Adrenergics and Cholinergics

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    Hello everyone! I am a second semester nursing student taking an 8 week advanced pharmacology course. While I may be completely overwhelmed a little by all of it, I seem to be stuck on one subject in particular-adrenergic and cholinergic agonists and antagonists, beta blockers, alpha blockers, etc. I feel like if I could break it down simply, I may be able to build knowledge from that. I keep reading and reading, but am having difficulty thinking critically about it and applying it. My question is, when you were in nursing school or if you are taking or have taken this course, did you find any helpful supplemental material, videos, mnemonics, or anything that helped you remember and understand the material?
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  3. 7 Comments so far...

  4. 0
    I'm in an RN to BSN program. I learned all about this during nursing school, but am now having to take a pharmacology course for this program. Just finished this topic which was a refresher for me anyway. The only advice I have for remembering selective vs non selective beta blockers is the pneumonic BEAM for selective beta blockers. B- betaxolol E- esmolol A- atenolol M- metoprolol.

    Not really sure how else to help you, but if you have any specific questions I'd be happy to help.
  5. 3
    The biggest tip I can give is to focus on learning the mechanisms and physiology rather than trying to memorize things with study aides. But I can give you some simple memory aides.

    Adrenergic receptors are part of the sympathetic nervous system. The sympathetic nervous system is responsible for the fight or flight response. Remember that ADRENergic is like ADRENaline. If you stimulate or agonize these receptors you prepare the body for fight-flight. If you antagonize or block them you have the opposite effect.

    Simple way to think of alpha receptors. Alpha is for Arteries. If you give an alpha-blocker/antagonist it calms the body down from a fight so the arteries dilate and BP drops. Also remember that you don't want to pee your pants when you fight!

    A simple way to think of beta receptors. You have two lungs and one heart. Beta-2 goes with your two lungs. Beta-1 goes with your heart.

    You can then rationalize the functions of the drug. If you agonize the beta-2 receptors in your lungs you get them ready to fight: the bronchioles dilate. If you antagonize beta-1 receptors in the heart you calm the heart down from flight and the heart rate slows down and your BP drops.

    Apply the same method to the main receptor of the parasympathetic nervous system, the cholenergic receptor.

    The most Important ones to remember in this group are the antagonists, the anticholenergics. Think of the effects of these by the old medical adage of "can't see, can't pee, can't spit, can't s**t".
    Last edit by BostonFNP on Jun 14, '13
    Kandy83, turnforthenurseRN, and GrnTea like this.
  6. 0
    Thank you both! You're right, of course, about learning the mechanisms. I have difficulty learning the drugs bc by the time I focus on that, I've forgotten what the beta blocker actually does! I'm sorry, I should be asking specific questions. It's just one of those nights (you know, THOSE nights) where you're completely doubting your decision and yourself and a nervous breakdown ensues. Surely I'm not the only one. My brain is swimming. And to think I was more worried about MedSurg than Pharm before the semester started! Thank you for taking time to help me.
  7. 0
    Quote from BostonFNP
    The biggest tip I can give is to focus on learning the mechanisms and physiology rather than trying to memorize things with study aides. But I can give you some simple memory aides.

    Adrenergic receptors are part of the sympathetic nervous system. The sympathetic nervous system is responsible for the fight or flight response. Remember that ADRENergic is like ADRENaline. If you stimulate or agonize these receptors you prepare the body for fight-flight. If you antagonize or block them you have the opposite effect.

    Simple way to think of alpha receptors. Alpha is for Arteries. If you give an alpha-blocker/antagonist it calms the body down from a fight so the arteries dilate and BP drops. Also remember that you don't want to pee your pants when you fight!

    A simple way to think of beta receptors. You have two lungs and one heart. Beta-2 goes with your two lungs. Beta-1 goes with your heart.

    You can then rationalize the functions of the drug. If you agonize the beta-2 receptors in your lungs you get them ready to fight: the bronchioles dilate. If you antagonize beta-1 receptors in the heart you calm the heart down from flight and the heart rate slows down and your BP drops.

    Apply the same method to the main receptor of the parasympathetic nervous system, the cholenergic receptor.

    The most Important ones to remember in this group are the antagonists, the anticholenergics. Think of the effects of these by the old medical adage of "can't see, can't pee, can't spit, can't s**t".
    Thanks for breaking this down so good!
  8. 1
    some study cards.......
    by ♪♫ in my ♥ Jul 25, '11 9



    Greetings.

    Attached are 12 Word documents which I made when I took pharmacology. All the information was based on the ATI study guide since that constituted the final exam in our class.

    They are formatted as 3x5 cards and were printed on individual 3x5 cards.

    Have at 'em if you think they'll help... they certainly worked for me.

    Again, they are entirely my own creation based on the information out of the ATI book. I make no promises as to their accuracy (though I rocked pharm so they couldn't be too bad).

    Feedback is welcome.

    Attached Files

    Kandy83 likes this.
  9. 0
    Esme....thank you. I had gone back in the forum, apparently just not back far enough. Thank you for your help. These are great!
  10. 1
    A good thing to do is always make a note of which drugs are cholenergic, anticholenergic, beta or alpha agonists or adrenergic. Exams always test on that or the mechanism of action. I got into the habit of remembering the name of the drug, side effects, and what it did, but not noting if it was a beta agonist or an anticholenergic. It made me miss questions on each test. Make a good note of the classification of the drug.
    GrnTea likes this.


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