Drugs to memorize first.

  1. Okay, so I bought this drug guide flash card deal in anticipation of my Pharmacology class next semester (I'm a first semester student)

    I need to narrow down what drugs to study/memorize first.

    So my question is: What are the most common/important drugs to get to know first? In other words, what should I learn first? Maybe top 20 or so.

    Thanks!
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    About mingez

    Joined: Jan '05; Posts: 245; Likes: 57
    RN II; from US
    Specialty: Psych, Ortho, Stroke, and TBI

    7 Comments

  3. by   S.T.A.C.E.Y
    I wouldn't memorize individual drugs, but rather drug categories & how they actually work on the body. Beta Blockers, Calcium-Channel Blockers, anti-biotics, etc. Respiratory, Cardiac & Renal would be the areas I would look at first. You can usually look up a drug in the book to find out what the dosage range is, side effects, nursing actions required. But to know what that classification of drug is actually doing will help you far more......at least thats my opinion. The 20 most useful drugs will totally depend on what type of area of clinical you are working in.
  4. by   mingez
    Quote from S.T.A.C.E.Y
    I wouldn't memorize individual drugs, but rather drug categories & how they actually work on the body. Beta Blockers, Calcium-Channel Blockers, anti-biotics, etc. Respiratory, Cardiac & Renal would be the areas I would look at first. You can usually look up a drug in the book to find out what the dosage range is, side effects, nursing actions required. But to know what that classification of drug is actually doing will help you far more......at least thats my opinion. The 20 most useful drugs will totally depend on what type of area of clinical you are working in.
    Thanks!! I'll do that for now!

    So, perhaps not the 20 most useful drugs, but the 20 most common drugs (that I'll come across during Pharmacology. I know you're right about the drugs being relative to the clinic you're in, but wouldn't you agree that some drugs are more common over all in all settings?

    Thanks again!
  5. by   Rosa2Little
    Mingez, S.T.A.C.E.Y is right. You are better off to know the drug classes. Drugs within the same class have many of the same properties. You want to know the mechanism of action for the class of drug, clinical indications, nursing considerations for a patient on a drug in this class, and of course side effects. For example, you may find a drug that has anticholenergic side effects. Best to understand what that means -- What do anticholenergic drugs do? What effect does it have on the nervous system, the respiratory system, eliminations patterns, etc? What signs/symptoms would you expect your patient to exhibit, and how will that react to other drugs and their many medical conditions. Understanding how drugs work will be more beneficial than memorizing, because you will be able to apply critical thinking once you are with patients in the hospital.

    Good Luck!
    Last edit by Rosa2Little on Oct 24, '06
  6. by   OnTheRoad
    I agree with the others entirely, but if you simply MUST start looking at specific drugs.... maybe focus on the prototype drugs.

    I know my professor in wanting us to know classes and effects of, MOA etc will often simply make up fake drug names and tell us something like "this drug is an anticholinergic, or a B1 blocker" etc and ask us what the side effects or actions etc of the drug are.
  7. by   Ayvah
    I agree its best to know the drug classes first.

    But if you'd like to know specific drug examples, there are some common ones that appear over and over in many floors of a hospital such as:

    acetaminophen (Tylenol)
    enoxaparin (Lovenox)
    famotidine (Pepcid)
    aspirin
    diphenhydramine (Benadryl)
    aspart insulin (Novolog Flexpen)
    morphine sulfate
    docusate sodium(Colace)
    meperidine (Demerol HCl)
    hydroxyzine (Vistaril)
    furosemide (Lasix)
  8. by   WDWpixieRN
    Heparin...
  9. by   mingez
    Quote from Ayvah
    I agree its best to know the drug classes first.

    But if you'd like to know specific drug examples, there are some common ones that appear over and over in many floors of a hospital such as:

    acetaminophen (Tylenol)
    enoxaparin (Lovenox)
    famotidine (Pepcid)
    aspirin
    diphenhydramine (Benadryl)
    aspart insulin (Novolog Flexpen)
    morphine sulfate
    docusate sodium(Colace)
    meperidine (Demerol HCl)
    hydroxyzine (Vistaril)
    furosemide (Lasix)
    Thank You!!!! That was exactly what I was hoping someone would post. I understand it's important to know classes etc, but in the short time I've been in clinicals, I've seen certain drugs coming up over and over again, and I want to take advantage of my flash cards from Mosby.

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