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Letters
June 12, 1987

A Formula for Calculating the Dosages of Drugs in Emergencies-Reply

Author Affiliations

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases National Institutes of Health Bethesda, Md

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases National Institutes of Health Bethesda, Md

JAMA. 1987;257(22):3070. doi:10.1001/jama.1987.03390220067018
Abstract

In Reply.—  Byerly et al share my concern that the formula recommended by the American Heart Association for preparation of cardiac infusion drugs is problematic. The dosage range for isoproterenol, epinephrine, and norepinephrine is from 0.1 μg/kg/min to 1 μg/kg/min. Following the formula set forth by the AHA,1(p2967) 0.6 times the body weight (in kilograms) equals the milligrams of drug added to the diluent to make 100 mL, to be infused at 1 mL/h. This amount delivers 0.1 μ/kg/min. It is inconceivable, however, that a drip rate of 1 mL/h will ever deliver any drug to the arrested or resuscitated patient, let alone visibly drip out of the intravenous tubing! Byerly et al are also correct in pointing out that the number of ampules needed to supply the dose of isoproterenol, epinephrine, or norepinephrine calculated using the AHA formula would be unavailable in most settings.Byerly et al

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