This page is on Pharmacy Technician Math. To ask or answer a question, scroll down the page to the Question and Answer section.

When you are working in a pharmacy there are some basic math calculations that you will use every day.

It's important to have a solid understanding of these calculations, to ensure that you can accurately translate the amount of medication that is prescribed into a usable form for the patient.

The most common calculation will happen when the amount of medication prescribed does not exactly match an amount in a dosage form.

For example, if a prescription calls for the patient to take 3 grams of medication daily. The only pills you have available are 500 milligram capsules.

To convert the prescribed dosage to milligrams, multiply grams by 1000. This means the prescription calls for 3000 milligrams daily, or six 500 milligram capsules.

The key to being able to do these pharmacy technician math calculations quickly is in being able to understand the important information that is on the prescription.

Information for tablets and capsules lists the amount or dosage of medication per unit, liquid medications are listed in medication per volume of liquid, and injectable solutions are listed as medication per volume injected. Side note: to learn more about the differences between tablets, capsules, liquid medications, and injectable solutions, see Pharmacy Dosage Forms.

The prescription will list a total amount of medication. So just like in the example above, the first step is to convert the amounts of medication to the same unit of measurement.

Milligrams to grams or vice verse will be the most common conversion. And it's easy to remember that 1 gram is equal to 1000 milligrams.

The most common systems of measurement you'll encounter will be Metric, American Standard, and the apothecaries' system.

It can also help to carry a pocket reference guide that has conversion information listed. This will make it easy to ensure you know the correct conversion to use.

It's also important to understand how to work with Fractions and Decimals.

Not every dosage conversion will work out easily with whole numbers, so it's good to be comfortable working with fractions and decimals.

To convert between the two forms, simply use a calculator to divide the top number by the bottom number. Five-eighths for example, you would enter 5 divided by 8. This returns .625, which is the correct decimal form for five-eighths.

Ratios and concentrations will also be an important part of the daily math used in a pharmacy.

For example, if a solution is 20% medication by volume, you need to understand how much medication is delivered in a 50 milliliter injection. In this case, 20% of 50 is 10, so the amount of medication in that dose would be 10 milliliters. Click here for more on IV Infusion Calculations.

The last main use of math in the pharmacy is to calculate days supply. Days supply refers to the number of days the physician wants the patient to take the medication.

A common default is a 30 day supply. This means you need to ensure they have enough individual daily doses to last for 30 days total. If they need to take four tablets every day, then the 30 day supply would be 120 tablets total.

Do you have a pharmacy math question? Ask your question below...

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**Days Supply Question on Rynex PE: 1/4 to 1/2 tsp po q4-6h prn cold symptoms**

Rynex PE
1/4 to 1/2 tsp po q4-6h prn cold symptoms #6oz
What is the day supply?
What is the dispensed quantity?

**IV Math Calculation: How many MLs of reconstituted Penicillin per dose? **

A manufacturer supplies penicillin in dry powder form that must be dissolved before use. A 20,000,000 unit vial of penicillin can be reconstituted with …

**How many Metronidazole 500mg Tablets in this Liquid Compound?**

How many 500mg metronidazole tablets will be needed to compound the following prescription for a patient:
metronidazole 3%,
suspending agent 30%, …

**Hypertonic 3% Sodium Chloride Solution Question**

A hypertonic 3% sodium chloride solution in 100 mL of 0.9% normal saline is required. How many mL of sodium chloride 23.4 % is required to be added?

**IV Question on Nitroprusside 50mg in 250ml of D5W **

Medication:
Nitroprusside 50mg in 250mL D5W
Dose: 5mcg/kg/min
Patient weight: 143lb
A: How many milliliters per hour?
B: How many milligrams …

**Convert 418MG to Grams Using the Ratio-Proportion Method**

Convert the following units by using the ratio-proportion method.
418 mg = _____ g

**Liquid Concentration Pharmacy Math Question**

A prescription calls for 100 mg of a drug that you have in a 250 mg/5 ml concentration. How many ml of the liquid do you need?

**Please Translate This SIG Into What The Directions On The Label Will Be**

keflex 250mg per 5ml
1/2 tsp po qid x 10 days

**What Should Be the Directions On The Label: Keflex 1/2 tsp qid x10 days**

keflex 250mg per 5ml
1/2 tsp qid x 10 days

**How Many MLs of Diluent Needed in this Question?**

You have been asked to prepare 20 mL of a drug dilution of 50 mg/mL from a stock solution of 2 g/5 mL. How many milliliters of diluent will be needed?

**Percentage Strength Volume in Volume Dilution Pharmacy Math Question **

I am a math idiot and I'm sure this is probably an easy question but here it is. What is the percent strength of a solution that is made by adding 200mL …

**Ratio/Dilution Question: Order for 380ml of 0.5% dextrose and sterile water**

You receive an order for 380 ml of 0.5% dextrose solution. You have 1500 L of 5% dextrose solution, how much of the 5% solution and sterile water will …

**Proportion Pharmacy Math Question using 70% Dextrose and Tic-Tac-Toe Board **

You need 50 mL of 5% dextrose for a patient. You have 70% dextrose 1000 mL on hand. How much concentrate will you need? How much diluent?

**Ratio/Concentration: 983mg in 250ml bag - 783mg is needed, how much volume do I remove?**

I have 983mg in a 250 ml bag I need 783mg how much volume do I remove?

**ratio, stock, stock solution**

How much of a 1:1000 stock is needed to make 360 ml of a 1:2400 solution?

**How much of a 1:1000 stock is needed to make a 360ml of a 1:2400 solution?**

How much of a 1:1000 stock is needed to make 360 ml of a 1:2400 solution?
Also, how much water is required?

**Motrin Elixir 160mg/5ml - Calculate the Correct Volume and Liquid Dosage**

Motrin elixir 160mg/5ml
Sig:320mg PRN
Dispense 4oz
How many ml will the patient take in one day

**Veterinary Medicine - Antibotic Compounding for a Bird Weighing 2.85KG**

I have a 2.85 kg bird needing a concentration of 1mg/0.1mL of antibiotic. The antibiotic comes in 100 mg tablets. How many mLs of compounding fluid should …

**My teacher screwed me?/Keflex Days Supply Question**

Keflex 125mg/5ml 200ml 1 tsp qid ug Day's Supply?

**Ratio/Proportion Question about Amox/Clav 600mg/5ml to 400mg/5ml**

I have a ratio/proportion question that calls for Amoxicillin/Clavulanate 600mg/5ml for 4ml PO twice daily. However, we are out of stock of the 600mg/5ml …

**Electrolyte Solution DILUTION/Percentage Strength Question**

you have 200ml of a 30% solution. You dilute the solution to 600ml. What is the percent strength of the final solution?

**How many milligrams of sodium chloride are in a 250ml bag of 0.9% NaCl?**

How many mg of sodium chloride are contained in a 250ml bag of 0.9% NaCl?

**Pharmacy IV Math Question: Weight/Volume Dextrose in Water to Add to 500cc D10W**

A pharmacist needs to compound an IV which is 8% w/v dextrose in water. How many cc of pure sterile water should she add to 500cc of D10W to make the IV? …

**How Do I Calculate Days Supply in These Questions?**

1.)APAP with Codeine,240ml
5ml to 10ml q6h prn pain
Calculate the days supply.
2.)Ibuprofen 600mg tabs
i po QID
Calculate the …

**Digoxin for Digitalization**

The usual dose of Digoxin for rapid digitalization is a total of 1.0 mg divided into 2 or more doses at intervals of 6 to 8 hours. How many milliliters …

**Vancomycin IV in D5W 250ML Question**

Vancomycin IV 750 mg every bid in D5W 250 ML. YOU HAVE VANCOMYCIN 1 g per 20-ml vial. How much will you take from the 1-g vial?

**How many cc of 1:20 solution is needed to obtain a dose of 500mg? (w/v)**

How many cc of 1:20 solution is needed to obtain a dose of 500mg? (w/v)

**How Many Fluid Ounces in Three Pints?**

3 pints = how many fluid ounces?

**Changing 500mg tabs to 250mg/5ml liquid suspension**

The prescription is for 500mg tabs of a medication, po qid for 10 days. The patient has throat cancer and cannot swallow, and requests a liquid dosage …

**Cefazolin Dilution Pharmacy Math Question**

Prepare 15 mL of a 50 mg/mL cefazolin dilution from a stock of 1 g/5 mL. How many milliliters of diluent and stock solution will be needed?
I am having …

**IV Question on Concentration of Solution of Nipride 50 mg **

A 60 yr old woman has hypertension.
Her weight is 165 lbs and her doctor prescribed Nipride 3mcg/kg/min IV.
Nipride 50 mg is added to a 250 ml …

**Calculating daily maintenance fluids for pediatrics**

I am stuck on the 100/50/20 procedure. Can you walk me through these to see how my book got its answers?
1. Total volume and hourly IV flow rate for …

**Calculating Adjusted Body Weight in Elderly Female Patients**

What is the adjusted body weight in kg for a 67 yr female weighs 292 lb and 5'8" tall?
I went by the formula they had in the book but I'm not coming …

**Days Supply Question: Amoxil 250mg/5ml: 1 TSP TID X10 Days**

what is the appropriate quantity to dispense? Amoxil 250 mg/5 ml - 1 tsp 3 times a day for 10 days

**Intermittent IV Drug Volume Control Set Infusion Pharmacy Math Problem**

(ordered) D5W at 30 mL/hr for continuous infusion with medication x 60 mg q6h to be infused over 20 minutes by volume control set
on hand: Medication …

**Quinidine Dose Calculated by Weight/Conversion & Days Supply Question**

Quinidine for an adult patient weighing 110 lb. at a dosage of 25 mg/kg/day q6h. How many mg should the dose contain?
Quinidine is supplied …

**Alligations: A Question about 1/3 Normal Saline Solution and Sterile Water for Injection**

A liter of 1/3 NS is to be prepared from 23.4% concentrated sodium chloride solution and sterile water for injection. How many milliliters of each are …

**Dispensing Word Problems, including Weight Based Dosing Question **

1) If the dose of a medication is 30mg/kg/day in four divided doses; what is each dose for a 205 pound patient. ( use 2.2lb/kg and note there are 4 doses …

**How many grams of Antipyrine should be used in this Pharmacy Math Problem?**

Rx:
Antipyrine 5%
Glycerin ad 60 ml
Sig: gtt v in right ear tid
How many grams of antipyrine should be used in preparing the prescription?

**Days Supply Question - Warfarin 5mg - 1 tab po qd except Mon. and Fri., Take 1/2 tab po on Mon & Fri**

How do you calculate the days supply for a Coumadin rx?
For example:
Coumadin 5mg
Sig: Take 1 po qd except mon. & fri. take 1/2 tab. #30

**1/3 NS prepared from 23.4% NS: How much mL of NS and SWI?**

A liter of 1/3 NS is to be prepared from 23.4% concentrated sodium chloride solution and sterile water for injection. How many mL of each are to be used? …

**IV Compounding Math Question: How is a Tic Tac Toe Board Used In This Example?**

An order for 6 liters of 0.9% soium chloride solution is to be prepared from 23.4% concentrated NaCl solution and sterile water for injection.How many …

**How much Ferrous Sulfate 220mg/5mg equals Ferrous Sulfate 500mg? **

The physician orders Ferrous Sulfate 500 mg po qd x 30 days. You have on the shelf Ferrous Sulfate 220 mg/5 ml, 473ml. How many mls are required for one …

**Potassium Chloride 0.6% Solution Ratio Question**

You received an order to prepare 500ml of 0.6% kcl solution. Your pharmacy only has 10% in stock. How many ml of the stock kcl solution would u need to …

**Victoza Quantity for 90 Days?**

IF I AM DISPENSING 0.8ML OF VICTOZA DAILY. WHAT IS QUANTITY FOR 90 DAYS

**Volume/Volume Compounding - Solution Alligation Question**

Prepare 480mL of a 1:30 solution using a 1:10 solution and a 1:50 solution. How many mL of each solution is needed?

**Amoxicillin Question: 500mg every 8 hours for 7 days as directed**

Rx order: amoxicillin 500mg po q8h for 7days ug ad
Supply: amoxicillin 250mg/5ml-100ml bot for 4 bots
How many of the mls will the patient receive …

**Furosemide 20mg dose- You have 10mg in stock - How many for 20mg dose?**

Dr. orders Lasix 20mg. On the shelf, the tech has 10mg tablets. How many will you give for a single dose?

**Alligation Question: 1.5L of 20% KCL to How Much of a 15% KCL Solution?**

A physician wants 1.5L of kcl 15% from a stock solution that is 20% kcl. How many ml of stock solution is needed?

**IV Compounding Question: How Many MLs Will Make Up Each Dose?**

I am asked to dilute a vial of powder- c to 330mg/ml concentration. The patient needs a 600mg dose. How many mls will make up each dose?

**IV Vancomycin 750mg BID in D5W 250mL. How much to withdraw from vial?**

Could you help with this:
Make a vancomycin IV 750 mg every bid in D5W 250mL. You have vancomycin 1 g per 20 mL. How much will you take from the 1-g …

**Dextrose 70% and Dextrose 5% Compounding ALLIGATION Question**

A pharmacist asks you to compound 1 Liter of Dextrose 30%. You have on hand Dextrose 70%, and Dextrose 5%. How many ml of each must be used to compound …

**What does "ss" stand for & What is the day supply for this Amoxicillin 125mg/5ml (100ml) Question?**

What is the day supply for Amoxicillin 125mg/5 ml (100ml) SIG: ss tsp TID?

**How Do I Calculate Pediatric Tetracycline Dosing by Weight?**

ORDER:TETRACYCLINE ELIXIR QID FOR A CHILD WEIGHING 50LB AT A DOSAGE OF 8MG/KG/DAY IN EQUALLY DIVIDED DOSES.
HOW MANY MG WOULD ONE DOSE CONTAIN?
TETRACYCLINE …

**Formaldehyde with Rose 37% & 4% Compound Question**

A prescription for 120 XML of. formaldehyde 8% with rose. The pharmacy has formaldehyde 37% and formaldehyde 4% with rose. How much of each ingredient …

**Atenolol 15mg/ml in Cherry syrup 120ml. How many 100mg tablets are needed to prepare this compound?**

A prescription for Atenolol 15mg/ml oral liquid in cherry syrup 120ml. How many 100mg tablets are needed to prepare this compound?

**How Many Capsules to fill: Cephalexin 1 po tid x14?**

How many capsules will it take to completely fill the following prescription with the given regimen: Cephalexin 1PO tid*14days?

**How Much Math Is REALLY used by a Pharmacy Tech?**

I think in words and letters; not in numbers. Please forgive this cautious fool for asking repetitive questions I am sure you have been asked before. So …

**What Ratio of 25% Dextrose and 10% Dextrose to make 20% Dextrose?**

What ratio of 25% Dextrose and 10% Dextrose should be mixed to make a 20% Dextrose solution?

**Coumadin 7.5mg: What is the Dosage with Coumadin 5mg Tablets?**

I have an order for Coumadin 7.5 mg po qd and I have a supply of Coumadin 5mg tablets. What is the dosage??
Answer:
The dosage is 1 & 1/2 of the …

**How to Understand Pharmacy Math Calculations?**

What is a way to really understand math calculations for someone who struggles with it?

**What is the Correct Dosage for Protamine Sulfate After Receiving 3,000 units of Heparin?** Not rated yet

The intern sent the following orders down: Mr. Brown, 50 mg protamine sulfate STAT. You check Mr. Brown’s chart, and he received 3,000 units of heparin. …

**How much NaCl 23.4% should be added to a 1 Liter Bag of D5W to make D5 1/4 Normal Saline?** Not rated yet

How much sodium chloride 23.4% should be added to a 1 liter bag of D5W to make D5 1/4 NS?

**Hydrocortisone 1% mixed with Mupirocin 2% in a 70/30% Combination of 60 Grams Question** Not rated yet

Rx calls for hydrocortisone 1% mixed with mupirocin 2% in a 70%/30% combination for a total of 60 grams. What is the % strength of mupirocin in the final …

**Questions on Molecular Mass In MMOL** Not rated yet

I need to know the molecular mass in mol for the following?
1. 72g glucose
2. 50mg ATP
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4. The …

**Math Question about Micafungin 1mg/ml and Sodium Chloride** Not rated yet

You need 67 mol of micafungin 1mg/ml. How much 0.9% sodium chloride would you need to make a 100 ml stock bag?

**Question on Pediatric Weight-Based Liquid Dosing ** Not rated yet

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**stumped on my last lab** Not rated yet

You are asked to dilute a vial of Powder – C to 330mg/ml concentration. The patient needs a 600mg dose.
a. How much diluent was added?
b. How much …

**Flow rate ** Not rated yet

an iv infusion order calls for dopamine 800mg in 250ml of D5W to be infused at 10 mcg/kg/min. The patient weighs 55kg. what will the flow Rate be in Ml/hr? …

**Alligation: Coal Tar 5% Ointment 120grams from Coal Tar 10% and Coal Tar 2%** Not rated yet

Rx is for coal tar 5% ointment- 120 grams. You have coal tar 10% ointment and coal tar 2 % ointment. How many grams of each will you use?

**What is the Beginning Volume of a 30% solution, diluted to 750ml and is now a 20% Solution?** Not rated yet

What is the beginning volume of a 30% solution. It was diluted to 750 ml and is now a 20% solution.

**How much Dextrose 70% do you need to make 1 Liter of Dextrose 50%?** Not rated yet

You need to make 1 liter of a 50% Dextrose solution. The only Dextrose in stock is Dextrose 70%. How much 70% do you need to add to sterile water to …

**Pharmacy Math Problem Involving Sodium Phosphate** Not rated yet

sodium phosphate contains 4 meq of sodium per ml and 3 mmol of phosphorus per ml. If you are asked to add 24 meq of sodium, how many mmol of phosphorus …

**Dilute 1gm/5mL Cefazolin stock to 15mL of a 50mg/mL. How much diluent and stock solution is needed?** Not rated yet

Prepare 15 mL of a 50 mg/mL cefazolin dilution from a stock of 1 g/5 mL. How many milliliters of diluent and stock solution will be needed?

**Atrovent Inhalation Solution 0.02% 2.5ml Vials: What is the Qty for a 34 Days Supply?** Not rated yet

Atrovent Inhalation solution 0.02%;
2.5 ml X2 vial dispense;
10 boxes 1 vial q.i.d
2 refills
34 days supply third party plan cover
Qty___? ; …

**Dog Food - Kibbles to Bits Ratio - Alligation Question** Not rated yet

Asha's dog, Blue, will only eat food that contains 3:1 Kibbles to bits. If the ARF brand contains 2:1 and the RUFF brand contains 4:1, how many grams of …

**Antibiotic IV Compounding Math Questions ** Not rated yet

A pharmacist dilutes a vial containing 1g of antibiotic with 10 ml of water. The solution is then added to 100 ml of D5W. What is the concentration, in …

**How Do We KNOW** Not rated yet

How do we know which formula to use, Like for this problem; How many 500mg metronidazole tablets will be needed to compound the following : metronidzole …

**Daily Maintenance fluid needs for pediatrics (Holiday-Segar method- long version)** Not rated yet

Calculate the total volume and hourly IV flow rate for a 3500 g infant receiving maintenance fluids.Infuse __________mL at ____mL/hr.
I've converted …

**Calculating IV drug infusion using Volume ctrl set (pediatric)** Not rated yet

I can't seem to figure out how much IV fluid (mL) to add to the chamber.
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**calculating creatinine clearance in elderly patients** Not rated yet

Patient is 82 yr old male weighing 188 lb and having a serum creatinine of 1.8 mg/dL So far I've converted 188 lb to kg which is 85kg.I don't understand …

**Question About IV Compounding with NaCl & Board Exam Practice Question** Not rated yet

I'm practicing for my board exam, and I'm stumped on this particular practice question:
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**A Suspension contains 2400mg of Drug in 1000ml. Final Product Volume?** Not rated yet

A suspension contains 2400 mg of active drug in 1000 ml. What is the percentage of drug in the final product?

**A Question on Ratio Concentration of a Solution** Not rated yet

A solution contains 10mg of drug in 5ml of solution. How would you express this as a ratio concentration?
Answer:
In ratio concentrations, the …

**Pharmacy Math Question about 10% w/v Dextrose Solution** Not rated yet

How many gram of Dextrose are contained in 30ml of a 10% w/v Dextrose solution?

**Non-Sterile Compounding Ratio Question: Diphenhydramine, Shea Butter Cream, & Eucerine Cream ** Not rated yet

the doctor writes a prescription for75mg of diphenhydramine to be mixed with .25oz of shea butter cream shea butter and eucerine cream have 1:3 ratio. …

**Question about Tobramycin 20mg Antibiotic Saline Solution IV** Not rated yet

A doctor writes a prescription for 20mg of tobramycin antibotic saline solution. The soulution is to be injected intravenously one time a day; on hand …

**IV Question Reguarding Volume of D5W Needed for 24hrs w/ Infusion Run Rate of 125mg/hr? ** Not rated yet

What is the total volume of D5W that is needed for a 24 hour period if the infusion runs at a rate of 125mg/hr?

**pharmacy math** Not rated yet

How many g of potassium permanganate is needed to prepare 240 ml of a solution so that 15 ml diluted to 480 ml makes a 1:2000 solution?

**pharmacy math** Not rated yet

How many g of potassium permanganate is needed to prepare 240 ml of a solution so that 15 ml diluted to 480 ml makes a 1:2000 solution?

** How much dextrose would be in 100 ml of water of D50W?** Not rated yet

D5W is 5% dextrose in water
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**IV Solution of D5W Concentration Question** Not rated yet

Dilute a vial containing 1 g with 10ml then add to a solution of 100 ml of D5W. What is the concentration in mg/ml?

**IV Compounding Question: Minibag of 1000mg Aztreonam in 100ml D5W...** Not rated yet

You are asked to prepare a minibag with 1000mg of aztreonam in 100 mL of D5W. By mistake, you add 1500 mg to the bag. How many mls will you remove from …

**Humulin 70/30 Days Supply Question** Not rated yet

humulin 70/30,
Inject 17u every morning and 25u every afternoon at lunch and 35u in the evening
prescribe #4 vials
solve for dispensed
day supply

**Pharmacy Technician Student** Not rated yet

Using dimensional analysis how do you solve the following problem:
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**apothecaries** Not rated yet

Prepare 15 mL of a 50 mg/mL cefazolin dilution from a stock of 1 g/5 mL. How many milliliters of diluent and stock solution will be needed?

**compound problem** Not rated yet

How much talc is needed for an order for 120 gm of the following compound:
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zinc oxide 20%
talc 2%

**How Many Bottles of Cleocin Reconstitutable Suspension Should be Dispensed?** Not rated yet

Cleocin suspension, 150 mg tid for ten days. This suspension is only available in a concentration of 75mg/5ml, and the only available quantity is 100 ml …

**Pharmacy Technician Student** Not rated yet

Atrovent Inhalation Solution 0.02%
2.5ml x 25 vials dispense 10 boxes
1 vial q.i.d
2 refills
_______qty ________refills ______________partial …

**Tech in training ** Not rated yet

A physician orders 125 mg/5 ml Dilantin suspension to replace an order reading, Dilantin 100 mg, dispense #33. Sig 1 tid. What quantity of suspension should …

**Liquid Medication / Fluidgram Concentration Question** Not rated yet

You have 2 fluid ounces of a medication with with a concentration of 0.25g/fluidgram. How many milligrams do you have?

**Calculation** Not rated yet

I'm trying to calculate the retail price. awp/30 $125.15 Only need 8.
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**compounding** Not rated yet

A prescription for 120 mL of Formaldehyde 8% with rose is brought into the pharmacy. The pharmacy has on hand Formaldehyde 37% and Formaldehyde 4% with …

**Pharmacy techinician in training** Not rated yet

Philip's total daily dose of iron dextran became 1g, mixed in a 1L bag of NS and infused over 8 hours what was the rate per hour? How much iron dextran …

**Correct Dosage for Protamine Sulfate while on Heparin?** Not rated yet

1. Mr. Bob. receives Pravachol 40 mg po daily to lower his cholesterol level. How many doses would be dispensed for a 90 day supply?
2. The intern …

**Question About 2% Silver Nitrate Ointment** Not rated yet

How many grams of 2% silver nitrate ointment will deliver 1g of the active ingredient?

**Penicillin G Potassium IV Administered over 24 Hours Question** Not rated yet

They give
penicillin G potassium
250,000 U/kg/day up to 20,000 U
patient weighs 160lbs
iv administered over 24hr
20000000 U/L
and the question …

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Apothecaries System of Measurement in Pharmacy

Understanding Fractions for Pharmacy Technicians

Understanding Decimals in Pharmacy Calculations

Figuring Days Supply on Prescriptions

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