Nursing Drugs Card for Pharmacology Learning [with Download]

SimpleNursing Editorial Team Feb 6, 2020
Nurse at desk using nursing drugs card to study pharmacology

Pharmacology is one of the most crucial parts of nursing – in the classroom and in real-life practice. It’s also one of the most difficult to memorize, which is where a nursing drugs card can come in handy. 

When studying pharmacology, you need all the study tools you can get your hands on.

Jump to Sections


  1. Analgesics and Anti-Inflammatories
  2. Antihypertensives
  3. Anti-Infectives
  4. Antidiabetics and Thyroid Drugs
  5. Cardiac Drugs and Antilipidemics
  6. Coagulation Modifiers
  7. Central Nervous System Drugs
  8. Diuretics
  9. Respiratory Drugs
  10. Vitamins and Minerals

One helpful strategy is breaking pharmacology down into its classes and connecting each drug to real-life patient conditions.

Below are some of the most common drug classes with key medication names. And don’t miss our link below to our 150 Drug Card download, which is divided into generic, trade, classification, and dosages.

Analgesics and Anti-Inflammatories

Analgesics can dull the sensation of pain by inhibiting the transmission of pain impulses along primary afferents, and convincing your brain that there’s no need to feel any pain.

Key analgesics:

  • Acetaminophen
  • Hydrocodone

Anti-inflammatories inhibit the enzyme cyclooxygenase (COX), which is required to convert arachidonic acid into thromboxanes, prostaglandins, and prostacyclins. Their therapeutic effects are attributed to their lack of eicosanoids.

Key anti-inflammatories:

  • Ibuprofen
  • Naproxen

Antihypertensives

Centrally-acting antihypertensives reduce the amount of adrenaline in the brain. Peripherally-acting antihypertensives work by either depleting catecholamines, or by stopping their release into the bloodstream.

Key antihypertensives:

  • Amlodipine
  • Lisinopril

Anti-Infectives

Anti-infectives inhibit enzymatic processes necessary in the metabolic scheme of pathogenic organisms.

Key anti-infectives:

  • Cefazolin
  • Neomycin

Antidiabetics and Thyroid Drugs

Antidiabetics reduce the production of glucose in the liver and intestines, and increase the uptake and utilization of glucose in the bloodstream.

Key antidiabetics:

  • Glimepiride
  • Glipizide 

Thyroid drugs inhibit thyroid hormone synthesis by competing for tyrosine residues of thyroglobulin with thyroid peroxidase (TPO), resulting in decreasing numbers of mono- and di-iodotyrosines.

Key thyroid drugs:

  • Levothyroxine
  • Metformin

Cardiac Drugs and Antilipidemics 

Cardiac drugs bind to calcium channel proteins in cell membranes and prevent calcium ions from entering the cell. The result is a smoother contraction rhythm, less work for the heart, and relaxed blood vessels.

Key cardiac drugs:

  • Atorvastatin 
  • Fluvastatin

Antilipidemics activate the hepatic peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs). These receptors regulate enzymes that synthesize and secrete lipids.

Key antilipidemics:

  • Gemfibrozil
  • Pravastatin 

Coagulation Modifiers

Coagulation Modifiers act in different places along the blood clotting pathway to prevent or promote clotting.

Key coagulation modifiers:

  • Heparin 
  • Warfarin

Central Nervous System Drugs

Central nervous system drugs increase the activity of GABA, a chemical that inhibits brain activity. This action causes drowsiness and a sense of calmness, making the drug effective for anxiety and sleep disorders.

Key central nervous system drugs:

  • Baclofen 
  • Hydroxyzine

Diuretics

Diuretics decrease the reabsorption of sodium at different sites in the nephron – and as a result, increase urinary sodium and water losses. 

Key diuretics:

  • Furosernide 
  • Metolazone

Respiratory Drugs

Respiratory drugs improve breathing by relaxing the smooth muscles of bronchial tubes and reducing mucus secretion.

Key respiratory drugs:

  • Naloxone 
  • Albuterol

Vitamins and Minerals

Vitamins and minerals are essential nutrients. Without them, the body wouldn’t be able to perform hundreds of biological functions.

Key vitamins and minerals:

  • Vitamin D
  • Magnesium

Nursing Drugs Card Download

Click the button below for a free download:

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