimer: the information on this page is used entirely at the reader's discretion, and is made available on the express condition that no liability, expressed or implied, is accepted by the authors or publisher for the accuracy, content, or use thereof.

Abbreviations Used In Prescription Writing

A warning; and the strange case of S.I.D.: Although prescription abbreviations are used throughout this reference and they are fairly well recognized, they do increase the potential for mistakes to occur. When writing a prescription, this author recommends writing out the directions in plain English and avoiding the use of abbreviations entirely. If abbreviations are to be used, definitely avoid q.d., q.o.d., and s.i.d. because they can be easily confused with other abbreviations.

            S.I.D. is virtually unknown to health professionals outside of veterinary medicine and the vast majority of pharmacists have never seen it used. S.I.D. should be eliminated from all veterinary usage.


a.c.                              before meals

a.d.                              right ear

a.s.                              left ear

a.u.                              both ears

amp.                            ampule

b.i.d.                            twice a day

c.                                  with

cap.                             capsule

cc                                 cubic centimeter

disp.                            dispense

g or gm                        gram

gtt(s).                           drop(s)

h.                                  hour

h.s.                               at bedtime

IM                                 intramuscular

IP                                  intraperitoneal

IV                                  intravenous

lb.                                 pound

m2                                meter squared

mg.                               milligram

ml.                                milliliter

o.d.                               right eye

o.s.                                left eye

o.u.                               both eyes

p.c.                               after meals

p.o.                               by mouth

p.r.n.                            as needed

q.                                  every

q4h, etc                       every 4 hours

q.i.d.                             four times a day

q.o.d.                            every other day

q.s.                                a sufficient quantity

q4h                               every 4 hours, etc.

s.i.d.                             once a day

Sig:                               directions to pt.

stat                               immediately

SubQ, SQ, SC, Subcut


susp.                            suspension

t.i.d.                              three times a day

tab                                tablet

Tbsp.                            tablespoon (15 ml)

tsp.                               teaspoon (5 ml)

Ut dict.                         as directed