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Module 2: Methods of Medication Dosage Calculation

Basic Formula

Before you begin to calculate a medication dosage it is necessary to convert units of measurement to one system. For example if a medication is ordered in milligrams and it is supplied in "grains," you will have to convert the grains to milligrams before you begin calculations.

The "basic formula" approach to calculating medication dosages is commonly used in the clinical setting.

D = desired medication dose ordered by physician or nurse practitioner
H = "on-hand" dose: the medication dose written on the medication label
V = "vehicle" or the "form" in which the medication is supplied (e.g. tablet)