Studying pharmacology


Which books do you recommend that helped you memorize meds/side effects? Thanks

Esme12, ASN, BSN, RN

4 Articles; 20,908 Posts

Specializes in Critical Care, ED, Cath lab, CTPAC,Trauma. Has 43 years experience.

Did you not have pharm in school? here is something another member has shared.....

♪♫ in my ♥



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


205 Posts

Has 4 years experience.

Thank you so much


565 Posts

Pharms a total crapshoot.

I had an INCREDIBLY difficult pharm (class avg was like the 60s) course in school, and i did exceptionally well in it

And i would still get tons of drugs on the NCLEX that i had no clue in.

And even when id put together something difficult (ie figure out a drug that i never heard of is related to another drug I know of) theyll still ask you a question thats so far fetched and bizarre that its still probably a guess. If youre lucky you can eliminate 1-2 choices but still

I mean some people get lucky and only get asked STUPIDLY basic stuff (ie what do you look for to know Lasix worked) but from my experience its just a guessing game.


17 Posts

Just thought this would help


Pharmacology - Know Indication/Action/Effect


-ase = thrombolytic

-azepam = benzodiazepine

-azine = antiemetic; phenothiazide

-azole = proton pump inhibitor, antifungal

-barbital = barbiturate

-coxib = cox 2 enzyme blockers

-cep/-cef = anti-infectives

-caine = anesthetics

-cillin = penicillin

-cycline = antibiotic

-dipine = calcium channel blocker

-floxacin = antibiotic

-ipramine = Tricyclic antidepressant

-ine = reverse transcriptase inhibitors, antihistamines

-kinase = thrombolytics

-lone, pred- = corticosteroid

-mab = monoclonal antibiotics

-micin = antibiotic, aminoglycoside

-navir = protease inhibitor

nitr-, -nitr- = nitrate/vasodilator

-olol = beta antagonist

-oxin = cardiac glycoside

-osin = Alpha blocker

-parin = anticoagulant

-prazole = PPI’s

-phylline = bronchodilator

-pril = ACE inhibitor

-statin = cholesterol lowering agent

-sartan = angiotensin II blocker

-sone = glucocorticoid, corticosteroid

-stigmine = cholinergics

-terol = Beta 2 Agonist

-thiazide = diuretic

-tidine = antiulcer

-trophin = Pituitary Hormone

-vir = anti-viral, protease inhibitors

-zosin = Alpha 1 Antagonist

-zolam = benzo/sedative

-zine = antihistamine

Pharm Facts

•Don’t give non-selective beta-blockers to patients w/respiratory problems

•Vitamin C can cause false +ive occult blood

•Avoid the ‘G’ herbs (ginsing, ginger, ginko, garlic) when on anti-clotting drugs (coumadin, ASA, Plavix, etc)

•ASA toxicity can cause ringing of the ears

•No narcotics to any head-injury victims

•Mg2+ toxicity is treated with Calcium Gluconate

•Do not give Calcium-Channel Blockers with Grapefruit Juice

•Oxytocin is never administered through the primary IV

•Lithium patients must consume extra sodium to prevent toxicity

•MAOI Patients should avoid tyramine:

oAacados, bananas, beef/chicken liver, caffeine, red wine, beer, cheese (except cottage cheese), raisins, sausages, pepperoni, yogurt, sour cream.

•Don’t give atropine for glaucoma – it increases IOP

•Don’t give ant-acids with food -- b/c it delays gastric emptying.

•Don’t give Stadol to Methadone/Heroin Preggo’s -- cause instant withdrawal symptoms

•Insulin – clear before cloudy

•Don’t give meperidine (Demerol) to pancreatitis patients

•Always verify bowel sounds when giving Kayexelate

•Hypercalcemia = hypophosphatemia (and vice versa)

•Radioactive Dye – urine excretion

•Signs of toxic ammonia levels is asterixis (hands flapping)

•D10W can be substituted for TPN (temporary use)

•Dopamine and Lasix are incompatible

•Hypoglycemic shivers can be stopped by holding the limb, seizures cannot (infants)

•Common symptom of aluminum hydroxide – constipation

•Thiazide diuretics may induce hyperglycemia

•Take iron with Vit C – it enhances absorbtion – Do not take with milk

•B1 - For Alcoholic Patients (to prevent Wernicke’s encephalopathy & Korsakoff’s synd)

•B6 - For TB Patients

•B9 - For Pregnant Patients

•B12 - Pernicious anemia, Vegetarians.

•Complications of Coumadin - 3H’s - Hemorrhage, hematuria & hepatitis

•FFP is administered to DIC b/c of the clotting Fx

•Mannitol (osmtic diuretic [Head injury]) crystallizes at room temp – use a filter needle

•Antianxiety medication is pharmacologically similar to alcohol –used for weaning Tx

•Administrate Glucagon when pt is hypoglycemia and unresponsive

•Phenazopyridine ( Pyridium)--Urine will appear orange

•Rifampicin -- Red-urine, tears, sweat)

•Hot and Dry = sugar high (hyperglycemia)

•Cold and clammy = need some candy (hypoglycemia)

•Med of choice for V-tach is lidocaine

•Med of choice for SVT = adenosine or adenocard

•Med of choice for Asystole = atropine

•Med of choice for CHF is Ace inhibitor.

•Med of choice for anaphylactic shock is Epinephrine

•Med of choice for Status Epilepticus is Valium.

•Med of choice for bipolar is lithium.

•Give ACE inhibitors w/food to prevent stomach upset

•Administer diuretics in the morning

•Give Lipitor at 1700 since the enzymes work best during the evenin

•Common Tricyclic Meds - 3 syllabes (pamelor, elavil)

•Common MAOI’s - 2 syllables (nardil, marplan)

•TPN has a dedicated line & cannot be mixed ahead of time

•RHoGAM -- Given at 28 weeks & 72 hrs postpartum

•Do not administer erythromycin to Multiple Sclerosis pt

•Benadryl and Xanax taken together will cause additive effects.

•Can't take Lasix if allergic to Sulfa drugs.

•Acetaminophen can be used for headache when the client is using nitroglycerin.

•Dilantin - can not give with dextrose. Only give with NS.

Addison is skinny ( hypoglycemic, you get weight loss, you got weakness, and you get postural hypotn) Cushing is fat ( hyperglycemic, you get moon face big cheeks, and you retain a lot of Na and fluid)

•Never Give via IVP:










oRapid: lispro – onset

oShort: Regular – onset ½ - 1 hr. Peak: 2-3hr. Duration: 4-6 hr

oInt: NPH or Lente – onset: 2 hr. Peak 6-12 hr. Duration: 16-24hr

oLong: Ultralente – onset 4-6 hr. Peak: 12-16 hr. Duration: >24hr

oV.Long: Lantus – onset 1 hr. Peak: None. Duration: 24 hr continuous

•Anticholergic Side Effects:

oCan’t See

oCan’t Pee

oCan’t Spit

oCan’t Sh*t

•Hypocalcemia – CATS




oSpasms & Stridor

•Hyper Kalemia Causes: ‘MACHINE’

oMedicationa (ace inhibitors, NSAIDS)

oAcidosis (metabolic & repiratory)

oCellular destruction (burns, traumatic injuy)

oHypoaldosteronism, Hemolysis

oNephrons, renal failure

oExcretion (impaired)

•Signs of increased K ‘ Murder’

oMuscle weaknes

oUrine – olyguria, anuria

oRespiratory distress

oDecreaed cardiac contractility

oECG Changes

oReflexes – hyperreflexia, or flaccid

•Substance Poisoning and Antidotes

oMethanol -- Ethanol

oCO2 -- Oxygen

oDopamine -- Phentolamine

oBenzo’s (Versed) -- Flumazenil

oLead -- Succimer, Calcium Disodium

oIron -- Deferoxamine

oCoumadin -- Vitamin K

oHeparin -- Protamine Sulfate

oThorazine -- Cogentine

oWild Mushrooms - Atropine

oRat Poison - Vit K

•Parkland Formula: 4cc * Kg * BSA Burned = Total Volume Necessary

o1st 8hrs – ½ total volume

o2nd 8hrs – ¼ total volume

o3rd 8 hrs – ¼ total volumes

from the OP of this link

Goodluck everyone!


55 Posts

thank you very much !!! this will help me tons. ive seen people memorize certain drug endings like this as well: beta blockers make you laugh -olol. tennis players get ace in april -prils *went something like that* anyone know any others?


1,871 Posts

To be honest I had MAYBE 2-3 pharm questions so don't stress yourself out over it.