Memorizing Pharmacology Video 2 of 7

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    Pharmacology is necessary for all nurses. However, it can be difficult for the novice to decipher the often complicated names and actions. Here's some help....

    Memorizing Pharmacology Video 2 of 7

    We gradually increase the difficulty by moving from 13 gastrointestinal to 25 musculoskeletal medicines. To handle this many, we’ll divide the drugs into various sub-classes. It’s useful to create an outline, not by alphabetical order, but by drug class. It takes a little bit of pharmacologic knowledge to do this, so I recommend starting with the groupings I give you, then branch out after you feel more comfortable with the physiologic system.

    To start you off, I’ve typed out the outline making sure to 1) underline/note prefixes and suffixes 2) put the rationale for the drug sub-class order in brackets. Creating these orders is an active learning process and makes it easier to remember not only what the drug is for, but also what makes it different from others for clinical challenges.

    OTC NSAIDS – [In order of half-life and alphabetically]
    Aspirin (Ecotrin) (ASA), shorter half-life
    Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), shorter half-life
    –profen is a recognized NSAID stem
    Naproxen (Aleve), longer half-life

    OTC Non-narcotic analgesic
    Acetaminophen (Tylenol, APAP)

    OTC NSAID / Non-narcotic analgesic / caffeine combination
    ASA/APAP/Caffeine (Excedrin)
    ASA for inflammation and pain
    APAP for migraine pain
    Caffeine used as vasoconstrictor

    Rx NSAID – [In order from COX-2 non-specific to COX-2 specific]
    Meloxicam (Mobic)
    -icam stem
    Celecoxib (Celebrex) COX-2 specific
    -coxib stem
    Opioids – controlled medications – [In order of DEA schedule]

    CII – most addicting class
    Morphine (MS Contin)
    Is at the top because it’s the prototypical opioid medication
    Fentanyl (Duragesic, Sublimaze)
    Hydrocodone / APAP (Vicodin)
    Oxycodone / APAP (Percocet)
    CIII – less addicting than CII and so forth . . .
    APAP / codeine (Tylenol #3)
    CIV - Mixed opioid
    Tramadol (Ultram)
    Narcotic antagonist
    Naloxone (Narcan)

    Triptans [in alphabetical order]
    Eletriptan (Relpax)
    Sumatriptan (Imitrex)

    DMARDS (Disease Modifying Anti-Rheumatoid drugs)
    [From non-biologic to biologic]

    Methotrexate (Rheumatrex) – a non-biologic

    Abatacept (Orencia) – a biologic
    Etanercept (Enbrel) – a biologic
    -cept is a common stem
    -tacept is a stem with a sub-stem “ta”
    -nercept is a stem with a sub-stem “ner”

    Osteoporosis agents Bisphosophonates [alphabetically]
    Alendronate (Fosamax)
    Ibandronate (Boniva)
    -dronate is a stem

    Muscle relaxers [alphabetically]
    Cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril)
    Diazepam (Valium)
    -azepam is a stem (not –pam)

    Anti-gout [uric acid reducers in alphabetical order]
    Allopurinol (Zyloprim)
    Febuxostat (Uloric)
    -xostat is a stem

    Try to take notes from the video with this short outline. Is it easier when you have a head start like a short outline? The same is true with pharmacology lectures. If you start with a lattice or framework, you’ll catch a lot more. If you prefer to use notecards, try to group those notecards in this similar order and see if you remember them more easily.

    Last edit by TonyPharmD on Jul 6 : Reason: Add pathophysiologic class.
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  3. by   TonyPharmD
    Yes, you have some very good mnemonics in there, thanks for the link.

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