Meds...Where to Start

  1. Hi All!

    Just looking at this new Meds Guide I bought at Barnes and Steal-All-My-Money and, after leafing through it, thought to myself, "Oh-My-God, what have I gotten myself into?"

    Anyhoo, trying to get a jump on the fearsome Pharmacology class I know will be rearing its ugly head in the second semester, I was wondering, which medications would you recommend (as an LVN) that I should "Know By Heart" so-to-speak...

    (There appears to be a trillion of them in this thing...)

    Mike
  2. Visit msdobson profile page

    About msdobson

    Joined: May '07; Posts: 529; Likes: 24

    42 Comments

  3. by   lpn1313
    For now, start with drug classifications. For example antihypertensives, antidepressants, antibiotics. And my personal favorite, anti anxiety(please pass the ativan...thank you.) Those are the big groups I use where I work. Lasix, toprol, lisinopril-BP Zoloft, prozac, remeron- antidepressants. Lorazepam, diazepam, clonazepam-all antianxiety. I do LTC so these get used a lot. Oh yeah- colace too.
  4. by   msdobson
    Quote from lpn1313
    For now, start with drug classifications. For example antihypertensives, antidepressants, antibiotics. And my personal favorite, anti anxiety(please pass the ativan...thank you.) Those are the big groups I use where I work. Lasix, toprol, lisinopril-BP Zoloft, prozac, remeron- antidepressants. Lorazepam, diazepam, clonazepam-all antianxiety. I do LTC so these get used a lot. Oh yeah- colace too.
    Many thanks, my friend!
  5. by   PedsRN-07
    Quote from msdobson
    Hi All!

    Just looking at this new Meds Guide I bought at Barnes and Steal-All-My-Money and, after leafing through it, thought to myself, "Oh-My-God, what have I gotten myself into?"

    Anyhoo, trying to get a jump on the fearsome Pharmacology class I know will be rearing its ugly head in the second semester, I was wondering, which medications would you recommend (as an LVN) that I should "Know By Heart" so-to-speak...

    (There appears to be a trillion of them in this thing...)

    Mike
    I would recomment knowing the ones mentioned above plus Tylenol (acetominophen), Aspirin, Ibuprofen, Lasix, Albuterol, Ritalin, Lanoxin, Plavix, the supplements like Potassium Chloride, Multivitamins, Colase, the NSAIDS, many more, but thats all I could think of now.. good luck!!
  6. by   ericalynn
    Know your cardiac drugs!
  7. by   feisty_lpn
    I remember in pharm class going over each classification of drugs and what they do, how they work, most prescribed drugs in that class, etc. Likely, your pharm class will focus on drug classification rather than each drug itself. You'll figure out that in alot of classifications, the most prescribed drugs, the generic/chemical names will end with the same sound. Like the anti-anxieties end with "epam", etc.

    We learned independently each drug during clinical preps when we had to make our own 'drug reference cards'. I really wish I had kept those and had them laminated instead of putting them in the trash after graduation. I had over 100 drug reference cards on a ring that I kept in my pocket at clinicals. I thought about making them again... then I remember how time-consuming it was and I change my mind. LOL
  8. by   SuesquatchRN
    Mike, as an LPN you'll probably be in LTC. So learn beta blockers - olols, ACE inhibitors - prils, digoxin, and diuretics. They will almost all be on at least one of those. These are mostly for HBP and CHF.

    Learn the antipsychotics - zyprexa, seroquel, abilify, navane. Depakote - valproic acid - is an anti-seizure also used off-label for behaviors and psychosis. Alzheimer's and the other dementias leave people, well, demented.

    A lot will be on the most useless anti-Alzheimer's drugs I've ever encountered, Namenda and Aricept.

    Learn about Dilantin - phenytoin sodium - for seizures.

    Sinemet - carbidopa/levadopa - for Parkinson's.

    And they're ALL on an antidepressant. Lots of SSRI-s - selective seratonin reuptake inhibitors. Some Wellbutrin. Elavil is an old tricyclic that is used also for intractable chronic pain, strangely enough.

    And learn your PO and SQ diabetes drugs. And gabapentin, for diabetic and other neuropathies.
  9. by   msdobson
    Quote from Suesquatch
    Mike, as an LPN you'll probably be in LTC. So learn beta blockers - olols, ACE inhibitors - prils, digoxin, and diuretics. They will almost all be on at least one of those. These are mostly for HBP and CHF.

    Learn the antipsychotics - zyprexa, seroquel, abilify, navane. Depakote - valproic acid - is an anti-seizure also used off-label for behaviors and psychosis. Alzheimer's and the other dementias leave people, well, demented.

    A lot will be on the most useless anti-Alzheimer's drugs I've ever encountered, Namenda and Aricept.

    Learn about Dilantin - phenytoin sodium - for seizures.

    Sinemet - carbidopa/levadopa - for Parkinson's.

    And they're ALL on an antidepressant. Lots of SSRI-s - selective seratonin reuptake inhibitors. Some Wellbutrin. Elavil is an old tricyclic that is used also for intractable chronic pain, strangely enough.

    And learn your PO and SQ diabetes drugs. And gabapentin, for diabetic and other neuropathies.

    Wow. So MUCH information! I don't mind telling you all that Pharmacology scares the HE-double toothpicks out of me! Of all the classes, I forsee that one as the make-or-breaker.

    Any advice?

    Mike
  10. by   SuesquatchRN
    Quote from msdobson
    Wow. So MUCH information! I don't mind telling you all that Pharmacology scares the HE-double toothpicks out of me! Of all the classes, I forsee that one as the make-or-breaker.

    Any advice?

    Mike
    Heh. That was off the top of my head. And I don't know much compared to some. You'll get there.

    Focus on the prils, olols, digoxin, diuretics, and insulins. Remember that steroids - like prednisone - will raise blood sugar. The last relates to an NCLEX question. The previous are the most likely to show up on the boards, and the most critical.

    DON'T overthink it. Remember what they're for. Know peak times for insulins. Know the signs of dig toxicity - seeing halos. You are an LPN, not a doctor of pharmacy.

  11. by   Hospice Nurse LPN
    We learned independently each drug during clinical preps when we had to make our own 'drug reference cards'. I really wish I had kept those and had them laminated instead of putting them in the trash after graduation. I had over 100 drug reference cards on a ring that I kept in my pocket at clinicals. I thought about making them again... then I remember how time-consuming it was and I change my mind. LOL
    We also had to make the drug cards....also trashed mine after graduation. So many time since then I wish I still had them!!

    Don't stress and don't think you'll know ALL of them! :spin: After you learn the major classifications, you'll learn drugs specific to each case you have. Plus, there are more and more new drugs out there every day...I still look up drugs quiet often. Good luck!
  12. by   pagandeva2000
    What I suggest is that you purchase Delmar's Comprehensive Study Guide for NCLEX-PN. They have a wonderful chapter in pharmacology that breaks down the drugs by classifications as well as common suffixes, such as 'prils' are the ACE inhibitors, the 'olols' are beta-blockers, 'prazoles' are for ulcers and GERD, 'nafils' are for impotence (such as sildenafil-viagra). They will list the basic common side effects. Also, purchase 'Basic Pharmacology for Nurses' by Bruce Clayton...a wonderful textbook that breaks down the drugs in easy to read and understand format. Another one is (I think) "Introduction to CLinical Pharmacology" by Mary Edmunds...this one in particular is part of a series of books called the "LPN Threads". If you start early, before you start school, you will be at a major advantage. For the boards, you can also consider "Helen Feuer Nursing Review". Type the name in your browser and the web site should pop up. They sell CD lectures for RN, LPN and pharmacology...the stuff is nothing less than phenomenal!!! I had a poor instructor for pharmacology and nutrition, forcing me to attend a pharmacology lecture with these people. It was well worth it. The one for the drugs is about $80, I think. Good luck!
  13. by   jaacosmom
    Mike start with the classifications and then stick to the prototypes to each classification. You need to know what they are for, how they work, therapeutic effect, contraindications, administration, adverse reactions, drug interactions, nursing implications, and pt/family education. It helps to know trade names. This is probably one of the toughest classes, but don't freak. They have drug books for a reason. No one can possibly remember them all. Just do the best you can.
  14. by   msdobson
    Quote from pagandeva2000
    What I suggest is that you purchase Delmar's Comprehensive Study Guide for NCLEX-PN. They have a wonderful chapter in pharmacology that breaks down the drugs by classifications as well as common suffixes, such as 'prils' are the ACE inhibitors, the 'olols' are beta-blockers, 'prazoles' are for ulcers and GERD, 'nafils' are for impotence (such as sildenafil-viagra). They will list the basic common side effects. Also, purchase 'Basic Pharmacology for Nurses' by Bruce Clayton...a wonderful textbook that breaks down the drugs in easy to read and understand format. Another one is (I think) "Introduction to CLinical Pharmacology" by Mary Edmunds...this one in particular is part of a series of books called the "LPN Threads". If you start early, before you start school, you will be at a major advantage. For the boards, you can also consider "Helen Feuer Nursing Review". Type the name in your browser and the web site should pop up. They sell CD lectures for RN, LPN and pharmacology...the stuff is nothing less than phenomenal!!! I had a poor instructor for pharmacology and nutrition, forcing me to attend a pharmacology lecture with these people. It was well worth it. The one for the drugs is about $80, I think. Good luck!
    Thanks, Deva. I'll add those to my mounting collection! I think I'm on Amazon.com's Christmas Card list already! Any day now they're going to bump me up to Fruit Baskets!


    Mike


    Edit: Cant find "Delmar's Comprehensive Study Guide for NCLEX-PN" listed on Amazon. Do you mean "Delmar's NCLEX-PN Review (Delmar's Nclex-Pn Review) by Judith C. Miller"?

    If not, do you have an ISBN for that book?
    Last edit by msdobson on May 11, '07

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