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SOME TECHNIQUES TO REMEMBER THE NAMES OF MEDICINES

About the Author: Hafiza Hadia Tahir is one of the most talented students of Hajvery University, Lahore, Pakistan. She is studying in Pharm. D.

Introduction:

What an interesting topic to discuss. But not so easy to do so in reality. It is sometimes easy to

remember drugs’ name and sometimes it seems difficult.

[sociallocker]I just recite “ سِِْ اللَّه

makes my job much easier. Obviously, because any good things when started in the name

of ALLAH Almighty, seeking His help never goes harder or in vain.

Let us have a brief look at the meanings of this verse, which is very light to say and requires a

few seconds but is very effective.

سمح ِ ِ”, when I start learning and this is a fact that it

 

ر ل

ا َِّح اللَّه

ِ

له

ِ

 

ِ

ِ

The word “ ِ” according to Arabic dictionary means to seek, help, support, and guidance. So, the

whole verse connotes that I seek help or humbly ask for effective help and strongest support

from my Almighty ALLAH for this good purpose of mine and ALLAH, no doubt, is the most

Beneficent and Merciful.

ِ

And I believe that when I will ask for help He will definitely help me and will shower His Mercy

on me because He says, in-fact He promises, “ سُع للَّ ح َرَْح ر ِ ِْلَُع ح ه” (Quran Majeed, Sura # 40, Aya #

60), “Ask Me and I will answer you” (meaning I will give you what you are asking for.)

ح

ر

ِ

In addition to this some other ways may be adopted to manage in memorizing the drug

names;

“Antibacterials” or “CNS drugs” etc. then go to its subgroup…For example under Antibacterials

This article is published by Hafiza Hadia Tahir. Community Pharmacist AID-CPA For more info contact us on cpapharmacist@gmail.com

1 st Technique: Firstly

start

with

memorizing

of

the

classification

of

drugs

such

as

“Aminoglycosides”, “Penicillins” are included …Under Penicillins, “Penicillin G”, “Penicillin V” are included.

2 nd Technique: Each day memorize only that much which you can reproduce the next day.

Slowly and steadily you will start remembering them.

3 rd Technique: We can make an audio tape as a remainder and played it on loop while we sleep.

After a couple of hours the information seemed familiar when we woke up.

4 th Technique: Use of flash cards, markers or highlighters may help.

Colorize each medication with a different color marker or highlighter or write different classification on different colored flash card.

Symbol cues may also help, so draw a symbol next to drug names.

Markers, colors, highlighters are important because we are visually oriented more than we are by written language.

5 th Technique: Drugs names belongs to a class can be memorize through “Alphabets” e.g. a

class of Beta-blocker contain alphabet hints as: A, C, E, L, M, N [MAN, CEL]

Atenolol

Carvedilol

Esmolol

Labetolol

Metoprolol

Nadolol

6

th Technique: We can also apply mnemonics. The vastness of drugs cannot be handled by our

mind. So we need to compress it or zip it just as a computer would do to files! We make mnemonics, a certain story or figure came in our mind that would help us to recall the drugs. Let’s say for Beta-blockers from antihypertensives, they have almost same ending “-olols” such as metoprolol, propranolol etc.

It may be a helpful way to memorize the drugs but there is a problem with some classes that is some classes may have an outlier which does not sound like other drugs belonging to same class. For example, an outlier would be diltiazim, a Ca-channel blocker (CCB) which doesn’t sound

This article is published by Hafiza Hadia Tahir. Community Pharmacist AID-CPA For more info contact us on cpapharmacist@gmail.com

like nifedipine, felodipine and verapamil, as CCBs usually end in “ine or il”. So, you have to know this one on its own.

Other example is Ethacrynic acid which is a loop diuretic and it does not sound like furosemide, bumetanide and torsemide.

As far as confusing classes of drugs such as “Anti-arrhythmics”, you just make a chart and learn which drugs belong in which subgroup but again…if you make the chart, there is usually some consistency and you just have to learn outliers.

A chart can help you to remember drugs names through their end bits…

A Chart

   

Isoflurane

-ane

Inhalation gases

Desflurane

   

Clonazepam

-azepam

Benzodiazepine

Flurazepam

   

Chlorpromazine

-azine

Phenothiazine

Triflupromazine

   

Imidazole

-azol

Antifungal

Thiazole

   

Phenobarbital

-barbital

Barbiturates

Allobarbital

This article is published by Hafiza Hadia Tahir. Community Pharmacist AID-CPA For more info contact us on cpapharmacist@gmail.com

   

Cocaine

-caine

Local anesthetic

Lognocaine

 

Antibiotics

(Protease

Amoxicillin

-cillin

synthesis inhibitors)

Ampicillin

   

Paroxetine

-etine

SSRIs

Fluoxetine

   

Imipramine

-ipramine

TCAs

Desipramine

   

Saquinavir

-navir

Protease inhibitor

Ritonavir

   

Propranolol

-olol

Beta-blocker

Carvedilol

   

Digoxin

-oxin

Cardiac glycosides

Digitoxin

   

Theophylline

-phyline

Methyl xanthine

Aminophylline

   

Enalapril

-pril

ACE inhibitor

Captopril

-terol

Beta2 agonist

Salmeterol

This article is published by Hafiza Hadia Tahir. Community Pharmacist AID-CPA For more info contact us on cpapharmacist@gmail.com

   

Albuterol

   

Nizatidine

-tidine

H2 antagonist

Cimetidine

   

Sumatriptan

-triptan

5HT agonist/migraine

Lomitriptan

   

Adrenocorticotropin

-tropin

Pituitary hormone

Somatriptan

   

Alprazolam

-zolam

Benzodiazepine

Ketazolam

   

Prazosin

-zosin

A1 antagonist

Terazosin

   

Acyclovir

-vir

Antiviral

Famciclovir

   

Thiazide

-zide

Diuretic

Hydrochlorthiazide

   

Prednisolone

-sone

Steroids

Prednisone

   

Codone (Codeine)

-done

Opioid analgesic

Hydrocodone

This article is published by Hafiza Hadia Tahir. Community Pharmacist AID-CPA For more info contact us on cpapharmacist@gmail.com

   

Glimipride

-ide

Oral hypoglycemics

Glipizide

   

Cimetidine

-dine

Anti-ulcer

Nizatidine

   

Escitalopram

-am

Antianxiety

Citalopram

Conclusion:

The best way to learn drug names….well that depends on how you learn. Find out which way helps you learn best and stick to it. Once you will find something that works for sure, you will know how to learn it well.

Just be creative and give sometime making mnemonics or chart and I want to say repetition is the key to success in memorizing the drug names if you make a habit of it surely you will be mastering it.

I don’t know about your expectations from this article but above mentioned ways will surely help you to learn a vast number of drugs in a short period of time.

Good luck!

This article is published by Hafiza Hadia Tahir. Community Pharmacist AID-CPA For more info contact us on cpapharmacist@gmail.com