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Drug Doses

Chapter:
Units of Measure
Author(s):

Phil B. Fontanarosa

and Stacy Christiansen

Drug doses are expressed in conventional metric mass units (eg, milligrams or milligrams per kilogram), rather than in molar SI units. Moreover, certain drugs (such as insulin or heparin) may be prepared as mixtures and have no specific molecular weight, thereby precluding their expression in mass units. Although other drug dose units such as drops (for ophthalmologic preparations), grains (for aspirin), and various apothecary system measurements (eg, teaspoonfuls, ounces, and drams) may be encountered clinically, these units generally are not used. Also, the units for drug doses are often different from the units used to measure drug concentrations, such as

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