Is there an easy way memorizing drug names?

  1. Hi, I am a first semester nursing student and I need some advice about how to study pharmacology or how to memorize drug names. Can you help me please?
    Last edit by Joe V on Apr 7, '18
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    About mariamawit

    Joined: Dec '08; Posts: 3


  3. by   NamasteNurse
    IMHO there is nothing easy about nursing school and pharmacology is the hardest of all. No easy way, just study study study. Make drug cards, put them in order of classifications that way at least you can have similar actions and adverse effects together. Good luck. work hard.
  4. by   belle87RN
    Some drug classifications are easy to remember because of there endings.

    - olol or lol drugs are Beta Blockers
    - statin's are lipid lowering agents
    - caine's are usually numbing agents
    - il's or ril's are ACE inhibitors
    - sartan's are ARB's

    Those are some of them that I use to remember. I know that some antibiotics are linked with similar endings like -sporins and what not, you could go through drug classes and write down how they are similar and linked. Figure out your safety parameters for each class and then study that way. (Just in case you aren't familiar with safety parameters they are like HR and BP for the ACEI and such, aka reason you look at when determining if you should give the med.)
    Hope this helps!
  5. by   amhhvb
    I'm also a nursing student, and currently taking Pharmacology. There is SO much information, the only thing to do is study and read over the drugs repeatedly. There are some helpful name recognition tricks listed above ^, and I definitely use those. For the drugs I have a hard time remembering, I try to make up a pretend patient with a name I can remember and give them a condition treatable with the drug I'm memorizing. I also make lots of charts classifying the Mechanism of Action, Therapeutic Effects, and Adverse Effects, etc. Hope this helps. I know where you are coming from. It is a very overwhelming topic, but just review lots and eventually you will get it.
  6. by   Katherined
    Listen to what belle87 said and do your best to memorize in GROUPS. Kaplan actually makes cards of the 300 most commonly seen drugs on the NCLEX and its only 25 dollars. You will notice the patterns.

    Cephalosporins also start with "cef"
    Macrolides end in "mycin"
    Tetracyclines end in "cycline"
    Sulfa drugs have a "sulfa" somewhere in the name

    You will be fine- pharm is just crazy hard.
  7. by   zully_2125

    Im a Senior Student... I suggest that you make a list of all the drugs that you prepare or administer during your clinical, so as an assignment look what is their main action or use. This has help me memorize some of the common drugs.

    Good Luck!
  8. by   Wandie
    I studied Exam Cram NCLEX RN it was really good. You can get any edition. The website is Try to get it at your local library. It's free or look at or ebay. Good luck.
  9. by   showmegirl
    I am finding out that NCLEX is going to shoot for generic names on drugs altogther not even showing the brand names so thats another thing were going to have to learn. heres a website that you can go to and they will send you a pocket guide of the GBR (generic brand reference) its small and will fit easily with you. or you can call 1-800-RX-MYLAN hopefully this will help
  10. by   seasoned hopeful
    greetings all ns adventurers,

    i just finished my 1st semester including pharm. at first i thought i had to memorize all the drugs that were in the chapters that i read. i learned after bombing 2 tests that i was to understand the classifications and how they work then recognize the prototype drugs that were under that classification. once i did that and recorded the classes i was in much better shape. it is more important that you understand what class they are in and what that class does. the drugs in the same class usually do basically the same things, and have the same side effects and drug interactions. it is not easy, by a long shot, but in clinicals when you start actually using the drugs, they ring a bell and you have an ah ha moment. it is a good idea to be able to recognize both the generic and trade names, because sometimes you will only see one of them.
    good luck to you, you can figure out this puzzle.
  11. by   shjoll
    Not sure if you are taking psych yet. but this is what we came up with in study group

    atypical antipsychotics


    mood stabilizers
    dont touch the light tuesday night

    SSRI antidepressants

    please zoom past Chris last

    Kathy had a Very dangerous xray
  12. by   DolceVita
    I did well on pharmacology in class and the ATI. My advice:

    Get one of those pre-made laminated study guides with drug class summaries (or make on yourself).

    As other have said keep to classes of drugs and the prototype drugs within each class. Know the common antidotes for things like acetaminophen, opioids etc. Certain meds like digoxin and theophylline get into the itty bitty details.

    Every chance you get during the rest of your time in school take the opportunity to review your drug classes. For example, your assigned patient in clinical is on verapamil (a calcium channel blocker). When you make up your med card don't just look up the drug but take an extra 5 minutes to review calcium channel blockers in general.

    Some drugs you just need to know. For example, the drugs for treating diabetes. Know the onset peak & duration of them. Know how they are administered and if parenteral, can they be mixed. Know when in relation to food intake they should be taken. Also, learn what other medications can affect diabetic medications, blood glucose or mask signs of hypoglycemia. interested. If you think pharm is a struggle or a pain in the bum -- it will be.
  13. by   student nurse katie
    Pharm was my favorite!! I am the only one that got an A in the class. It is very important to know the classifications of the drugs, and how they affect the body! take good notes. We had an excellent pharm teacher. We werent tested really on the names of the drugs except major ones. But if you know the classes you'll be fine. adernergics and cholenergics were the hardest in my opinion till i figured out "fight or flight" and "rest and digest" and I could tell exactally which one did what
  14. by   ghillbert
    I always make up poems/mnemonics/songs with the name and action.