Determination of ideal body weight for drug dosage calculations

Am J Hosp Pharm. 1983 Jun;40(6):1016-9.


Formulas for ideal body weight (IBW) in men and women were derived from the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company height and weight tables. Regression determinations of median weight versus height were performed for men and women. A program for a minicomputer was developed to generate plots for small, medium, and large frame sizes and for subjects of all frame sizes. Equations for ideal body weight were derived from the resulting data. For men of all frame sizes, IBW = 51.65 kg + 1.85 kg/inch of height greater than 5 feet. For women of all frame sizes, IBW = 48.67 kg + 1.65 kg/inch of height greater than 5 feet. More accurate estimates of IBW by frame size can be obtained using equations derived from the plots for men and women of each frame size. Estimates of IBW obtained by the widely used empirical method probably contain only minor errors. However, formulas derived from actual height and weight data should be used in pharmacokinetic determination of dosage regimens for some drugs.

MeSH terms

  • Body Height
  • Body Weight*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mathematics
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations / administration & dosage*
  • Sex Factors


  • Pharmaceutical Preparations