Methotrexate Pharmacology | All the Facts in One Place!

March 30th, 2018

Pharmacology of Methotrexate Methotrexate is a medicine used to treat a wide variety of indications. First introduced as an anticancer agent in the 1940s, it quickly went on to become a staple drug in the treatment of autoimmune disorders such as psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis. However, methotrexate use is not without risk. It comes with […]

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Fluoroquinolones Pharmacology | All the Facts in One Place!

March 29th, 2018

Pharmacology of Fluoroquinolones Quinolones have been around since the 1960s – with the introduction of nalidixic acid to treat urinary tract infections. Quinolones in modern use are fluoroquinolones – examples of which include ciprofloxacin and moxifloxacin. Fluoroquinolones are broad-spectrum antibacterial agents – used to treat a variety of Gram-positive and Gram-negative infections. However, they are […]

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Aminoglycosides Pharmacology | All the Facts in One Place!

March 29th, 2018

Pharmacology of Aminoglycosides Aminoglycosides are among the most widely used antibacterial drugs. They have, through the introduction of Streptomycin, been around since the 1940s. Though bacterial resistance continues to increase, they remain an important antibacterial class. Aminoglycosides are used to treat a wide variety of bacterial infections – most effective against aerobic, Gram-negative infections (including […]

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Macrolides Pharmacology | All the Facts in One Place!

March 28th, 2018

Pharmacology of Macrolides Macrolides are among the most widely prescribed antibacterial drug classes; an effective drug class with activity against a broad range of organisms. Macrolide antibacterial drugs have been around since the 1950s and have, since that time, proved enormously successful at treating bacterial infections. Examples of popularly prescribed macrolides include: Erythromycin Clarithromycin Azithromycin […]

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Tetracyclines Pharmacology | All the Facts in One Place!

March 27th, 2018

Pharmacology of Tetracyclines Tetracyclines are among the most widely prescribed antibacterial agents. They are used to treat a wide variety of infections – both minor and serious. Tetracyclines have been around since the 1940s. However, their efficacy has gone into decline, not least due to the ever-present threat of resistance. Nonetheless, they remain a commonly […]

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Diabetes Pharmacology | All the Facts in One Place!

March 24th, 2018

Pharmacology of Diabetes Diabetes affects more than 30 million people throughout the United States. Millions more are thought to have the condition but are currently undiagnosed. With an obesity epidemic growing at an alarming rate, these statistics are expected to rise precipitously in the coming years. Diabetes management is about more than medicines, though. Lifestyle […]

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Bisphosphonates Pharmacology | All the Facts in One Place!

March 23rd, 2018

Pharmacology of Bisphosphonates Bisphosphonates are medicines used in the treatment of bone disorders. For example – they can be used to treat osteoporosis, Paget’s disease of bone and hypercalcemia caused by the presence or otherwise of malignancy. Bisphosphonates remain an important medicinal class; a drug class first developed, at least in their modern form, throughout […]

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Opioids Pharmacology | All the Facts in One Place!

March 22nd, 2018

Pharmacology of Opioids Opioids are an important class of medicines. They are predominantly used in the treatment of pain – mild, moderate and severe – depending on which opioid is prescribed and for what indication. We are going to examine opioids pharmacology according to the following classification: Weak opioids – Codeine, dihydrocodeine, tramadol (moderate pain) […]

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Corticosteroids Pharmacology | All the Facts in One Place!

March 21st, 2018

Pharmacology of Corticosteroids Corticosteroids are an important class of medicines. They are used to treat a wide variety of disorders – including allergic, inflammatory and malignant disorders – and so remain a vital and relevant drug class in the clinical setting. There are two classes of corticosteroid – glucocorticoid and mineralocorticoid. Glucocorticoids are responsible for […]

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NSAIDs Pharmacology | All the Facts in One Place!

March 20th, 2018

Pharmacology of NSAIDs NSAIDs are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs – medicines predominantly used in the treatment of pain, fever and inflammation. Though NSAIDs are effective at treating these specified indications, they are also linked to a wide array of serious side effects and manifold drug interactions – many of which we explore below. First though, let’s […]

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The Art of an Effective Medication Review

March 19th, 2018

Medication Review There is an art to an effective medication review. I’ve worked extensively in both long-term care and primary care – wading through the daily challenge of identifying and, more importantly, solving medication-related problems. Here’s a sample problem that I was recently asked: Case Study – Weight Gain I have a patient concerned about […]

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H2 Antagonists Pharmacology | All the Facts in One Place!

March 19th, 2018

Pharmacology of H2 Receptor Antagonists H2 receptor antagonists are among the most widely prescribed gastrointestinal drug classes; medicines used to treat symptoms and conditions caused by excessive gastric acid production. H2 antagonists used to be first-line agents in the treatment of gastric acid conditions, until they were superseded by the more effective proton-pump inhibitors. The […]

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Thiazide Diuretics Pharmacology | All the Facts in One Place!

March 18th, 2018

Pharmacology of Thiazide Diuretics Diuretics are medicines that promote diuresis, or water loss. By promoting water loss, diuretics help to reduce hypertension, and, by extension, the risk of serious cardiovascular events associated with that state. Thiazides (and thiazide-like) are just one class of diuretics. There are other – such as loop diuretics – which act […]

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SSRIs Pharmacology | All the Facts in One Place!

March 18th, 2018

Pharmacology of SSRIs SSRIs are one of the most widely prescribed classes of medicines. Between 1999 and 2014, antidepressant use throughout the United States soared by 65 percent. Of course, SSRIs are just one antidepressant class among many. However, they remain a popular and important class. SSRIs have been around since 1987 and have, since […]

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Loop Diuretics Pharmacology | All the Facts in One Place!

March 17th, 2018

Pharmacology of Loop Diuretics Diuretics are drugs that promote diuresis; a process that leads to increased production of urine. The purpose of every diuretic is to promote water loss. Of course, there are many types of diuretic – including thiazide diuretics. Here though, we focus on loop diuretics. Loop diuretics achieve their diuretic effect by […]

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Cephalosporins Pharmacology | All the Facts in One Place!

March 16th, 2018

Pharmacology of Cephalosporins Cephalosporins are one of the most popular antibacterial drug classes. They are also among the most feared – not least due to their many members, generations and indications. Cephalosporins have a long history. They’ve been around since 1945, first isolated from the fungus Cephalosporium acremonium – a fungus found in the sewers […]

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Trimethoprim Pharmacology | All the Facts in One Place!

March 15th, 2018

Pharmacology of trimethoprim For over half a century, trimethoprim has been used as an antibacterial treatment for urinary tract infections (UTIs). Today, indications for trimethoprim have extended – a drug now also used to treat conditions such as pneumocystis pneumonia. Trimethoprim has a notable side effect and drug interaction profile; a drug that warrants a […]

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Statins Pharmacology | All the Facts in One Place!

March 14th, 2018

Pharmacology of Statins Statins are among the most widely used medicines in cardiovascular pharmacology. Also known as HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, statins have been around since 1987. Then, it was lovastatin that was first marketed but many more have since been developed. Lovastatin is a naturally occurring statin found in small quantities in foods such as […]

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Albendazole Pharmacology | All the Facts in One Place!

March 13th, 2018

Pharmacology of Albendazole Albendazole belongs to the antihelminthic class of drugs – the word “helminth” coming from the Greek to mean “parasitic worms”, precisely what they are. Albendazole is an effective medicinal measure to combat the spread of parasitic worms. The drug was first developed in 1975 and has since become a staple means to […]

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Beta Blocker Mnemonics | Memory Tools You Need to Know!

March 13th, 2018

Introduction Beta blockers are one of the most widely prescribed group of medicines. Beta blockers can be a challenge for the student. There are many beta blockers, each of which is used for their own set of indications. Some are used for hypertension but not heart failure, others for atrial fibrillation but not hypertension. The […]

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Benzodiazepine Mnemonics | Memory Tools You Need to Know!

March 12th, 2018

Introduction Benzodiazepines are an important class of medicines. They have been around for a very long time, as far back as the mid-1950s. Back then it was Leo Sternbach – a Polish chemist – who was researching tranquilisers when, almost accidentally, he came across what would become known as chlordiazepoxide; the first benzodiazepine. Benzodiazepines have […]

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ACE Inhibitors Pharmacology | All the Facts in One Place!

March 11th, 2018

Introduction to ACE inhibitors ACE inhibitors are among the most widely prescribed cardiovascular medicines. Examples of ACE inhibitors include (noted for their -pril suffix): Ramipril Lisinopril Perindopril ACE inhibitors are used in the treatment of the following conditions: Hypertension – ACE inhibitors reduce the risk of serious cardiovascular events, such as heart attack and stroke. […]

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CYP3A4 Enzyme | Everything You Need to Know!

March 10th, 2018

What is the CYP3A4 enzyme? During your study of medicines, you will inevitably come across CYP3A4. CYP3A4 is one of the most important enzymes in medicine; an enzyme responsible for the metabolism of more than 50 percent of all medicines. That’s no exaggeration. CYP3A4 is an enzyme that comes with an enormously powerful biological and […]

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22 Common Antidotes that Every Student Should Know!

March 8th, 2018

What are antidotes? Antidotes are substances used to reverse the effects of poisoning. The word “antidote” comes from the Greek work antidoton to mean “administered as a remedy”. No matter what field of medicine you study – pharmacy, nursing or medicine – you are expected to have a rounded knowledge of what antidotes work for […]

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What is HbA1c? Your Essential Student Guide!

March 8th, 2018

What is HbA1c? Not heard of HbA1c? You should have! Approximately 30 million people in the United States have type 2 diabetes. HbA1c is a means through which blood glucose levels can be measured. It is an indicator of what blood sugar levels have been like over the previous 8 to 12 weeks. Why 8 […]

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How to Answer Pharmacy Case Studies

March 7th, 2018

Whether you’re a student of pharmacy, medicine or nursing – you cannot underestimate the value of case studies. Case studies bring together the essential strands of your professional study. They are the means through which you analyse a patient, their condition, the medicines they are taking and the impact that additional medicines have on their […]

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Erythromycin Pharmacology | All the Facts in One Place!

March 6th, 2018

Pharmacology of Erythromycin Erythromycin is one of the most widely prescribed antibacterial drugs. It terms of its pharmacology – it belongs to the macrolide family; a family whose members also include azithromycin, clarithromycin, fidaxomicin and telithromycin. As a macrolide, erythromycin works as a protein synthesis inhibitor. More specifically, the drug binds to the 50S element […]

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How to Study Pharmacology | Your Complete Student Guide

March 4th, 2018

Introduction Pharmacology – yes, it’s that time. Students of pharmacy, nursing and medicine know exactly what I mean. Pharmacology is the demon subject; the medicinal grim reaper who slashes your grades when you thought you’d safely “made it” across the line. Just when you thought you’d cracked the subject, your confidence is knocked aback by […]

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How to Pass Your Pharmacology Exam First-Time Around!

February 17th, 2018

Introduction Pharmacology can be confusing, particularly when you first encounter the subject. With a seemingly never-ending stream of drug names, side effects, drug interactions and mechanisms of action – where does it end? It can be difficult to find method in this maelstrom of medicinal madness, but it is possible. There are effective strategies you […]

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Medicine Prefixes and Suffixes

February 15th, 2018

When you first begin to study drugs, one thing hits you very, very quickly – namely, the sheer volume of drug names and categories that need to be committed to memory. In an earlier post, we reviewed some great techniques to memorize drug side effects. There, we learned how to categorize and compartmentalize our study […]

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Do you know these 15 pharmacology facts?

February 14th, 2018

Preparing for a pharmacology exam, or even a clinical test – such as the NAPLEX exam? Knowing the essential, fundamental facts about pharmacy and clinical pharmacology are an absolute must. That’s why we continue to churn out the essential knowledge about medicines that you need to know. Below, we review 15 more facts about pharmacology […]

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Proton-Pump Inhibitors Pharmacology | All the Facts in One Place!

February 10th, 2018

Pharmacology of Proton-Pump Inhibitors Proton-pump inhibitors are one of the most widely prescribed gastrointestinal drug classes. They are used in the treatment of conditions caused by an excess in gastric acid production. For example – proton-pump inhibitors are used in the treatment of peptic ulcer disease, NSAID-associated ulcers, GERD and the eradication of H. pylori […]

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17 Essential Facts about Medicines Every Student Should Know

December 15th, 2017

Following on from our enormously popular ‘101 pharmacology facts that every pharmacy student should know’, we’ve built upon those facts with 17 more comprehensive pharmacology facts that you need to know. Some are general, some are specific – though all are important in equal measure. Before you prepare for that NAPLEX test or clinical pharmacology […]

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Aspirin Pharmacology | All the Facts in One Place!

December 3rd, 2017

Pharmacology of Aspirin Also known as acetylsalicylic acid, aspirin has – in its various forms – been used for well over 2,500 years. It was only as recently as 1897, though, that a German company – Bayer – modified the original precursor of aspirin into a less harmful, more therapeutic alternative. It remains one of […]

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Everything You Need to Know About Heparin!

November 30th, 2017

Overview In today’s pharmacy blog, we examine and review the clinical pharmacology of heparin; an anticoagulant medicine that plays an important role in the treatment of venous thromboembolism (VTE) and arterial thromboembolism. Alongside heparin (and LMWHs), we review the role of a related medicine, fondaparinux – a chemical cousin of LMWHs. Depending on the clinical […]

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Your Essential Guide to Metformin

November 26th, 2017

Metformin is the first-line agent in the treatment of type 2 diabetes. It may be used alone or in combination with other medicines, such as sulfonylureas or insulin. How does Metformin work? Metformin (Glucophage) is a member of the biguanide class of antidiabetic drugs. It lowers blood glucose levels by enhancing the sensitivity of insulin. […]

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Your Guide to Pregabalin and Gabapentin

November 25th, 2017

Introduction Gabapentin and pregabalin are medicines used in the treatment of epilepsy and neuropathic pain. Gabapentin is also used to treat hot flashes and restless legs syndrome and pregabalin has been used to treat fibromyalgia and generalized anxiety disorder. Both are commonly prescribed, both are effective and, for those reasons, both drugs play an important […]

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5 Facts about Corticosteroids You Need to Know

November 23rd, 2017

Overview Corticosteroids are a widely used class of medicines; steroids that can be used to treat an assortment of cancers, inflammatory states, allergic states and autoimmune disorders. Examples of corticosteroids include prednisolone, hydrocortisone and dexamethasone. Corticosteroids work by binding to cytosolic glucocorticoid receptors; binding that helps influence gene expression (downregulating pro-inflammatory cytokines, for example). Below, […]

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How to Memorize Drug Side Effects

November 22nd, 2017

For pharmacy students, one of the most frequently asked questions about their course of study is this – how on Earth can we remember individual side effects and drug interactions of each medicine? To memorize drug side effects, though, you don’t need to remember “individual” side effects and drug interactions. There are some great ways […]

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Pharmacology Online | Your Complete Student Resource

November 9th, 2017

Studying pharmacology online is nothing new. Very few resources, though, are targeted toward the everyday facts that students of pharmacy, medicine, nursing and pharmacology are expected to know; the essential, fundamental facts that often become lost within the maelstrom of heavy, textbook detail. That’s where PharmaFactz comes in. Our resources are tailored toward the everyday […]

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21 Bizarre Drug Name Origins

November 7th, 2017

As a pharmacy student, it can be difficult to recall medicine names at the best of times. The wide variety of drugs, each married to their own galaxy of brand names, makes learning medicines a robust and challenging task. You can, though, learn an awful lot about a medicine based on its name alone. Montelukast, […]

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Free NAPLEX Sample Questions for Pharmacy Students

September 30th, 2017

The NAPLEX exam measures how competent you, as a pharmacy student, are to practice as a pharmacist. The exam is both thorough and challenging. It demands that you have a solid, all-round understanding of pharmacology, clinical pharmacy and professional practice. Below, our free NAPLEX sample questions give you some idea as to what information and […]

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13 Anticonvulsant Drug Facts that Every Pharmacy Student Should Know

September 25th, 2017

Anticonvulsants are drugs used to treat epileptic seizures. Sometimes these pharmacological agents are referred to as antiepileptic drugs or anti-seizure drugs. Whichever nomenclature we decide to use, one thing is certain – that this drug class has an immensely important therapeutic role. Some drugs, though defined as anticonvulsant drugs, are also used to treat other […]

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25 Facts about Anticancer Drugs that Every Pharmacy Student Should Know

September 16th, 2017

Following on from our hugely popular 101 Pharmacology Facts that Every Pharmacy Student Should Know, we’ve come back with a more niche, but no less important, alternative – facts about anticancer drugs. That’s because the topic of anticancer drugs is quite a complex one. There are innumerable drug classes, regimens, mechanisms, adverse effects and drug […]

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Why Patients Take Medicines Four Times Daily

January 4th, 2017

Patients often ask the question – why do I have to take this medicine once daily and that medicine four times daily? They might even wonder what four times daily really means – does it refer to waking hours or does it refer to the entire 24-hour clock? First and foremost, let’s consider half-life. The […]

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101 Pharmacology Facts that Every Pharmacy Student Should Know

December 16th, 2016

Whilst it’s impossible to summarize every pharmacology fact, this list goes some way toward that goal. We’ve compiled 101 facts that every pharmacy student should know – pharmacology facts that touch indications, mechanisms of action, side effects, drug interactions and other clinical factors; a great addition to NAPLEX revision, NCLEX revision or your next general […]

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Bacteriostatic Antibiotics – What are they!?

December 9th, 2016

What are bacteriostatic antibiotics? Antibiotics (also referred to as ‘antibacterial drugs’) are drugs used in the treatment of bacterial infections. However, not all antibiotics work in the same way. In fact, their mechanisms and mode of action can differ quite significantly. One of the ways we can categorise antibacterial drugs is by assessing whether they […]

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Iron Interactions with Drugs

December 8th, 2016

What is iron? Most people receive enough iron through their diet; an essential mineral for red blood cells. In fact, almost three-quarters of the body’s iron can be found inside red blood cells; their role involving, in part, the transport of oxygen and carbon dioxide around the body. Food sources high in iron include red […]

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Food-Drug Interactions that Every Pharmacist Should Know

February 1st, 2016

What patients eat or drink can have enormous consequences on how a drug works. Some drugs are best taken on an empty stomach, whereas many more are advised to be taken with food – or even with a great deal of liquid. Some medicines even react with seemingly innocuous substances like coffee or milk. Medical […]

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WHO List of Essential Medicines

January 12th, 2016

The World Health Organisation (WHO) is an arm of the United Nations which came into being in April, 1948 – itself currently headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. It plays an important role in stemming the spread of communicable diseases – such as HIV and malaria – and non-communicable health matters – such as sexual health and […]

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