Pharmacology Mnemonics

By | August 1, 2023


1. **ACE Inhibitors Side Effects** – “CAPTOPRIL”:
C – Cough
A – Angioedema
P – Potassium excess (hyperkalemia)
T – Taste changes
O – Orthostatic hypotension
P – Pregnancy contraindicated
R – Renal failure (avoid in bilateral renal artery stenosis)
I – Impotence
L – Leukocytosis (rare)

2. **Beta Blockers Classification** – “NABBA”:
N – Non-selective (Block both Beta-1 and Beta-2 receptors)
A – Alpha-1 blockers (Have additional Alpha-1 blocking activity)
B – Beta-1 selective (Preferentially block Beta-1 receptors)
B – Beta-2 agonists (Stimulate Beta-2 receptors)

3. **Major CYP450 Substrates** – “RACKS”:
R – Rifampin
A – Alcohol (Ethanol)
C – Carbamazepine
K – Ketoconazole
S – St. John’s Wort

4. **Local Anesthetics Toxicity Symptoms** – “LAST”:
L – Lightheadedness
A – Arrhythmias
S – Seizures
T – Tachycardia

5. **HMG-CoA Reductase Inhibitors** – “STATINS”:
S – Simvastatin
T – Atorvastatin
A – Aspirin
T – Triglycerides
I – Increased liver enzymes
N – Niacin
S – Statin myopathy

6. **Cholinergic Agonist Effects** – “SLUDGE”:
S – Salivation
L – Lacrimation
U – Urination
D – Defecation
G – Gastrointestinal upset
E – Emesis (vomiting)

7. **Major Anticoagulant Drugs** – “VAKT”:
V – Vitamin K antagonists (e.g., Warfarin)
A – Apixaban
K – Rivaroxaban
T – Heparin

8. **Adrenergic Receptor Actions** – “ALPHA and BETA”:
ALPHA – Arterial constriction
BETA – Bronchodilation, increased heart rate, vasodilation in skeletal muscle

9. **Diuretics Classification** – “PCH”:
P – Potassium-sparing diuretics
C – Carbonic anhydrase inhibitors
H – High-ceiling (loop) diuretics

10. **Anxiolytic Drugs** – “BASSED”:
B – Benzodiazepines
A – Antihistamines (e.g., Hydroxyzine)
S – SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors)
S – SNRIs (Serotonin-Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors)
E – Ethanol (Alcohol)
D – Buspirone


1. **ADME** – Absorption, Distribution, Metabolism, Excretion: A reminder of the key pharmacokinetic processes of drugs in the body.

2. **SLUDGE** – Salivation, Lacrimation, Urination, Defecation, Gastrointestinal upset, Emesis: A mnemonic for the cholinergic effects of excessive acetylcholine stimulation.

3. **B-BLOCKER** – Bradycardia, Bronchospasm, Impotence, Lipid abnormalities, Orthostatic hypotension, Cholinergic rebound, Keratopathy, Exacerbation of heart failure, Reduced exercise tolerance: A reminder of possible side effects of beta-blockers.

4. **Aminoglycosides** – “MAGMA”:
M – Monitor peak and trough levels
A – Audiotoxicity and nephrotoxicity
G – Give once daily (extended interval dosing)
M – Myasthenia gravis exacerbation
A – Avoid in pregnancy

5. **SSRI Side Effects** – “SSRI’s give HAPPy patients”:
H – Headache
A – Anxiety and agitation
P – Pupillary dilation (mydriasis)
P – Palpitations
y – Yes to insomnia (difficulty sleeping)

6. **Loop Diuretics** – “Lose K and Mg”:
L – Loop diuretics (e.g., furosemide) cause the loss of potassium (K) and magnesium (Mg).

7. **Anticholinergic Effects** – “Hot as a hare, dry as a bone, red as a beet, blind as a bat, mad as a hatter”:
Referring to the classic symptoms of anticholinergic toxicity: Hyperthermia, dry mouth, flushed skin, dilated pupils, and delirium.

8. **Local Anesthetics** – “Esters with i before c, except prilocaine”:
A rule to remember that ester-based local anesthetics have an “i” before “c” in their name, except for prilocaine.

9. **Diuretics Order of Potency** – “CHOOSE Your Diuretics”:
C – Carbonic anhydrase inhibitors (e.g., acetazolamide)
H – High ceiling (loop) diuretics (e.g., furosemide)
O – Osmotic diuretics (e.g., mannitol)
O – Over potassium-sparing diuretics (e.g., spironolactone)
S – Start thiazide diuretics (e.g., hydrochlorothiazide)
E – End thiazide-like diuretics (e.g., chlorthalidone)
Your – Your potassium-sparing diuretics (e.g., triamterene)

10. **Calcium Channel Blockers** – “DHPs: Dipine Delays the Heart”:
DHPs (dihydropyridines) such as amlodipine mainly target vascular smooth muscle and have less negative inotropic effects on the heart.