Use of the guide

Nomenclature of drugs

The International Non-proprietary Names (INN) of drugs is used in this guide.

Dosage

Prescription tables showing average dosage in drug units (tablets, ampoules etc.) according to weight or age of patients are included for the most commonly used drugs.

For children, oral drug dosages are expressed in milligrams per kilogram per dose, followed by the number of doses per day (e.g. 10 mg/kg 3 times daily). For certain antiretrovirals, dosage is expressed in milligrams per square meter (mg/m2). Injectable drug dosages are also expressed in milligrams per kilogram per injection, followed by the interval between injections (e.g. 10 mg/kg every 8 hours). 

For adults, oral drug dosages are expressed in milligrams or grams per dose, followed by the number of doses per day (e.g. 500 mg 3 times daily). Injectable drug dosages are in general expressed in milligrams or grams per injection, followed by the interval between injections (e.g. 500 mg every 8 hours). 

Symbols

Prescription under medical supervision

This box indicates potentially toxic drugs, administered under medical prescription only in many European
countries (e.g. Belgium, France, Spain, United Kingdom).


This symbol is used to draw attention to drugs whose toxic potential is greater, or for which experience has shown they are frequently misused.

Practical recommendations for drug storage:

  drug very sensitive to light

  drug very sensitive to humidity

If no temperature for storage is recommended, this indicates that no information was found in medical literature.

Abbreviations

Units
kg = kilogram
g = gram
mg = milligram
m2 = square meter
IU = international unit
M = million
mEq = milliequivalent
mmol = millimole
ml = millilitre (1 cc = 1 ml)
tsp = teaspoon (= 5 ml)
ssp = soupspoon (= 15 ml)

Route of administration
IM = intramuscular
IV = intravenous
SC = subcutaneous

Dosage forms
tab = tablet
cap = capsule
amp = ampoule
susp = suspension

Others
v/v = volume in volume
D = day (e.g. D1 = first day)