ABX Medication Abbreviations also known as Antibiotic Medication Abbreviations are acronyms accepted as a means used to identify drug molecules by healthcare professionals. At first, the use was restricted to prescription writing; but overtime, it has become commonly used in both medical and surgical departments of the healthcare institution. Understanding these abbreviations help healthcare professionals communicate effectively and enhance patient care. Also, it helps save time in reporting patient medical records, dispensing, and administering antibiotics.

Standardization of abbreviations remains a crucial procedure of molecule documentation, because it involves identifying and approving an appropriate and unique abbreviation for a particular molecule. Most institutions have now set up monitoring committees, to validate the use of medication abbreviations; and oversee healthcare workers’ compliance

Classes of Antibiotic Medication Abbreviations

Antibiotics are agents that destroy or inhibit the growth of bacteria. There are numerous antibiotic abbreviations globally used, however, a few classes of these antibiotics would be discussed in this article.

Penicillins Penicillin G PEN/PV/PG
  Piperacillin PIP,PRL
  Piperacillin+Tazobactam TZP, TAZ
  Oxacillin OX, OXS
  Amoxicillin AMOX
  Ampicillin AMP
Cephalosporins Ceftazidime CAZ, TZ
  Ceflaclor CEC, CF,CCL
  Cefepime CEF, CPM
  Cefixime FIX,CFM
  Cefatrizine CFS
  Cefalexin CN, LEX
  Cefpodoxime CPD, POD
  Cefpiroma CPO, CPR
  Cefotiam CTF
  Cefotaxime CTX, FOT, CT
  Cefuroxime CXM,CFX, ROX
Macrolides Azithromycin AZM, AZI, AZ
  Erythromycin ERY,EM
  Clarithromycin CAM
  Spiramycin SP
Fluoroquinolones Ciprofloxacin CIP/Cp
  Levofloxacin LVX, LEV, LEVO
  Norfloxacin NOR
  Ofloxacin OFX, OFL,OF
  Perfloxacin PEF, PF, PE
  Sparfloxacin SPX, SPA,SO
Aminoglycosides Amikacin AN, AK, AMI
  Gentamicin GEN, GM
  Kanamycin K, KAN, HLK, KM
  Isepamicin ISP
  Neomycin N, NEO
  Streptomycin S, STR, STS
  Spectinomycin SPT, SPE, SC, SP
  Tilmicosin TIL
  Tobramycin TM, TOB,
Tetracyclines Tetracycline TE, TET, TC, TCY
  Oxytetracycline OT
  Minocycline MNO, MC, MH, MIN
  Doxycycline DO, DOX, DC, DX
Monobactam Aztreonam ATM, AZT, AT
Polypeptides Bacitracin B, BAC
Phenicols Chloramphenicol C, CHL,
Polymixin Colistin CL, CS, COL
Lincosamides Clindamycin CM, CC, CLN, CLI
  Lincomycin L
Carbapenem Ertapenem ETP, ERT
  Imipenem IPM, IMI, IP
Glycopeptides Teicoplanin TEC, TPN, TEI
  Vancomycin VA, VAN
Streptogramins Pristinamycin PR, PT, PRI

For more antibiotic abbreviations, visit the link

Interventions in Antibiotic Abbreviations

Some of the biggest concerns regarding the use of antibiotic  abbreviations is the communication lapses between healthcare givers, and the use of medical abbreviations which can have multiple meanings. Therefore, US Institute of Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) has over the past few decades, received multiple reports, of which some are documented cases of misinterpretation of abbreviated medications. When these abbreviations aren’t used appropriately, misinterpretations could occur, leading to medication errors that could be life-threatening to the patients.

As a way to put these errors to check, the institute has mandated that healthcare institutions should have a uniform, concise, and standardized list of ABX abbreviations to use and avoid, with the aim to further enhance communication and understanding among healthcare workers, thus leading to improved patient safety and quality of life.


The proper use of antibiotic abbreviations has a two-dimensional effect, because It facilitates effective communication between healthcare givers, as well as optimizing the therapy of the patients. The health information of a patient (Medical charts) is a very vital document in clinical practice, which should be clear, concise, and accessible at any given time. Abbreviations help to make information search faster and reduce the incidence of errors with prescriptions.


The use of the Antibiotic medication abbreviations remain a long-aged activity in the healthcare space. However, understanding the sensitivity of antibiotic molecules and the negative impact of resistance reminds us of why ensuring the right use of abbreviations is highly important to patients’ safety. Although, several governing bodies have kicked against its use due to its impending threat to public health, however, if it must be used, certain validation procedures must be consciously upheld.

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