A loading dose is an initial large dose of a medicine used to ensure a quick therapeutic response. It is usually given for a short period before therapy continues with a lower maintenance dose. The use of loading doses of medicines can be complex and error prone. Incorrect use of loading doses or subsequent maintenance regimens may lead to severe harm or death. The National Patient Safety Agency in the UK has issued a guidance to prevent harms from oral and injectable loading doses in hospitals and in the community here.