Pharmaceutical Calculations: A Refresher

Discover how to avoid calculation errors through practical examples and review commonly encountered pharmaceutical calculations.


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Knowing how to properly complete pharmaceutical calculations is important for pharmacists and pharmacy technicians, as it is required to perform and check several calculations daily. Some of these calculations may include determining appropriate dosages based on a patient’s weight, calculating the correct concentration of a sterile IV admixture, or confirming the quantity of each ingredient required for a sterile or non-sterile compound.

Miscalculations can be a common cause of medication errors. It is important as a pharmacy professional to be thorough and precise while performing or checking all pharmaceutical calculations.

In this program, you will gain knowledge on safe practices for preparing and checking pharmaceutical calculations in both sterile and non-sterile compounds. Additionally, you will review some practical examples such as overfill volume, total parenteral nutrition (TPN) and prednisone taper. 

Learning objectives:

• Demonstrate an understanding of the importance of accurate pharmaceutical calculations
• Calculate doses based on weight
• Perform calculations for accurate sterile and non-sterile compound preparation
• Calculate concentration doses

Course outline:

  • Pharmaceutical Calculations (1 hour)
    • Common errors • Percentage, rates and concentration • Practical applications (dosage checks, compound calculations, overfill volumes, total parenteral nutrition (TPN), prednisone taper)
  • Final Exam (30 minutes)
  • Program’s Evaluation

Course at a glance:

  • 1.5 hours to complete
  • 0 CEUs
  • Available until July 13, 2022
  • Online
  • Accreditation: N/A
  • Completion requirement: Complete the course’s online modules, complete the multiple-choice exam with a score of 70 per cent or higher (two attempts), and complete the program evaluation.

Who should take this course:

This professional development program is developed for pharmacists and pharmacy technicians who would like a review of common pharmaceutical calculations in practice.

Development Team:

  • Leah O’Neal, RPhT