Vitamins, Herbal and Dietary SupplementsDec 17th, 2019
Supplements and Vitamins on the PTCB Exam
Technicians are often asked PTCB exam questions on vitamins, herbal and dietary supplements. After all, there are more than just FDA-approved medicines in pharmacies.
As the qualified healthcare professional that sits between the pharmacist and the patient / member of the local community, it’s essential that technicians understand the role of vitamins, herbal and dietary supplements. Part of this process involves knowing when it’s appropriate to discuss the case with your pharmacist. For example – there may be a potential drug interaction, or perhaps you need more clarification on a given herb or supplement.
However, what is clear is that – for the PTCB test – pharmacy technicians are expected to have a basic understanding of vitamins, herbal and dietary supplements.
Vitamins are divided into:
- Water-soluble vitamins – B vitamins and C
- Fat-soluble vitamins – A, D, E and K
As their name suggests, water-soluble vitamins – such as vitamins B and C – are soluble in water. This means that excess vitamin may be eliminated through the urine. This means we require a consistent supply of these vitamins daily to replenish what vitamin is lost.
In contrast, fat soluble vitamins are not readily eliminated and so are widely stored within the body for prolonged periods of time. Vitamins A, D, E and K are examples of fat-soluble vitamins.
|FAT SOLUBLE VITAMINS
|Vital for vision, skeletal growth, and regulation of mucous membranes of the oral cavity and eyes.
|Vital for bone and teeth formation by assisting absorption of calcium and phosphorus.
|Vital for blood clotting (coagulation).
|WATER SOLUBLE VITAMINS
|Assists with wound healing, immune system function; and collagen synthesis.
|Promotes normal appetite; essential for the nervous system to function.
|Vision / healthy skin.
|Digestion, appetite, healthy skin.
|Hormone formation and nutrient metabolism.
|Promotes formation of red blood cells, insulin and hemoglobin.
|Essential to metabolise proteins and carbohydrates.
|Promotes red blood cell formation; important in pregnancy to prevent neural tube defects.
|Promotes red blood cell production; energy metabolism; and collagen synthesis.
Herbs and Supplements
It’s worth recalling that herbs, supplements, and other forms of alternative medicine – such as homeopathy – are highly popular throughout the United States.
It’s important, therefore, for pharmacy technicians to be aware of these herbs and supplements – identifying the drug and knowing what conditions they may be used to treat. Be aware, though, that because these herbs and supplements are often available over the counter, or within the pharmacy without a prescription, there is often contested evidence as to how effective they are.
Though we list the common indications associated with each herb and supplement, consider that evidence is often lacking as to the actual effectiveness that they have. Many of these drugs are used in the treatment of coughs and the common cold.
Herbs and supplements are examinable on the PTCB test.
Here are the top 20 herbs and supplements you need to know.
|Burns, such as sunburn; dry skin.
|Ocular disorders; bowel disturbances.
|Bone disorders; arthritic bones.
|Maintaining urinary health/reducing infections.
|Colds; reducing symptoms.
|Cholesterol; blood pressure maintenance.
|Maintaining blood pressure; heart health.
|Improve memory; cognitive ability.
|Fatigue; memory; menopause symptoms.
|Osteoarthritis; bone disorders.
|Stress, tiredness, anxiety.
|Jet lag; insomnia.
|ST. JOHN’S WORT