Difference Between Dose and Dosage

Dose and dosage are words that we encounter commonly when we are getting a prescription from a doctor and also when we are taking care of a sick person in the family. These are words that most of us use interchangeably despite there being a clear difference between the two. We find these words written on the instructions of medicines, and we also ask about the dose or dosage of medicine from our health care provider. This article attempts to make clear the fine difference between the two terms.


It is the amount or quantity of medicine to be taken or administered to the patient every time in a day. If it is 5mg, then 5mg is the dose to be given to the patient. In the field of medicine, nutrition, and anti-venom drugs, this word assumes significance in the wake of the health of the patient as this dose is what the body of the patient requires for recuperation or better health.

If you go to a doctor for some illness and he prescribes certain medications to you, he notes down the quantity or the dose of each medication that you must take at a time in ml, cc, or mg. This amount of quantity of medicine is the dose that you have to take every time to get well soon.


The term dosage, though it also tells the amount or quantity of medicine to be taken, implies the duration or the frequency of the dose to be administered. So, if a medicine is to be taken 5mg orally every time, the patient also needs to know the dosage which means he should know the frequency of the dose. This is specified as BD or TDS by the doctor which means twice a day or thrice a day. OD is of course once a day.

What is the difference between Dose and Dosage?

• Dose is the quantity or the amount of medicine to be consumed every time. It is expressed in ml, cc, or mg. However, while prescribing syrups, doctors tend to write dosage as tsp. or tea spoonful such as 1 tsp. or 2 tsp.

• Dosage is the frequency of the medication. This means that the dosage not only tells the quantity of medicine to be taken, but it also tells the frequency or the number of times a medicine has to be taken by the patient. This dosage is written as OD, BD, or TDS by the doctors. They can also specify the times of the day when a medication has to be taken.

• Dosage is as important as dose for a patient and dosage is mentioned clearly by the doctor on his prescription.