Study Tip: Drug Dosages

How much do you need to know about drug dosages? Use the topic ranking to guide you. You can also ask yourself how you would react if one of your consultants didn’t know the answer if you asked them.

Detailed: If the drug is in the detailed category, and it is available in Australia OR New Zealand, you should know the appropriate dose via every route in common clinical use. For morphine, you should know the dose for every route.  For ketamine you would be expected to know the dose for analgaesic regimens, and for iv induction. You would gain extra credit for knowing the dose in specialist applications such as rectal dosages for paediatric premedication. You would not be expected to know dosages for experimental usages such as epidural administration.

Good: If the drug is something used Australian OR New Zealand anaesthetic practice, or one that you might need to give in an emergency you should know the dose. It is doubtful that you would be asked the dose of non-anaesthetic drugs, such as long term oral antihypertensives.

Basic: It is very unlikely that someone would ask you the dose of any of these medications.

If the dose of a drug is adjusted for age or weight, you should give it as such. It isn’t worth wasting 30-60 seconds in the viva explaining that you don’t really give 4g of paracetamol to a 1 year old.

Don’t say that you have never used the drug in an exam. There are many drugs that I had never used when I sat the Primary, which I now use on a daily basis. This is a specialist exam in Pharmacology, and you will be expected to demonstrate a specialist level of knowledge.

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