Pharmacy Sig Codes

Pharmacy Sig Codes: All Medical and pharmacy abbreviations You Should Know

It is critical to understand and retain pharmacy sig codes. We've included a master list of these abbreviations in this blog.

January 1, 2022

What are pharmacy SIG codes?

Prescription abbreviations are commonly referred to as Pharmacy Sig Codes, and they are crucial for a pharmacist to memorize. These abbreviations or sig codes are used in prescriptions by doctors or medical practitioners. Because the majority of doctors now utilize electronic prescriptions, the usage of these acronyms has decreased significantly. However, it is critical for pharmacy school students, pharmacy technicians, and pharmacists to understand and retain these codes since they are an essential element of pharmacy training. We’ve included a master list of these abbreviations in this blog, which might come in handy. 

Sig Medical Abbreviation (Pharmacy sig codes list)

While writing a prescription, more than 120 abbreviations are used, some of which are used frequently and others that are less common. In this list, we compiled a list of all Pharmacy Sig Codes that are used in prescription writing.

These must be kept in memory (mandatory):

Sig Code Meaning
AAA apply to affected area
ac before meals
ad right ear
am morning, in the morning, before noon
amp ampule or ampul
amp ampicillin
APAP acetaminophen
aq aqueous (water)
as left ear
au each ear, both ears
AUD apply as directed
bid or b.i.d. twice a day
BOT bottle
BP blood pressure
c with
C or c 100 (roman numeral)
cap capsule
cc cubic centimeter (1 cc = 1 mL)
cf with food
CF cough formula or cold formula
cm centimeter
CPM chlorpheniramine
cr cream
CR controlled release
cre cream
D or d 500 (roman numeral)
D/C or d/c discontinue
DA delayed action
DAW dispense as written
dc or d/c discontinue
DC diagnosis code
dil dilute, dissolve
disp dispense
dL deciliter
DM dextromethorphan
DR delayed release
DS double strength
DV daily value
EC or e.c. enteric coated
ECT enteric-coated tablet
ER extended release
fl fluid
fl oz fluid ounce
ft foot, feet
g gram
gal gallon
GG guaifenesin
GGPE guaifenesin/phenylephrine
gm gram
gr grain
gtt drop
h or hr hour
H2O water
HA headache
HBP high blood pressure
HC hydrocodone or hydrocortisone
HCT hydrochlorothiazide
HCTZ hydrochlorothiazide
hs at bedtime
ht height
HT or HTN hypertension
I or i 1 (roman numeral)
IM intramuscular
in inch
inh inhalation
INH isoniazid
inj injection
IR immediate release
IT or ITCH itching
IU or I.U. international unit
IV intravenous
K Potassium
KCl or KCL Potassium Chloride
kg kilogram
L or l liter
L or l 50 (roman numeral)
LA long-acting
lb pound
liq liquid
lot lotion
m meter
M or m 1,000 (roman numeral)
square meters or meters squared
mcg microgram
mcL microliter
MDI metered dose inhaler
MDP Medrol Dose Pack
mEq milliequivalent
Mg or Mag Magnesium
mg milligram
milligrams (mg) of substance per deciliter (dL) of blood
mL milliliter
mm Hg
millimeters of mercury (measure of blood pressure)
MTX methotrexate
MVI Multi-Vitamins or multiple vitamins
N/A or n/a not available
N&V or N/V nausea and vomiting
NA nausea
Na Sodium
NaCl Sodium Chloride (salt)
NaHCO3 sodium bicarbonate
NDC national drug code
NEB or neb nebulizer
No. or no. number
Nos. or nos. numbers
noct night, at night
NPH N insulin (an intermediate-acting insulin)
NPH N insulin (Humulin N or Novolin N)
NPI National Provider Identifier
npo nothing by mouth
NR or N.R. no refill
NRF no refill
NS nasal spray
NS normal saline (0.9% sodium chloride)
NTG nitroglycerin
NV nausea and vomiting
od right eye
ODT orally disintegrating tablet
oint ointment
OP or OPH ophthalmic
OPHT or OPHTH ophthalmic
os left eye
OTC over the counter
ou each eye, both eyes
oz ounce
PA prior authorization
PB or Pb phenobarbital
pc after meals
PCN penicillin
pct percent or percentage
PD pediatric drop
PED pediatric
PEG polyethylene glycol (a laxative)
per by or through
a measure of how acidic or basic a substance is
pkd packaged
pkg package
pkt packet
pm evening, in the evening, after noon
PMS premenstrual syndrome
PNV prenatal vitamins
po by mouth
pp postprandial (after eating)
PR per rectum, by rectum
prn as needed
PSE pseudoephedrine
pt pint
pt or pt. patient
PTU propylthiouracil
q every, each
qam every morning
qd every day, each day, daily
qdam every day in the morning
qd pm every day in the evening
qh every hour
q12h every 12 hours
q2-3h every two to three hours
q24h every 24 hours
q2-4h every two to four hours
q4h every four hours
q4-6h every four to six hours
q4° every four hours
q6° every six hours
qhs every night at bedtime
qid or q.i.d. four times a day
qod every other day
qpm every evening
q 8pm every day at 8 p.m.
qs or QS or Q.S. quantity sufficient
qt quart
QTY or qty quantity
qw every week, once a week
R rectum, rectally
RA rheumatoid arthritis
RF refill
Rx prescription
s without
SA sustained action
sc subcutaneous, under the skin
sig signa (directions for using a prescription)
SL or S.L. sublingual, under the tongue
SMZ-TMP sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim
SOB shortness of breath
SOD or sod sodium
sol or soln solution
sq subcutaneous, under the skin
SR sustained release
ss one half (½) (roman numeral)
stat now; immediately
subq subcutaneous, under the skin
sup or supp suppository
susp suspension
syr syrup
SYR syringe
tab tablet
tac or TAC triamcinolone
tud or TUD take as directed
tat or TAT until all taken
tbsp tablespoonful
TCN tetracycline
tiw or t.i.w. three times a week
TMP trimethoprim
top topical
tr timed-release
tsp teaspoonful
tud or TUD take as directed
U units
uad or UAD use as directed
uat or UAT until all taken
ud as directed
ut dict as directed
ung ointment
UTI urinary tract infection
V or v 5 (roman numeral)
vag vaginally
w/ with
w/o without
WA while awake
WH wheezing
wk week
wt weight
WZ wheezing
X or x 10 (roman numeral)
X or x times
x 1 RF times one refill
X 3 RF times three refills
XL extra long
XR extended release

Tips for remembering sig codes for pharmacy

 Pharmacy Sig Codes

  • Remembering these sig codes for pharmacy is a difficult task, so we’ve put up a quick guide to help you out.
  • Remember that when you see O, it’s an eye that’s also round.
  • When you see the letter A, remember that it stands for Eyer, since the audio we receive via our eyes also contains the letter A.
  • Remember that when you see U, it’s a face that requires both eyes and ears.

Pharmacy Sig Codes FAQs

How do you write SIG on a prescription?

The Sig needs to include instructions on how much drug to take, how to take it, and how frequently it should be taken. For example, if you want your patient to take one 650 mg acetaminophen tablet every 6 hours, you would write “Take 1 tablet by mouth every six hours” or “1 tab PO q6h.”

What are the 3 types of prescription errors?

Dispensing a wrong medication, dosage strength, or dosage form; miscalculating a dose; and failing to recognize drug interactions or contraindications are the three most frequent dispensing errors.

What is TID in the SIG code?

Sig Codes have widely accepted Latin abbreviations used by doctors and pharmacies to communicate prescription information. QD (Latin for “quaque die,” or “once a day”), TID (Latin for “ter in die,” or “three times a day”), and PO (Latin for “per os,” or “by mouth”) are common Sig codes.

What is the difference between OD and BD in a prescription?

The Latin terms Omni die and bis in the die are abbreviated as OD and BD. In English, OD stands for Once Daily, whereas BD stands for Twice Daily.

What is the meaning of Rx?

In English, Rx is a Latin phrase that means “thou take” or “you take.” It was once thought to be the sign of God Jupiter, who was renowned as the God of Healing. The prescription writer prays to God for the patient’s quick recovery by writing Rx in the prescription. The superscription of a prescription refers to the section of the prescription where the Rx is written.

In medical terms, what does hs stand for?

“Hora Somni” is the full form of HS. Hora Somni is a Latin term that translates to “every bedtime.” The drug that we must take before going to bed has HS stated on the prescription.

Knowing the pharmacy sig codes helps you to improve your professional skills and help you solve work requirements quickly. Day by day, you will improve your own level which can help increase the salary you receive, especially today when the pharmaceutical industry is on the rise, this is also a way for you to increase your income. Let’s refer to the Average pharmacist salary to see if you are being paid reasonably.

Hope you find this article’s pharmacy sig codes helpful. Thank you for reading! If you want to get more information about drugs or PTCE tests, visit our website and take our free PTCE practice test, or download it for your IOS or Android devices now!