How much medicine to give
Pills, tablets, and capsules come in different weights and sizes. To be sure you are
giving the right amount, check how many grams (g), milligrams (mg),
micrograms (mcg), or Units (U) each pill or capsule contains.
For tablets, capsules, inserts, and
Most tablets, capsules, inserts, and
injectable medicines are measured in
grams (g) and milligrams (mg):
1000 mg = 1 g
(one thousand milligrams is the same
as one gram)
= means equal to or the same as
+ means and or plus
1/2 tablet = half of a tablet =
1/4 tablet = one quarter
(or one fourth) of a tablet =
1 mg = 0.001 g
(one milligram is one one-thousandth part of a gram)
For example: One aspirin tablet has 325 milligrams of aspirin.
You could say
that one aspirin
All of these are
different ways to say
Some medicines, such as birth control pills,
are weighed in micrograms (mcg or µcg):
1 µcg = 1 mcg = 1/1000 mg = 0.001 mg
This means there are 1000 micrograms in a milligram.
Injectable medicines may be measured in Units (U) or International Units (IU).
For liquid medicines
Syrups, suspensions, and other liquid medicines are usually given in milliliters
(ml) or cubic centimeters (cc). A milliliter is the same as a cubic centimeter.
1 ml = 1 cc
1000 ml = 1 liter
Sometimes liquids are given in teaspoons (tsp) or tablespoons (Tbs).
1 tsp = 5 ml
1 Tbs = 15 ml
1 Tbs = 3 tsp
To be sure you are taking the right amount of a liquid medicine,
be sure that your teaspoon is 5 ml, or measure the medicine
in a syringe.
A Book for Midwives (2010)