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Do Not Use Abbreviation List

Refrain from using these abbreviations, symbols or other error prone designations on this list for any handwritten, preprinted, and electronic forms of medication orders, transcriptions or communications.

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Intended Meaning





Mistaken as mg

Use "mcg" or "micrograms"


Cubic centimeters

Mistaken for u (units)

Use "ml"


International units

Mistaken for IV or 10

Use "units"

QD or qd

Every day

Mistaken for QID

Use "daily"

QOD or qod

Every other day

Mistaken for QID or QD

Use "every other day"

QID or qid

Four times a day

Mistaken for QD or QOD

Use "four times a day"

U or u


Mistaken for the number 0 or 4, causing a 10-fold error in dose (e.g, 4u seen as 40)

Use "unit"

Trailing zero after decimal (e.g., 1.0 mg)

1 mg

Mistaken for 10 mg if decimal is not seen

Do not use trailing zero for doses expressed in whole numbers

No leading zero before a decimal dose (e.g. .5 mg)

0.5 mg

Mistaken as 5 mg if the decimal point is not seen

Use zero before a decimal point when the dose is less than a whole unit.


Magnesium Sulfate

Mistaken for morphine sulfate

Use complete drug name


Morphine Sulfate

Mistaken for magnesium sulfate

Use complete drug name

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