The milliequivalent is the amount, in milligrams, of a solute equal to 1/1000 of its gram-equivalent weight.

Milliequivalent (mEq), is commonly used by clinicians,
physicians, pharmacists, and manufacturers to express the concentration of
electrolytes in solution.

Conversion of concentrations in the form of milliequivalent
to concentrations in percentage strength, milligrams per milliliter (mg/mL) or
any other terms, begins with calculation of the number of milliequivalents of
drug.

#### Milliequivalent Calculation Process

1. Determine the molecular weight (mol. wt.)

2. Calculate the equivalent weight (Eq. wt.)

3. Determine the milliequivalent weight, which is 1/1000 of
the equivalent weight.

4. Convert to desire concentration

#### Calculation Formula

**To calculate the equivalent weight:**

- Equivalent weight = Molecular weight ÷ Valence

**To convert milligrams (mg) to milliequivalents (mEq):**

- mEq = (mg x Valence) ÷ molecular weight

**To convert milliequivalents (mEq) to milligrams (mg):**

- mg = (mEq x molecular weight) ÷ Valence

**To convert milliequivalents per milliliter (mEq/mL) to
milligrams per milliliter (mg/mL):**

- mg/mL= (mEq/mL x molecular weight) ÷ Valence

**Calculation Example**

1. What is the concentration, in percent w/v, of a solution
containing 2 mEq of potassium chloride per milliliter?

Molecular weight of KCl = 39 (K+) + 35.5 (Cl−) = 74.5

Equivalent weight (Eq. wt.) of KCl = mol. wt. ÷
valence = (74.5 ÷1) = 74.5 g

Milliequivalent weight = 74.5 g ÷ 1000 = 0.745 g or 74.5 mg

Drug quantity = 0.0745 g/mEq × 2 mEq = 0.149 g of drug

Concentration = (0.149 g drug ÷ 1 mL) = (x g drug ÷
100 mL)

x = (14.9 g/100 mL) × 100% = 14.9%

2. A physician prescribes 10 mEq of potassium chloride for a
patient. How many milligrams of KCl would provide the prescribed quantity?

Molecular weight of KCl = 39 (K+) + 35.5 (Cl−) = 74.5

Valence = 1

mg = (mEq x mol. wt.) / Valence

mg = (10 x 74.5) / 1 = 745 mg

3. If a patient is prescribed 300 mg of potassium chloride,
what is the corresponding mEq?

mEq = mg x Valence / mol. wt.

mEq = (300 x 1) / 74.5 = 4.03

**Valences, Atomic Weight/Molecular Weight and Milliequivalent
Weights of Few Common Ions**

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