How To Study Pharmacology

How To Study Pharmacology

It is a popularly accepted notion among many students that pharmacology is the most boring and terrifying subject to study in a medical school. Truth be told, pharmacology is one of the most essential subjects that you will need to remember all throughout your career.

Therefore, it is advised that you effectively learn different drugs, their categories, mechanisms, and pharmacokinetics, rather than cramming just for tests and quizzes.

What is Pharmacology?

Pharmacology is a branch of medicine, biology and pharmaceutical sciences that studies how drugs interact with the body and how the body responds to those drugs. Students are to know about every drug, mechanism of action, indication, routes of administration, elimination, excretion, contraindications, drug interactions and so many more. Identifying each drug and learning the differences and similarities between the drugs is very important to understand the fundamentals of pharmacology.

So for all those students wondering how to study pharmacology, how to make the most of your study time and your grades, well you have just stumbled on the right article. Today, we provide you with very helpful student guide on studying pharmacology the proper way and get excellent grades.

Let’s head right into the article proper…


How To Study Pharmacology

1. Enroll in the right class for you

If you know nothing about pharmacology, that shouldn’t be a cause for alarm because you can still begin by enrolling in know the right class that will help you get a better understanding of the subject even though you are new to it.

You should look for a part of pharmacology that you are interested in or better still, take an introductory course that will help you get the primary concepts, terms, theories and topics in pharmacology.

2. Study your material after each lecture

Cramming is never an ideal way to study In pharmacology. You will end up stressing yourself out and be exhausted for the exam. So to avoid such stress, it is better you practice is studying often after each lecture session. This helps you in building the knowledge from time to time and avoids feeling overwhelmed before exams.

It is generally recommended that for every hour you spend in class, you should spend an hour studying. Yes, I know it might sound overwhelming, but if you try to keep up with it, it will save you plenty of work in the future. With this, spending all night cramming before an exam won’t be necessary.

3. Study one topic at a time

When you get ready for a study session, do not overwhelm yourself. Many students try to cover so many topics in one sitting which is actually wrong. When you try to study multiple topics at once will end up confusing yourself and your study time won’t yield much results. If you study 3 drug classes in one sitting, you could get confused and mix up the information. I advise you split your study material into specific, well-defined topics and give attention to each one individually.


Plan to study for the next hour and don’t deviate. Let the whole study session be dedicated to that topic to avoid any form of confusion.

Do not overwhelm yourself studying; take breaks in between your study sessions. Even if it’s only for a few minutes of rest, because it can help you return refreshed for your next session.

4. Make flashcards

As you begin learning individual drugs, it can easily get overwhelming. So flashcards are the best way to keep record of all this information. Take index cards and write the drug name on the front while on the back you can add important information like the drug type, dosage, interactions, and side effects. You can ask yourself questions with these flashcards regularly.

If you don’t want to make your own then you can purchase flashcards from study companies. Make researches online or you can check your university bookstore for some examples.

You can take your flashcards around with you so you can make the most of all your free time for study.


5. Make graphs or flowcharts

Visual aids can be of great help in the learning process. Creating your own graphs or visual aids will not only create helpful study guides, but will also help you study as well.

You could try a graph that begins with a drug class all the way at the top, flows into smaller drug types, and then lastly to individual drugs at the bottom. This study strategy helps you get all the information you need at a quick glance.

If you don’t want to make your own graphics, there are websites that usually have uploaded graphics and study aids from students in your type of program, like Pinterest

Try to double-check any graphics you get from the internet for accuracy!

6. Use mnemonic devices

A mnemonic device is a short saying or a phrase that can help you figure something out. Medical students use them a lot to help memorize drugs, body parts, and other complex material. To help you remember the drug type easily, I advise you try coming up with your own phrases regardless if they’re silly, they only have to make sense to you.


If you can’t figure out how to come up with your own mnemonics, you can search the internet or ask your classmates for ideas.

7. Work with a study group

Have in mind that you and your classmates are all in this together, so you all can work as a team in helping each other out. Meet some of your classmates and see if they are interested in creating a study group. With that, each person can create graphs, flashcards, and guides for the others to share. This reduces the amount of work and gives you a sense of confidence.

Meet with your study group often and quiz one another. You could also go over your exams together and talk through what you got wrong.

8. Teach material to your classmates

Teaching what you have studied is the best way to know if you understand it. After you have studied a topic, try presenting your thoughts to your friends, family, or classmates. This helps in testing your knowledge and ability to explain the material clearly.

Although you can still do this exercise with your study group, yet it will be more helpful to teach someone who isn’t in your pharmacology program. Most of your classmates probably already know what you’re talking about, but when you try teaching someone who has never seen the material before, it shows you how well you can break down information and present it clearly


9. Ask your professors for help

It is important that you have in mind that your professors are all experts in the subjects they’re teaching. Whenever you are in need of advice or tips on studying, do not hesitate to ask them for guidance or to further explain any topic you are not clear on. Knowing that they’ve gone through the same education you have and probably developed their own studying strategies.

10. Look for resources online

The internet can also be a very helpful tool since there are so many information about pharmacology that you can learn online. Make use online resources to help you in understanding the subject better.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the fastest way to memorize pharmacology?

To help you memorization faster, uses flashcards and always brings them along with you and read them for time to time. Mention the drug name, drug type, dosage, indications, contraindications, the mechanism of action and why it is given for.

Is it hard to study pharmacology?

Studying pharmacology offers a tough curriculum, the development of highly valued skills and a positive, sometimes multifaceted, career trajectory. If the pharmacological aspect of medicine in the treatment and management of disease is something that picks, studying pharmacology could be perfect.

Why is pharmacology so hard?

Studying for pharmacology can be extremely overwhelming as a result of information to memorize such as drug side effects, target lab values, drug interactions and more. Although the task is difficult, nursing students can follow a few easy steps to help them pass the course.


Final Note

Pharmacology is a very great subject. However, it might seem difficult but it requires time and dedication which will help you understand exactly what the subject is talking about.

You will always have to study and try to know and understand all the term and concept you come across while studying.

Reference – How To Study Pharmacology –

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