Tips for remembering abbreviations for "Times of drug admin."

Students General Students


Hi everybody,

I am taking a summer "Drug Calc." class and I have to memorize the abbreviations for the "times of drug admin." like a.c. = before meal; q.o.d. = every other day and I was wondering if anyone had any tips on making them easier to remember.

I guess it would be easier if I knew what the abbreviations stood for. For example, I assumed that p.c. = "post consumption" = after meal. Don't know if that's right or not but it works for me. But I have no idea what the "b.i.d." stands for to equal "twice a day". What do the b and i stand for?

If you have any tips or know of a good website that helps, please let me know.




1,326 Posts

also, what does "q" stand for in q.d., q.o.d., etc? I know it means "every" as in "every day", "every other day", etc. but what word does "q" mean/stand for?

Specializes in Interventional Pain Mgmt NP; Prior ICU and L/D RN.

hey colleen....

do you really have to know the exact term for each initial??? That is ludicrous....

I don't really have any great advice for you, other then memorize the abbreviations. You will be using them your entire career...

didn't the abbreviations root come from a dosage or formulary standpoint???

Anyway, Good luck, they really aren't that hard to remember after you get using them....

sorry couldn't be much mre help...maybe someone else can shed some light...I've never given much thought to how the abbreviations originated. I just use them (call be a dumba**) LOL:)


1,326 Posts

Hi Alto, thanks for writing,

I don't HAVE to know what each initial = word but I figured it would just be easier to remember if I did. Like h.s. = before bedtime. How in the world did they come up with that? I think it would be easier if it was "B.B" = before bedtime :D

Like q.o.d. OK, I can see where the "o" and "d" = "other day" but where did "q" come from? Shouldn't it be "e" for "every"?

Maybe it's derived from Latin or something. I don't know. I just figured if I could associate each initial with a word it would be easier to remember and understand.

Don't even get me started on drams and grains :roll

I think I may be developing my own unique brand of nursing here.:imbar

PennyLane, RN

1,193 Posts

I've often wondered about this, and asked my dr. once. They are all latin, I'm pretty sure. So I'm not sure if knowing the latin words will help--may just confuse you more!! Even he didn't know and suggested he could look it up for me.

PennyLane, RN

1,193 Posts


219 Posts

b.i.d- b= bi as in the meaning two, like bicycle. i- as in ? individual.d as in day. thus twice a day. Just a quess, but that was the first thing that came to mind. Did you try a medical dictionary?? Berta

Here's how I remember it: "a" comes before "p" in the alphabet, so "a" is before and "p" is after--meals etc.

For the b.i.d., t.i.d, and q.i.d. I think of b as bi (two), t as tri (three) and q as quad (four).

Hope this helps.

PennyLane, RN

1,193 Posts

My interest has definitely been piqued by this thread...can you tell I'm an eager soon-to-be nursing student? haha

b.i.d. = bis in die

Most of them are found at the link above.

I like the bi/tri/quad trick.


1,326 Posts

Thanks guys!!!

OMG Mel! That story was funny, I don't feel so bad now. That website did help and they are all derived from latin so I think I'll just come up with my words or just memorize them outright!

Thanks everybody!


jnette, ASN, EMT-I

4,388 Posts

Specializes in Hemodialysis, Home Health.

Most ALL medical terminology is derived from Latin or Greek.

b.i.d b=bis (two) i=in d= die (day) so.. two in a day

t.i.d. t=ter (three) i=in d=die (day) so.. three in a day

q.h. q=quaque (every) h=hora (hour) so.. every hour

c=cum (with)




oculus dexter=right eye



cibum=meals so... ac = before meals, pc=after meals

getting the picture now? :D


931 Posts

Wow Latin! I honestly just thought that they were like that so that non-medical people wouldn't understand them.

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