My Pharmacology 1 experience

It’s that time again. I had pharma 1 written today.

50 questions, all single choice, true/false, multiple choice, relationship analysis and other shit. The questions are on a powerpoint presentation which is limited to 1 minute per question, and an additional 45 seconds for each question after cycling through all questions once. There is enough time for each question, don’t worry, however it gets very annoying quickly because you always have to wait for the next question.

The written exam starts at 14:00, which they tell you by e-mail the day before the exam. The oral starts at 8:00. We got the result 16:45. I got a 4, if you were wondering.

Now, for the part you came here for:

What should I know for the written exam?

The most important drug classes by far are the cholinergics (topic 14 and 15) and the adrenergics (topic 18 and 19). We got questions about the other drug topics too, so you should definitely shouldn’t skip them.

You should know which receptor subtype acts on what, especially for muscarinic and adrenergic receptors – i.e. which muscarinic controls salivation, which adrenergic activates vasoconstriction, which activates vasodilation, and so on.

You should know the two different mechanisms of treating hypertension – either with drugs that block vasoconstriction via α1 or by blocking positive heart effects via β1.

In my opinion should you spend most of your time understanding what the function of each receptor is – that way is it much easier to imagine what its therapeutic potential is and what possible side-effects could be. Oh, M3 activation causes salivation? M3 blockers must cause dry mouth then, and M3 agonists can treat dry mouth. Oh, α1 activation causes urinary sphincter constriction? Better not use α1-agonists in people who already have problems urinating. That’s how you should learn and think.

You should know which drugs act on which receptor and which subtypes, of course.

We got one question where the duration of action was important – it was a comparison between two beta blockers. I never bothered to learn the duration of action of drugs. I don’t think you’ll get more than a couple of questions about it, max.

You should make flashcards where the front is a disease or condition and the back are the drugs that can treat that condition. We have already made such flashcards and you can find them in the menu if you want to use ours.

They do ask questions from the seminar, so don’t skip it. At least read and know the summaries I made for some of the seminar topics. For the topics I didn’t make summaries – make your own. For us were the most important seminar topics 5, 6 and 13, and I do think those are always the most important, but you should read the others too. They don’t ask very difficult questions about it – if you’ve read through it should you be able to answer just fine. Memorize the formulas for loading dose and maintenance dose.

You should know which drugs can induce myosis and which can induce mydriasis, with and without cycloplegia.

Do the sample test! It’s on neptun with the answer key, and the questions we got were similar, some even almost identical.

Cool

That’s all I have to say about that I guess. I’m almost done – just internal med left on tuesday. I probably won’t write about that experience, unless you really want me to.

Good luck on your exams! Don’t bother asking me for past papers because I don’t have any.

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