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Drug Classifications

Antianemics: prevention and treatment of anemias

nitrates: used to treat and prevent attacks of angina; acute treatment
calcium channel blockers and beta blockers are used prophylactically for longer-term management
Antianxiety agents
benzodiazepines: better for intermittent or short-term use in the management of anxiety
buspirone, paroxetine, venlafaxine: better for long-term use

Antiarrhythmics: suppression of cardiac arrhythmias
generally classified by their effects on cardiac conduction tissue (Class IA, IB, IC, II, III & IV)
atropine and digoxin: also used as antiarrhymics

Antiasthmatics: management of acute and chronic episodes of reversible bronchoconstriction

atropine: bradyarrhythmias
ipratropium: bronchospasm
atropine: also used as ophthalmic mydriatic
benztropine: management of Parkinson's disease

Anticoagulants: prevention and treatment of thromboembolic disorders

Anticonvulsants: decrease the incidence and severity of seizures due to different etiologies


insulin: type 1 diabetes mellitus
oral agents used primarily in type 2 diabetes mellitus

Antidiarrheals: for control and symptomatic relief of acute and chronic nonspecific diarrhea

Antiemetics: used to manage nausea and vomiting due to many causes, including surgery, anesthesia, and antineoplastic
and radiation therapies

Antifungals: memory trick - most end with "AZOLE"

used for relief of symptoms associated with allergies and as adjunctive therapy in anaphylactic
some are used to treat insomnia and Parkinson-like reactions
Antihypertensives: including, but not limited to, the following
ACE inhibitors: treatment of choice for hypertension;memory trick - most end with "PRIL"
angiotension receptor blockers:memory trick - most end with "SARTAN", including losartan (Cozaar),
valsartan (Diovan)
beta blockers (see below)
calcium channel blockers (see below)

Anti-infectives: treatment and prophylaxis of various bacterial infections

Antineoplastics: used in the treatment of various solid tumors, lymphomas, and leukemias

Antiplatelet agents: used to treat and prevent thromboembolic events, e.g., stroke, myocardial infarction


Antipyretics: used to lower fever of many causes, including infection, inflammation, and neoplasms

Antirheumatics: used to manage symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and slow down joint destruction and preserve joint

Antituberculars: used in the treatment and prevention of tuberculosis

Antiulcer agents
used in the treatment and prophylaxis of peptic ulcer and gastric hypersecretory conditions, e.g.,
Zollinger-Ellison syndrome
memory trick - most end with "PRAZOLE", including omeprazole (Prilosec), pantoprazole (Protonix),
esomeprazole (Nexium)

Antivirals: memory trick - many end with "CY [I]CLOVIR", including acyclovir (Zovirax), valacyclovir (Valtrex)

Beta blockers:
used in the management of hypertension, angina pectoris, tachyarrhythmias, migraine headache
(prophylaxis), MI (prevention), glaucoma (opthlalmic use), CHF (carvedilol and sustained-release
metoprolol only), hyperthyroidism (management of symptoms only)
memory trick - most end with 'OLOL", "ALOL" or "ILOL"
Bone resorption inhibitors
used to treat and prevent osteoporosis in postmenopausal women
also used to treat osteoporosis due to corticosteriod therapy, treatment of Paget's disease of the
bone, and management of hypercalcemia
Calcium channel blockers
used in the treatment of hypertension (amlodipine, diltiazem, felodipine, isradipine, nicardipine,
nifedipine, nisoldipine, verapamil)
also used in the treatment and prophylaxis of angina pectoris or coronary artery spasm
(amlodipine, diltiazem, felodipine, nicardipine, verapamil)
memory trick - most end with "DIPINE"
used in replacement doses (20 mg of hydrocortisone or equivalent) systematically to treat
adrenocortical insufficiency
larger doses are usually used for their anti-inflammatory, immunosuppressive, or antineoplastic
thiazide diuretics and loop diuretics are used alone or in combination in the treatment of
hypertension or edema due to CHF or other causes
potassium-sparing diuretics have weak diuretic and antihypertensive properties and are used to
conserve potassium in clients receiving thiazide or loop diuretics
osmotic diuretics are often used in the management of cerebral edema
used in the treatment of deficiency states including diabetes (insulin), diabetes insipidus
(desmopressin), hypothyroidism (thyroid hormones), and menopause (estrogens or
hormones may be used to treat hormonally sensitive tumors (androgens, estrogens)
most are used in the prevention of transplantation rejection reactions
others are used in the management of selected autoimmune diseases (nephrotic syndrome of
childhood and severe rheumatoid arthritis)
Laxatives: used to treat or prevent constipation or to prepare the bowel for radiologic or endoscopic
Lipid-lowering agents:
used as a part of a total plan, including diet and exercise, to reduce blood lipids in an effort to
reduce the morbidity and mortality of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease and its sequelae
memory trick - many end with "STATIN", e.g., atorvastatin (Lipitor), simvastatin (Zocor),
rosuvastatin (Crestor)
Minerals/electrolytes/pH modifiers
used in the prevention and treatment of deficiencies or excesses of electrolytes and maintenance of
optimal acid/base balance for homeostasis
acidifiers and alkalinizers are also used to promote urinary excretion of substances that accumulate
in some disease states, e.g., kidney stones

Nonopioid analgesics: used to control mild to moderate pain and/or fever

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents: used to control mild to moderate pain, fever, and various inflammatory
conditions, e.g., rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis

Opioid analgesics: used in the management of moderate to severe pain

used to provide sedation, usually prior to procedures
selected agents are useful as anticonvulsants, skeletal muscle relaxants, adjuncts in general
surgery and adjuncts for the treatment of alcohol withdrawal syndrome
Skeletal muscle relaxants
used to treat spasticity (associated with spinal cord diseases or lesions)
used as adjunctive therapy in the symptomatic relief of acute painful musculoskeletal conditions
IV dantrolene is also used to treat and prevent malignant hyperthermia
Thrombolytics: used for the acute management of coronary thrombosis (MI), massive pulmonary emboli, deep vein
thrombosis, and arterial thromboembolism
Vascular headache suppressants
used for the treatment of vascular headaches, e.g., migraine and cluster headaches;memory trick -
many end with "TRIPTAN", including sumatriptan (Imitrex)
other agents are used for suppression of frequently occurring vascular headaches, e.g., some beta
blockers and calcium channel blockers