Each week we compile all the latest pharmacology facts released on our social media platforms. This is great pharmacology for students, as these facts are bite-sized, random, and often important facts that all students of medicine should commit to memory.
- Loperamide is used to treat diarrhea, acting at mu-opioid receptors. It doesn't cross the blood-brain barrier due to efflux by P-glycoprotein.
- Mydriatics - such as tropicamide and phenylephrine - are used to induce dilation of the pupil, an effect that also causes photophobia.
- Antitussives (cough suppressants) are drugs that suppress the act of coughing - examples include codeine, pholcodine, and dextromethorphan.
- Direct Factor Xa inhibitors - like rivaroxaban, apixaban, and edoxaban - are easily identified: rivaro'Xa''ban' - ban (inhibit) factor Xa.
- Antiarrhythmic classes: Class I - Sodium channels, Class II - Beta blockers, Class III - K+ efflux, Class IV - Calcium channel blockers
- A tocolytic drug is one that suppresses premature labor, examples of which include terbutaline and nifedipine.
- Betamethasone may be used to stimulate fetal lung maturation. It also decreases the risk of intracranial hemorrhage in premature infants.
- H2 antagonists, such as cimetidine and ranitidine, block the effects of histamine at parietal cells, decreasing stomach acid production.
- Proton pump inhibitors, such as omeprazole and lansoprazole, block the H+/K+ ATPase ('the proton pump') of gastric parietal cells.
- Simethicone is an anti-foaming agent used to reduce bloating - it decreases the surface tension of gas bubbles.
- Loop diuretics, such as furosemide and bumetanide, are used to treat hypertension and edema; acting at the thick ascending limb of the loop.
- Bisphosphonates, such as alendronate and risedronate, are used to treat osteoporosis and other bone disorders - inhibiting bone resorption.
- Calcineurin inhibitors (immunosuppressants) include ciclosporin and tacrolimus. Calcineurin activates T cells by upregulating IL-2.
- Carbapenems are beta lactam antibiotics, commonly used to treat multi-drug resistant infections. Examples include imipenem and meropenem.
- Guaifenesin is an expectorant used to bring up phlegm from the airways. It is found in many OTC products. It was FDA approved at early as 1952.
- Pseudoephedrine is a sympathomimetic (acts at alpha-adrenergic receptors) used as a decongestant. It also has stimulant properties.
- Acrivastine is a 2nd-generation H1 antagonist used to treat allergies and hay fever. It is an example of a non-sedating antihistamine.
- Pregabalin is a drug used to treat epilepsy, neuropathic pain, and fibromyalgia. It is a potent ligand of the α2δ subunit of the CNS.
- Quinolones (eg. ciprofloxacin) are a class of broad-spectrum antibiotics - they target topoisomerase enzymes leading to DNA fragmentation.
- Trastuzumab (Herceptin) is a monoclonal antibody used to treat breast cancer. It targets the HER2/neu receptor. It is administered intravenously.
Mnemonics and mindmaps are also another great way to commit pharmacology to memory. But if you’d like to learn more about specific drug classes, check out these more detailed articles for more information.
Check out last week's pharmacology facts here!