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# PHARMACEUTICAL CALCULATIONS

Course Description:

Mathematical computations are essential in the practice of pharmacy operations. It is also a
requirement for the competency of pharmacy technicians. This skill is the foundation for the filling
of prescription orders, calculating doses and operating the financial and ordering aspects of the
pharmacy,

This course includes fundamentals of mathematical calculations, units and measures as well as
conversions, calculating drug dosages, reducing or enlarging formulas, percent preparations,
dilutions and concentrations, various types of solutions or emulsions, whether electrolytes or
isotonic.

Objectives and performance expectations:

Upon completion of this course, the student should be able to:
1. Use fundamental calculations, decimals, fractions, percentage, proportions and ratios.

2. Understand and operate the metric, apothecary and avoirdupois systems and be able to
convert between them.

3. Read and interpret prescription or medication orders, apply mathematical calculations and
appropriate conversions.

4. Calculate correct drug dosages forms: oral, parenteral mixtures, pediatric, unit dosage forms,
body surface area medications or nutritionals.

5. Reduce or enlarge formulas for specific prescription or drug medications’ requirements.

6. Calculate quantities needed to prepare solutions or mixtures bases percentage calculations
of weight per volume, volume per volume, weight per weight.

7. Perform dilutions from concentrated stock solutions of alcohols, acids, electrolytes or liquid
medications or reagents.

It is expected from the student to comprehend the art of applying numbers correctly, accurately
and reliably. Learning to read the prescription or order correctly and execute it perfectly without
errors

Prerequisites:

PHT 170 or current enrollment
MAT 092

Course Outline:

I. Introduction
II. Arithmetic: Fundamentals of Mathematical calculations, equations
III. Measurements: Units and measures for calculation of drug dosages
IV. Interpretation of prescription or medication orders
V. Calculating drug dosages, Compounding/
VI. Reducing or enlarging formulas
VII. Percentage preparations
VIII. Preparation of solutions, dilutions and concentrations, parenteral preparations, IV infusions
IX. Electrolyte and isotonic solutions
X. Calculation based on body mass
XI. Expenses calculations: Dispensing fees, Reimbursements, Billing of compounds

Required Texts:

Text Math Calculations for Pharmacy Technicians; A Work Text; Fulcher & Fulcher –2007 [F&F]
Auxilliary Pharmacy Math by H. Tilton, PHT171IN Lecture Notes; 3rd Edition-2007 [Tilton]-
Reference: Pharmaceutical calculations: The Pharmacist Handbook; Ansel & Prince-2004 [A&P]

Transferability:
Course will not transfer to the state universities but may transfer to
community colleges with similar programs.

Instructor Information:
Michael Heller, B.Pharm, M.S [Chemistry, Biochemistry, Microbiology], and
Ph.D. [Medical Biochemistry, Molecular Biology]
Office Hours: Bldg. E4 - Room 405. Usually 2 hours before classes.

Classroom Procedures:
Instructional Delivery:
Lecture with opportunity for class participation and group discussion.
and if necessary ask for a tutor

Attendance Policy:
This course meets twice a week. Regular attendance is critical in order to fully grasp the important
subject information and to keep up with this fast moving classroom work.

Homework, Quizzes, Exams:
1. Homework:
HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENTS ARE THE EXERCISES AT THE END OF EACH CHAPTER

• Assemble your homework sheets in order. List the sections and due dates below your name.
Write your homework in clear handwriting or, preferably, type whenever possible. When you
write your homework, write down the problem, the process of solving [show your work] and your

• Homework will be assigned from the text and workbook and will be due at the beginning of the
following class. HOMEWORK WILL BE GRADED. Students should view the homework as a takehome
test.

• Homework may be turned in one week late, but the grade will be reduced by 50 percent.
• Homework not submitted within one week of the due date will not be accepted and will be
recorded as a “0”.

2. Quizzes: Quizzes may be given from time to time. There will be NO make-up quizzes.

• Quizzes will be taken in class or at the Testing Center

• Put your name, date and test/quiz number on the Scantron or every page of the testing sheet,
Number the pages
• The dates of tests and/or quizzes will be announced in advance

3. Take-Home Exams: May be given during the semester to be done at home with open books and
turned in at a pre-determined date. The take home tests are usually taken from the certification
examination. If you complete successfully, take home tests not related to Calculations you may

1. Finals: will be given in class at the end of the semester and will cover material from homework,
quizzes and take-home tests

4. Extra Help:
The College provides tutoring at no extra costs. Take advantage. Report to the Math Tutoring
Center next to the Library and ask for a tutor with Pharmacy Tech. Experience

STUDENTS ARE NOT EXCUSED FROM ANY EXAM(S).

Course Policies:

Academic Integrity: Students are encouraged to work together in and outside of class and to
participate in classroom problem solving. Students are expected to comply fully with all of the rules
of academic behavior identified in the P.C.C. Student Guide.

Plagiarism: All work must be your own for homework, quizzes and exams.

Cheating: ANY student caught cheating in ANY way WILL receive a zero for the assignment, quiz or
exam and may receive an “F” for the entire course.

Withdrawal: If you withdraw from this class, be sure to withdraw officially at the Registration desk
by the withdrawal date listed in the Pima College Schedule – April 9, 2007. Otherwise, you may
receive a grade of “F”. Instructor Withdrawal (“Y”) grade may be given at the end of the term when
the student makes a written request and circumstances dictate that none of the other grades is
appropriate. Instructor withdrawal grades are discouraged and will only be awarded at the
instructor’s discretion in extreme circumstances.

Incomplete (“I”) Grade: Incomplete grades are strongly discouraged and will only be awarded at the
instructor’s discretion in extreme circumstances.

 Grading System: Final grade will be based upon the following: Attendance Homework Take-Home Tests Quizzes Finals 20% 20% 20% 20% 20% Letter Grade will be based on the following guidelines: A = B = C = D = F = 900 –1000 points 800 - 899 points 700 - 799 points 600 - 699 points less than 600 points

Program Policy: Students who receive less than a "C", MUST repeat the course.
Course may be repeated ONLY one time.

Anyone not achieving a grade of "C" in a core course after TWO attempts will be dropped from the
Pharmacy Technology Program.

Classroom Rules: See Pima College Student Guide Book

• Eating, chewing gum and smoking are not allowed.
• Mints and bottled water or water in plastic containers are allowed.
• Possession of drugs, alcohol or firearms on college property is illegal.
• Cell phones and pagers must be turned off.
• Lap-top computers may be used for recording or note-taking purposes.
• Recording devices for note-recording are permitted
• Pets and visitors are not permitted during class meetings.
• Students creating a disturbance will be asked to leave the premises.
• Do not send anything to the printer during Lecture part of class.

Deciding on a Career: You should have a career that you plan to pursue identified by the end of
courses you need to take while at Pima. If you are having trouble figuring out a career that is a good
match for you, get some help. Stop by the Career Center or Information Desk in Building L and ask
for written material or to see an advisor or counselor.  This will get you to a number of
helpful websites. Call 206-7662 to talk to an advisor or counselor with any questions.