Pharmacology for Technicians PTCB Test Prep

Top 50 Medicines and Side Effects!

May 15th, 2020
medicines and side effects

Introduction

Many questions on the PTCB exam focus on side effects. Here, we have put together the complete range of side effects from the most common medicines; a must-know guide to succeed at the pharmacology component of the exam.

Side effects are important to know.

As a pharmacy technician, you will meet patients discussing their concerns about the medicines they have been prescribed. Technicians should have a working knowledge of the most common side effects. Of course, it is worth pointing out that technicians should understand medical terms for each effect.

For example – some of the most common medical prefixes include hypo and hyper.

  • Hypo – refers to under the normal range.
  • Hyper – refers to an excess above the normal range.

Hypotension is low blood pressure and hypertension is high blood pressure. There are many more examples. During your PTCB exam preparation, you will come across many such terms. It is important that you take the time to study these prefixes and suffixes and commit the relevant side effects of medicines to memory.

Side Effects or Adverse Effects!?

You may also come across the terms: side effects and adverse effects.

Are they the same?

No, they are different.

Side effects are the expected effects of a drug – which may have a positive clinical effect or a negative clinical effect. Most side effects are negative and cause problems for patients. However, some side effects can be positive. Side effects is a broad term that covers the expected effects of a drug.

In contrast, adverse effects are always negative clinical outcomes. Some adverse effects are unexpected and highly damaging and may not have been foreseen by healthcare professionals.

This is a small but necessary distinction – and the pharmacy technician should understand these differences in nomenclature.

Top 50 Side Effects of Medicines!

Pharmacy technicians are not expected to know all side effects of all medicines.

That is not necessary, and it is not required under the 2020 PTCB syllabus. However, students should have a working knowledge of side effects from the most handled drugs.

Below, we have put together the side effects that you, as a healthcare professional, will encounter when working with patients. Of course, you will not memorize all side effects in one sitting. It takes time. But, come back to this article in time and test your knowledge.

If you are a registered member of PTCB Test Prep, you already have access to our side effects practice exams.

Drug / Drug ClassSide Effects
Tetracyclines
Minocycline
Tetracycline
Enamel hypoplasia
Photosensitivity
Tooth discoloration
Fluoroquinolones
Ciprofloxacin
Moxifloxacin
Tendon damage / rupture
Macrolides
Clarithromycin
Erythromycin
QT prolongation
Penicillins
Ampicillin
Amoxicillin
Hypersensitivity reactions
Warfarin
Heparin
Increased risk of bleeding
Corticosteroids
Prednisolone
Dexamethasone
Weight gain
Increased risk of infection
Diabetes mellitus
Osteoporosis
Beta-2 agonists
Albuterol
Salmeterol
Tachycardia
Palpitations
Anxiety
Tremor
Beta-blockers
Metoprolol
Bisoprolol
Atenolol
Vivid dreams / nightmares
Hypoglycemia
Cold extremities
Impotence in men
Calcium channel blockers
Nifedipine
Amlodipine
Verapamil
Diltiazem
Constipation
Ankle swelling
Gum overgrowth
Flushing
Palpitations
NitratesHypotension
Flushing
Headache
Light-headedness
PDE5 inhibitors
Sildenafil
Tadalafil
Vardenafil
Hypotension
Headache
Flushing
Nasal congestion
Benzodiazepines
Midazolam
Diazepam
Oxazepam
Drowsiness
Sedation
Dependence
AspirinReye syndrome (in children)
Tinnitus (at high doses)
Bronchospasm
GI irritation / risk of bleeding
Opioids
Tramadol
Codeine
Morphine
Meperidine  
Constipation
Miosis
Nausea
Dizziness
Respiratory depression
Proton-pump inhibitors
Omeprazole
Pantoprazole
Lansoprazole
Hypomagnesemia
Headache
Gastrointestinal disturbances
Prostaglandin Eye Drops
Bimatoprost
Latanoprost
Blurred vision
Conjunctival reddening
Permanent eye color change
MetronidazoleGastrointestinal upset
Hypersensitivity reactions
Taste disturbances
MetforminLactic acidosis
GI upset
Weight loss
Metallic taste
MethotrexateMouth ulcers
Bone marrow suppression
Pulmonary fibrosis
AllopurinolSkin rash
SSRI Antidepressants
Paroxetine
Fluoxetine
Sertraline
Fluvoxamine
GI upset
Weight disturbances
Increased risk of bleeding
Serotonin syndrome
Suicidal ideation
Hyponatremia
ACE inhibitorsHyperkalemia
Persistent, dry cough
Hypotension
SpironolactoneHyperkalemia
Gynecomastia
Loop diuretics
Furosemide
Bumetanide
Hypotension
Hyperkalemia
Dehydration
Low electrolyte state
Hearing loss / tinnitus
Increased risk of gout
Antipsychotic drugs
Olanzapine
Haloperidol
Chlorpromazine
Risperidone
Aripiprazole
Quetiapine
Clozapine
Extrapyramidal effects
Sedation
Weight gain
Lipid abnormalities
Increased risk of diabetes
QT interval prolongation
Sexual dysfunction
Agranulocytosis (particularly clozapine)
Carbamazepine
Antiepileptic drug
GI upset
Dizziness
Ataxia
Hyponatremia
Cephalosporins
Ceftriaxone
Ceftazidime
Cefoperazone
GI upset
Antibiotic-associated colitis
Increased risk of seizures
Hypersensitivity reactions
Clopidogrel
Antiplatelet drug
Increased risk of bleeding
GI upset
Thrombocytopenia
H2 receptor antagonists
Ranitidine
Bowel disturbances
Headache
Dizziness
H1 receptor antagonists
First Generation
Cyclizine
Promethazine  
Sedation
Dizziness
GI upset
InsulinHypoglycemia
Laxatives
Lactulose
Senna
Bisacodyl
Abdominal pain/cramps
Diarrhea
Flatulence
NitrofurantoinBrown urine
GI upset
Hypersensitivity reactions
Peripheral neuropathy
PhenazopyridineOrange urine
NSAIDs
Naproxen
Ibuprofen
Etoricoxib
Increased risk of bleeding
Increased risk of CV events
Hypersensitivity reactions
Fluid retention
Estrogens / ProgestogensIrregular bleeding
Mood disturbances
Venous thromboembolism
Increased risk of cervical cancer
Increased risk of breast cancer
OxygenDiscomfort from mask use
Dry throat
Phenytoin
Antiepileptic drug
Gum overgrowth
Nystagmus
Hematological disorders
Hypersensitivity reactions
Skin coarsening
Excessive hair growth
Quinine
Antimalarial drug
Tinnitus
Deafness
Cinchonism
Hypoglycemia
Blindness
Statins
Simvastatin
Atorvastatin
Pravastatin
Headache
GI disturbances
Myopathies
Rhabdomyolysis
Elevated liver enzymes
Increased risk of diabetes
Sulfonylureas
Gliclazide
GI upset
Hypoglycemia
Thiazolidinediones
Pioglitazone
Increased risk of bladder cancer
Edema
Dizziness
Headache
Hypoglycemia
Bone fractures
Anemia
LevothyroxineGI disturbances
Palpitations
Arrhythmias
Tremor
Insomnia
TrimethoprimGI upset
Skin rash
Hyperkalemia
Megaloblastic anemia
Valproate
Antiepileptic drug
Gastrointestinal disturbances
Tremor
Behavioral disturbances
Hair loss
Pancreatitis
Thrombocytopenia
VancomycinRed man syndrome
Ototoxicity
Nephrotoxicity
Thrombophlebitis
Neutropenia
Aminoglycosides
Gentamicin
Amikacin
Ototoxicity
Nephrotoxicity
Z-drugs
Zopiclone
Zolpidem
Zaleplon
Daytime sleepiness
Rebound insomnia
CNS effects: confusion
GI disturbances
Taste disturbances
5-alpha reductase inhibitors
Finasteride
Dutasteride
Impotence
Reduced libido
Gynecomastia
Bisphosphonates
Alendronic acid
Pamidronate
Zoledronic acid
Esophagitis
Hypophosphatemia
Osteonecrosis of the jaw
Atypical femoral fracture
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