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Aids for learning drugs


1. A spreadsheet allowing you to group the drugs in logical units

I found it a lot easier to learn the drugs as groups, rather than rote learn one drug at a time. In order not to have to learn a random collection of facts for each drug, I tried to categorise all available information in table format. It’s perhaps not the most graphically appealing, but I found it provided a good overview and starting point. You are welcome to download the spreadsheet and make any changes or add to it as you wish.

CLICK TO EXPAND: The Drug Spreadsheet

 Here is a movie to explain how to use the spreadsheet:

(for best quality, click on the YouTube button in the bottom right corner to open the movie in a new window, then click on the cogwheel icon and set the resolution to 720p, then view as full screen video.)

Here is the spreadsheet itself. Please click to download:

Pharmacology_Drug_Tables (681)


2. A drug learning program to help you test yourself on your Mac, iPhone or iPad.

It can get pretty boring to have to commit such a large amount of information to memory. Many people remember things better when another person asks them questions, but that’s very time consuming. This section shows you a computer program which can grill you about 2nd year pharmacology drugs whenever and wherever you want, without having to rely on your friends… 😉

CLICK TO EXPAND: A Program to Help You Learn the Drugs

In order to learn the pharmacology drugs by heart, I used a free vocabulary trainer called ProVoc (download available here). Usually, you use this program to enter words in two different languages and then have the computer test your knowledge in various ways.

In our case, the program can be adapted to contain the drug name and a definition of the drug target and working mechanism. I used the spreadsheet above to export this information and created a ProVoc file of all the pharmacology drugs, plus some more information on other pharmacology facts. You can download my Pharmacology ProVoc file here: ProVoc Vocabulary List of Pharmacology Drugs (379) (you've got to unzip the file)

Here is a movie on how it all works:

ProVoc can also be used on your iPhone or iPad using various Apps. I have worked with iVocabulary by Christian Beer, available here for both iPhone and iPad, either for free as a lighter version, or for sale as the full version. I paid for the iPad version and have not regretted it.

And a final tip for using the Pharmacology ProVoc file on your iPad: if you can't manage to open the file with the App, try opening it from the web-based version of your e-mail client rather than from the Mail App itself.

Now you can start learning the drugs. Just a few minutes of practice every day and you should not have any problems come exam time. Good luck! :-)


3. Some overviews to learn groups of drugs: Inflammation, Antibiotics, Antiprotozoals

CLICK TO EXPAND: Drug Overviews

 Here are a few overviews of drugs that helped me to learn them by heart. Unfortunately only for a very limited number of drugs, but better than nothing.)

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