Press Release

ASHP Publishes Guide for Treating Obese Patients

New Reference First to Summarize Literature on Weight-based Dosing


A new publication from ASHP will help clinicians determine optimal medication doses for obese patients. Demystifying Drug Dosing in Obese Patients is the first text focused on dosing critical and narrow therapeutic index drugs in obese pediatric and adult patients.

The publication provides an overview of dosing medications in obese patients and summarizes the available literature for dosing of antimicrobial agents, anticoagulant and antiplatelet drugs, antiepileptic, antineoplastic, and analgesic medications. The reference includes insight and recommendations from nationally recognized experts, including sample calculations and equations to help clinicians apply the literature to individual patients.

“The sharp growth in obesity rates in the United States heightens the need for clear, evidence-based guidance,” says Brandon R. Shank, Pharm.D., BCOP, a co-editor of the text. “It is essential that clinicians have a thorough understanding of the complexities involved in making dosing decisions for obese patients. It is our hope that this guide depicts the existing literature in a way that allows practitioners to apply literature to real-life patient scenarios.”

Demystifying Drug Dosing in Obese Patients also addresses the issues surrounding the dosing of obese pediatric, critical care, and organ transplant patients. The publication offers guidance on immunosuppression and medication absorption for patients who have undergone gastric bypass or other bariatric surgeries. The text explains the critical concepts of absorption, distribution, metabolism, and clearance, and it includes helpful tips for weight-based dosing, drug efficacy, dosing concentrations, and toxicity.

Dr. Shank is a clinical pharmacy specialist at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and adjunct clinical assistant professor at Texas Southern University. His practice area is inpatient and outpatient lymphoma, multiple myeloma, and stem cell transplantation.

Co-editor David E. Zimmerman, Pharm.D., BCPS, is an assistant professor of pharmacy at the Mylan School of Pharmacy at Duquesne University and an emergency medicine clinical pharmacist at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center-Mercy Hospital. He is published in the areas of emergency medicine and neurology and is involved in developing emergency medicine clinical pharmacy services outside of the United States.

For more information on Demystifying Drug Dosing in Obese Patients, visit the ASHP Store.

About ASHP
ASHP represents pharmacists who serve as patient care providers in acute and ambulatory settings. The organization’s more than 43,000 members include pharmacists, student pharmacists, and pharmacy technicians. For over 70 years, ASHP has been at the forefront of efforts to improve medication use and enhance patient safety. For more information about the wide array of ASHP activities and the many ways in which pharmacists advance healthcare, visit ASHP’s website,, or its consumer website,

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