Calculating Days Supply

The days supply calculation is one you will be making for each and every prescription you fill as a pharmacy technician.

In most cases, “Days Supply” is calculated by dividing the maximum amount of the medication used in 1 day by the dispensed amount.

“Days Supply” means just what it sounds like: it is how many days the supply of dispensed medication will last.

Here are a couple of examples:

Example #1

Motrin (ibuprofen) 800mg, 1 tablet 3 times daily as needed, #30.

Days supply takes the maximum amount the patient could take in 1 day, in this case 3 tablets, divided into the amount dispensed of 30 pills-

30/3=10 days supply.

Example #2

Toradol (ketorolac) 10mg, 1 tablet every 4-6 hours as needed, not more than 4 per day. #80.

Quantity of pills: 80 divided by 4 (maximum amount per day) = 20 days supply.

Example #3

Celexa (citalopram) 40mg, 1 tablet daily, #30.

30/1=30 days supply.

These previous examples seem straightforward, but it gets a bit more complicated when you are dealing with other types of prescriptions.

Calculating Ear Drop and Eye Drop Days Supply are different than the example problems above.

Usually with ear and eye drops, 1ml (1 milliliter) will have 15 drops of medication.

Time for another example.

Example #4

Tobramycin Eye Suspension, 1 drop into each eye 3 times daily, 5ml bottle.

1 drop into each eye=2 drops X 3 times daily = 6 drops per day.

5ml X 15 drops per mL = 75 drops total.

75 drops / 6 drops per day = 12.5

Note: In this case the days supply is not a round number. Most pharmacy computer systems are unable to take a decimal number like 12.5. In this case you should round the number down to the nearest round number. So the answer to this example would be 12 days supply.

Topicals: Creams, and Ointments, Gels, 

These dosage forms require the pharmacy tech to calculate days supply using Fingertip Units. One fingertip unit = quantity of topical ointment/cream that when squeezed from a tube, reaches from the tip of an adult finger to the distal, or first crease of the index finger. One FTU is approximately 0.5g of the product.

Liquids: Solutions, Suspensions, Syrups

Example #5

Robutussin AC Syrup:

Take 1 Teaspoonful Every 6 Hours As Needed for Cough, 4oz.

In this example, you need to be able to convert Ounces (the American Standard System of Measurement) to Milliliters (the Metric System of Measurement.)

There are 30 ML in 1 Oz., so 4 Oz = 120 ML. There are 5ML’s in 1 Teaspoonful.

The maximum the patient could take in one day is 5ML times 4 (24 hours in 1 day, divided by 6 = 4) = 20ml used in one day. 120ML divided by 20ML = 6 Days Supply

Hopefully these examples have helped you to understand how to calculate days supply.

Days Supply Questions Answered

Have you got a Days Supply question that you just can't figure out? Submit your question below and/or scroll down for all questions and answers.

What Other Visitors Have Said

Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...

Days Supply Question: Norco 7.5 - Take 1-2 tablets Every 4-6 Hours #40 
Written As Take 1-2 tabs every 4-6 hours, #40

Days Supply Question: 1-2 Capsules every 6-8 hours, #90 
#90. Capsules = 1-2 po every 6-8 hours?

Days Supply Question: Klonipin (clonazepam) Take 2-3 pills Daily, #68? 
Take 2 to 3 pills daily, # of pills given is 68. What is the days supply?

Victoza Days Supply Question 
I had a patient today with a script for victoza 3pak ; 3mg sq daily! I have the worst time figuring I out victoza! It doesn't have to be this particular …

Days Supply Question on Testosterone Cypionate Injection-0.5ml every 2 weeks?  
How would you calculate the day supply for 1/2 ml every two weeks?

What is the day supply of Ferrous Sulfate 75mg/ml drops? 
Take 1.5 ml (22.5mg) by mouth every 12 hours, quantity 50 ml. What is the days supply?

Days Supply Question - Celebrex 200mg, #25 i po qd 
How do I calculate the number of days supply?

How do you figure the days supply for a liquid (syrup) medication? 
120ML: 10ml every 8 hours how many days supply is that?

Days Supply Question with Coumadin (warfarin) half-tabs and whole tabs  
Coumadin: Take one-half tablet on sun, mon, thur, fri, and sat., then take 1 tab tues and wed. Quantity is 90 tabs/ so what would be your days' supply? …

Days Supply Question when Insurance has a 21 day dispensing limitation 
Sig on prescription: take 1 tablet 3 times a day. how do I calculate the maximum quantity allowed if the 3rd party plan has a 21 day dispensing limitation …

Liquid Days Supply Question: Can You Solve This? 
The directions on a prescription read " 1 tbsp QID, ac and hs." The quantity to be dispensed for a 30 day supply is...

Syurp Not rated yet
120 no 10ml every 8 hours how many days supply is that?

Other Ways to Calculate Days Supply And Quantity???? Not rated yet
I have a test tomorrow for a data entry tech but im getting confused with it because everyone asks how i got my answer or why i did my calculations this …

Click here to write your own.

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