How to Approach Pharmacology in MBBS?
Pharmacology is the scientific study of how pharmaceuticals and chemicals impact living beings. A drug is any chemical molecule, natural or manmade, that has an effect on a biological system. It could include studying how organisms process medications, identifying and validating new drug targets, and designing and developing new drugs to prevent, treat, and cure disease.
Within the broad field of pharmacology, there are numerous sub-specialties- Pharmacodynamics is the study of medications’ impacts on biological systems, with a focus on the chemical characteristics, physiological, and behavioral consequences of drugs resulting from interactions with molecular targets like receptor proteins or enzyme systems. Pharmacokinetics, on the other hand, is the study of how biological systems interact with drugs. It includes studies of drug absorption, distribution, biotransformation, and excretion, which provide critical information for the design of drug treatment schedules in various patient populations and experimental animals, as well as the prediction of drug-drug interactions that may improve or compromise the efficacy and safety of therapeutic agents.
CBME-Based Pharmacology for UnderGrads
The curriculum in pharmacology has witnessed a change from dispensing pharmacy-based curriculum to an “applied” approach, where the emphasis is on how the student prescribes rationally, taking into view the various facets of the medicine and the patient. Traditional pharmacology education has been criticized for failing to prepare students for medical practise or to teach students how to use medications safely and rationally. The mention of these in the textbooks is perfunctory. The need for a change to a competency-based curriculum was thus felt worldwide, and hence, the new CBME Curriculum has emphasized the below-mentioned competencies for an undergraduate student.
- Be able to recognize common drug formulations, appreciate their benefits and drawbacks, and choose the best one for a specific illness.
- Be familiar with the national essential drugs list, the criteria used to create it, its benefits, and how to utilise it in practise.
- Select personal or P-drugs for common conditions and make a proper prescription for a specific patient.
- Be aware of the advantages and disadvantages of pharmaceutical promotion and be able to appropriately respond to them.
- Recognize commercial and non-commercial sources of drug information and use them to stay current and prescribe medications.
- Be aware of the dangers of misusing drugs in general, and antimicrobials in particular. Be able to analyze prescriptions using the WHO prescribing indicators and be able to use the same as a guide to their own prescribing behaviour.
- Communicate relevant drug and nondrug information about common diseases to patients in order to ensure drug therapy compliance.
- Be able to recognise, track, and report negative medication reactions.
- Understand the need of calculating medicine doses and determining accurate drug doses when necessary.
- Be able to advise patients on proper drug administration, including the use of specific equipment, as well as proper storage and disposal of medications.
Pharmacology for UnderGrads
Pharmacology for UnderGrads clarifies fundamental principles and keeps students up to date on the latest developments. It is one of the best online Pharmacology courses since the modules are aligned with the standard pharmacology textbook, making it easy for students to follow an organized approach.
The CBME curriculum has recently changed to emphasize the integration of all topics as well as the students’ clinical skills. The relevance of application-based learning has been emphasized in CBME, and the test questions are structured to measure students’ clinical knowledge. This course has well-integrated this unique way of studying the subject.
Pharmacology for UnderGrads was created under the guidance of Dr. Sandeep Kaushal and Dr. Nirmal George to make Pharmacology an exciting and entertaining trip without the need to memorize every drug and categorization. The faculty has discussed the art of studying pharmacology, including how to prepare for the theory, practical, and NEET/NEXT PG Exams.
The lectures are well-illustrated with pertinent visuals, flowcharts, tables, and boxes to help viewers grasp and recall information fast. The lectures’ animations assist students in connecting concepts to their daily lives. Each topic is supported by pharmacological notes and MCQs that serve as a revision aid. Additionally, each section is added with relevant questions with answer keys for self-assessment.
The Course Includes:
- Video Lectures: The course is enhanced by 70 hours of video lecture series.
- Lecture Notes: 77+ lecture notes assist students in speedy revision.
- Practicals: All of the necessary practicals have been covered to assist students in preparing for practicals and vivas.
- Self-Assessment Questions: 1500+ pharmacology MCQs with appropriate explanations are provided.
Table of Content – Pharmacology for UnderGrads
Routes of Drug Administration
Factors Modifying Drug Action
Autonomic Nervous System
Adrenergic System: Actions & Endogenous Agents
Adrenergic System: Adrenergic Agonists
Adrenergic System: Adrenergic Antagonists
Hormones & Related Drugs
Pharmacotherapy of Diabetes Mellitus: Introduction
Pharmacotherapy of Diabetes Mellitus: Antidiabetic drugs
Pharmacotherapy of Diabetes Mellitus: Insulin
Pharmacotherapy of Diabetes Mellitus: Ketoacidosis
Pharmacotherapy of Depression-1
Pharmacotherapy of Depression-2
Blood and blood formation
Pharmacotherapy of Peptic Ulcer
β-Lactam Antibiotics: Penicillin
Beta Lactam Antibiotics: Cephalosporins Carbapenems & Monobactam
Sulphonamides Antifolate Drugs
Tetracyclines and Chloramphenicol
Drug Development and Clinical Trials
General Pharmacological Principles
Drugs Acting on Autonomic nervous System
Autacoids and Related Drugs
Respiratory System Drugs
Hormones and Related Drugs
Drugs Acting on Peripheral (Somatic) nervous System
Drugs Acting on Central Nervous System
Drugs Acting on Kidney
Drugs Affecting Blood and Blood Formation
Chemotherapy of Neoplastic Diseases
Mistakes to avoid while studying Pharmacology
- Ignoring the taxonomy of significant drug families would be a big mistake.
- Undirected learning without a clear understanding of the purpose of reading a topic is a complete waste of time.
- Nausea and vomiting are surely the most common pharmacological side effects, however, it is highly necessary to focus on specific ones.
- Not placing enough emphasis on recalling the mechanism of action of a specific family of a drug.
- Reading dense notes with numerous references to diverse research that have no therapeutic application must be avoided.
- Relying primarily on books while ignoring other resources such as videos, flowcharts, and so on.
- Not practising enough MCQs and focusing only on the theoretical part instead of clinical discussions.
Easiest Way to Learn Pharmacology
- Choose the right reference material – After you’ve attended all of your lectures, you’ll require a lot of revision material. The ideal method would be to approach pharmacology books with MCQs, keynotes, and simple graphics. Apart from textbooks, watch CBME-based Pharmacology videos that aim to provide conceptual clarity.
- Take Good Notes — To avoid forgetting about a large number of medications in Pharmacology, take legible and informative notes during all of your lectures so that you may refer to them later. While writing improves memory, having visually appealing notes increases your chances of recalling concepts quickly throughout the exam. Organize the topics using flowcharts, tables, graphs, and graphics.
- Test your knowledge with your buddy – Keep assessing your knowledge whenever you are with your friends. This will ensure that you are on the same page as them and will help you to know the different techniques your friends use to remember the vast amount of drugs.
- Break down drugs by indication and class – Sort medications by what they’re used for, and then by their class. Indications, contraindications, and other characteristics of medications in the same class are often the same. Learn them in general terms; you can always return to your CPGs for specifics, but you must first know what to use. Also, while learning the physically equivalent system (respiratory drugs/cardiovascular drugs, etc.), learn pharmacological actions.
- Create your chart – Make a chart in alphabetical order and read it over and over again. The chart must include the drug name, the generic names, the dosages, the indications, the contraindications, as well as the mechanism of action, the drug type, and diseases or conditions it is given for.
- Practise Previous Years’ Question Papers –Solving previous years’ question papers is crucial in pharmacology. This can serve as a fantastic pre-exam practise test while also teaching you exam patterns and questioning techniques. By attempting as many questions as possible, you can get familiar with the test format and the important topics that are asked most often in the exam.
- Find a teaching methodology that works for you – If you need comprehensive understanding, leave some time for self-assessment daily. If you want to make learning interesting, DigiNerve’s Pharmacology for UnderGrads course adopts a CBME-based approach. Access video lectures, MCQs, notes, IBQs, and VBQs to stimulate visual memory.
Scope of Pharmacology
Pharmacologists must have a strong foundation in physiology, cell biology, biochemistry, and molecular biology to gain specific expertise and experimental methodologies for studying areas of drug action. Such study could focus on molecular interactions, cellular and subcellular signal transduction pathways, tissue and organ regulation, as well as integrated physiological or behavioural responses in organisms. The knowledge gathered assists in the development of novel medications as well as rational therapies, which entail the safe and effective use of drugs for therapeutic purposes. Furthermore, pharmacologists’ interdisciplinary knowledge provides them with a unique perspective on several biomedical difficulties, as well as improved employment opportunities in a variety of scientific domains.
Here are some professions to consider:
- Academic Researcher
- Biomedical Scientist
- Clinical Research Associate Clinical Scientist- Biochemistry
- Clinical Scientist- Immunology
- Medicinal Chemist
- Research Scientist (Life Sciences)
- Research Scientist (Medical)
- Scientific Laboratory Technician
- Community Pharmacist
- Higher Education Lecturer
- Medical Sales Representative
- Medical Science Liaison
- Patent Attorney
- Regulatory Affairs Officer
- Science Writer
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q1. What are the types of pharmacology?
Ans. Pharmacology has two major branches:
- Pharmacokinetics is the study of how medications are absorbed, distributed, metabolised, and excreted.
- Pharmacodynamics includes a pharmacological mechanism of action, refers to the molecular, biochemical, and physiological impacts of medications.
Q2. What is the difference between pharmacology and pharmacy?
Ans. A drug can be broadly described as any human-made, natural, or endogenous chemical, and pharmacology is the discipline of medicine and biology concerned with the study of drug activity. The science and art of making and dispensing medications studied and created by pharmacologists is known as pharmacy.
Q3. How can I become a pharmacologist?
Ans. Pharmacologists need an advanced degree such as a Ph. D., Pharm. D., or M.D. Students who want to work in clinical pharmacology should have a medical degree.
Q4. What is the scope of studying Pharmacology?
A degree in pharmacology can lead to research positions in academia, industry, scientific civil service, and hospitals. You can work as a liaison between pharmaceutical corporations, doctors, and patients. Besides, product management or areas such as marketing and medical information are also approached.