2.5 What is a sensible dose?
This will vary from drug to drug and patient to patient, but bear in mind that most drugs need to be swallowed or injected, so the manufacturer has designed the dose sizes to be as easy as possible for a patient to take and for the health worker to administer.
The following dose ranges are the most sensible and practical for adults:
Table 7 Typical drug doses
|Drug formulation||Typical dose at any one time|
|Liquid||oral: 5-20 ml (1-4 teaspoons full)|
|injection: generally 0.25-2 ml|
|subcutaneous: 1 ml or less|
|intramuscular: adults - up to 3 ml in large muscles|
|children and elderly - up to 2 ml|
|infants - 1 ml or less|
|Radiation dose||20-70 μSv for an X-ray, 100-200 Sv for radiotherapy|
If you find that the dose you have calculated or the prescription you have been given is outside of this range, especially if it is out by a factor of 10, 100 etc., then it's likely that a mistake has happened somewhere. If it's your own calculation, then double-check it. If it still doesn't look right, or was written that way on the prescription then check with a senior colleague.