Can the abbreviation "ad" mean "up to" in pharmacology? I saw a translator translate the Russian line "до pH 5.0" ("pH level up to 5.0") in a table describing the composition of a drug product as "ad pH 5.0". The meaning of the Russian record was "the content of the excipient in the product may be as high as to bring the product's pH to 5.0, but not higher".

I looked up a list of pharma abbreviations, and "ad" there does not have the meaning "up to".

I googled and found this on Google Patents:

Ammonium acetate 0.77 mg Sodium chloride 7.21 mg Benzyl alcohol 10.0 mg Polysorbate 80 0.2 mg Acetic acid ad pH 5.0 0.1 q,s, NaOH 0.1 N ad pH 5.0 0.1 q,s, Water for injection ad 1.0 ml

But this is unlikely to mean "up to", yes? I wonder what the meaning is there.

To be on the safe side, I used "up to" in my translation, but now I'm curious.

  • $\begingroup$ I suggest not to ask about things easily found in dictionaries, like dictionary.com/browse/ad $\endgroup$
    – Mithoron
    Commented Jul 29, 2016 at 20:55
  • $\begingroup$ @Mithoron - I was not sure that it was used as "up to" in this particular situation. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 30, 2016 at 2:37

1 Answer 1


Most likely yes. In latin,(1) ad means "to, towards, until", like in "ad libitum" (aka ad lib) which means "keep going until I am satisfied", or "ad nauseam".

(1) Pharmaceuticals very often use latin.

  • $\begingroup$ Ad hoc... for this $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 29, 2016 at 16:40
  • $\begingroup$ Nice! I did not even think about that one :-) $\endgroup$
    – SteffX
    Commented Jul 29, 2016 at 17:39

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