Common abbreviations and acronyms on this community

I recently received a suggestion that we have a section on this forum to explain some of the many abbreviations and acronyms that people commonly use. I have therefore set this up as a pinned post and will put in some of the ones that immediately spring to mind, but would also encourage you to:

a) Where possible, give the full version of a word you wish to abbreviate, with the abbreviated version in brackets after it, the first time you use it in a post.

b) Add to this post with other abbreviations/acronyms.

c) Please ONLY add to this post with other abbreviations/acronyms, so that people don't have lots of conversation to scroll through.

Here are some to start us off:

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RA/RD: rheumatoid arthritis (referred to as some as rheumatoid disease)

OA: osteoarthritis

PsA: psoriatic arthritis

PMR: polymyalgia rheumatic

ank spond: ankylosing spondylitis


ReA: Reactive Arthritis.

AS: also Ankylosing Spondylitis.

JRA: Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis.

JIA: Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis.

Non Inflammatory Arthritis medical terms:

DDD: Degenerative Disc Disease.

DS: Degenerative Scoliosis.

IBD: Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

IBS: Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

FM / Fibro: Fibromyalgia.

IP: Intestinal Permeability AKA 'Leaky Gut'.


Afraid I must correct the IBD/IBS information. Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) refers to Crohn's disease and Ulcerative Colitis, both of which are autoimmune diseases where the lining of the digestive tract is attacked causing ulceration and bleeding. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) whilst debilitating for many has not been identified as an AI disease and under colonoscopy shows none of the inflammatory damage found in IBD. They are quite different conditions.


Separated. 👍


Thank you. Sorry to be pedantic but it's Inflammatory Bowel Disease 😀


No worries, it's still early in the morning!

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This is correct, I just want to add that I was put on med that is usually given for IBD, although I was diagnosed with IBS


SS = Sjögren’s Syndrome


Indeed it should. 😊 I thought it looked wrong but couldn't decide why.

Now corrected.



Standard DMARDs:

MTX: methotrexate

SSZ: Sulfasalazine (sometimes 'sulphasalazine)

HCQ. Hydroxychloroquine

LEF: lefluomide

Biologic DMARDs:

ADA: adalimumab

ETN: etanercept

IFX: infliximab

RTX: rituximab

CZP: certolizumab pegol

GLM: golimumab

TCZ: tocilizumab

ABA: abatacept


NSAIDs: Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs


DMARDS, anti-TNFs & Biologics + Misc, Staff Names, Dept Names etc


DMARDs: disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs

MTX: methotrexate

HCQ: hydroxychloroquine

LEF: leflunomide

SSZ: sulfasalazine (or sulphasalazine)


Many anti-TNFs (anti-tumour necrosis factors) & biologics are regularly called by their brand name

adalimumab: Humira (anti-TNF) - Biosimilar: Amgen (from 16.10.2018 in UK)

etanercept: Enbrel (anti-TNF) - Biosimilar: Benepali & Erelzi

infliximab: Remicade (anti-TNF)

certolizumab pegol: Cimzia (anti-TNF)

golimumab: SimponI (anti-TNF)

rituximab: Mabthera (Biologic) - Biosimilar: Truxima

tocilizumab: RoActemra (Biologic)

abatacept: Orencia (Biologic)

anakinra: Kineret (Biologic)

baricitinib: Olumiant (Janus kinase inhibitor/JAK/Jakinib)

tofacitinib: Xeljanz (Janus kinase inhibitor/JAK/Jakinib)

Rheumy: Rheumatologist

CR: Consultant Rheumatologist

LCR: Locum Consultant in Rheumatology

SpR: Specialist Registrar

SpRR or StRR: Specialist Registrar in Rheumatology

RNP: Rheumatology Nurse Practitioner

RCNS: Rheumatology Clinical Nurse Specialist

RN: Registered Nurse

OT: Occupational Therapy

Physio: Physiotherapy/Physiotherapist

Pod: Podietry

PCP: Primary Care Pharmacist

CCG: Clinical Commissioning Group

DWP: Department for Work & Pensions

EULAR: European League Against Rheumatism

NICE: The National Institute for Health & Care Excellence

FDA: US Food & Drug Administration


The following list is an example of NSAIDs available:


•celecoxib (Celebrex)

•diclofenac (Cambia, Cataflam, Voltaren-XR, Zipsor, Zorvolex)

•diflunisal (Dolobid - discontinued brand)

•etodolac (Lodine - discontinued brand)

•ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil)

•indomethacin (Indocin)



PIP: Personal Independence Payment

DLA: Disability Living Allowance

AA: Attendance Allowance

ESA: Employment and Support Allowance


Blood tests:

RF: rheumatoid factor - antibody more commonly found in the blood of people with RA

ESR and

CRP: tests showing levels of inflammation

anti-CCP: test for an antibody used for diagnosis of RA. Not as common as RF

(with the exception of rheumatoid factor, the abbreviations are more common than giving the name in full)

Sero+ and sero-:

Seropositive and seronegative refer to whether or not someone is positive for the antibodies for RA (rheumatoid factor and anti-CCP)


Hi - just to add that PV has replaced ESR in many areas of U.K - stands for Plasma Viscosity


Good idea!

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Brilliant idea,I'm often lost & confused thank you


Great idea. Thank you


General acronyms:

AFAIK: As Far As I Know.

AKA: Also Known As.

IIRC: If I Recall Correctly.

IMO / IMHO: In My Opinion / In My Humble Opinion.

IME: In My Experience.

IDK: I Don't Know.

YMMV: Your Mileage May Vary (a reference to the fact that a third party may have a different result from the writer).

TL;DR: Too Long Didn't Read (a cheeky reference to the length of a post).

OP: Original Post / Poster.

TBF: To Be Fair.

TBH: To Be Honest.

LOL: Laugh Out Loud.

FFS: For Flip's Sake 😀

PDQ: Pretty Damn Quick.


was it only 2 months ago? gosh. anyways cd u add to the site to show which are DMRDS, which are BIOLOGICS, which are ? anti-TNFS etc etc - can't seem to find this in the literature i was given.


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I've updated the DMARD, anti-TNF & Biologic list I compiled GranAmie.

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it would be nice to know also victoria if their could be a section on people who have had replacment parts and what to expect and pull back times and also any complications they had like a link post to replacments


Thank you for the suggestion Minka. I think the difficulty with surgery is that there are so many different types that this can be hard to set up. It also doesn't come up on here as often as some other topics. For the time being, using the search function or setting up a post asking people to respond can be the best way to share experiences about joint replacements. If you ask about it and someone else has asked recently, a regular user will often be kind enough to add a link to the previous post, so that you can see the responses they got as well.


Thankyou very much for all this info, although it will take me a fair bit of time to figure what the abbreviations are, I've been absolutely flummoxed these past few weeks. 😞👍

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Not a problem. In many cases people will use the full words, but always good to have somewhere you can refer to for some of the more common abbreviations!


PALS. Patient Advisory Liaison Service. Each hospital should have one and they help with making complaints and reporting problems.

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WOW just found all this, very helpful to a beginner. thank you :-)


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