Thursday, May 22, 2014

PTCB Certification Test: Identifying Pharmaceuticals [Antihistamines]

Antihistamines (brand name drugs: Allegra, Claritin, Zyrtec etc) are frequently used to treat allergic symptoms. They work by blocking the release of histamine-a nitrogenous compound involved in inflammatory response in the body.

 Some antihistamines require prescription and some are available over the counter. 

Common side effects  include:


  • Drowsiness
  • Changes behaviour (especially in children)



Prescription Antihistamines:

  • Atarax, Vistaril (hydroxyzine)
  • Clarinex (desloratadine)
  • Palgic (carbinoxamine)
  • Xyzal (levocetirizine)

                                 Nasal Sprays:
        • Astelin, Astepro (azelastine)
                                Eye Drops:

        • Emadine (emadastine)
        • Livostin (levocabastine)  
        • Optivar (azelastine) 
Over the Counter:

  • Allegra (fexofenadine)
  • Benadryl (diphenhydramine)
  • Claritin, Alavert (loratadine)
  • Zyrtec (certirizine)

Monday, May 12, 2014

PTCB Certification Test : Commonly Used Abbreviations in Pharmacy/Hospitals [Part 2]

First part of this post is here.

Here is Part 2 of the list of abbreviations commonly used in pharmacy/hospital setting:


  • HCL: Formula for Hydrochloric Acid. 
  • ASA: Commonly used abbreviation for Acetyl Salicylic Acid (or aspirin). Used as pain killer.
  • APAP: Used for acetaminophen (brand name drugs like Tylenol, Panadol etc)
  • TCN: Tetracycline (broad-spectrum antibiotics )
  • MOM: Milk of Magnesia (Treats constipation, upset stomach, or heartburn)
  • AIDS: Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome.
  • HIV: Human Immunodeficiency Virus.
  • URI: Upper Respiratory Tract Infection.
  • CCB: Calcium Channel Blocker 

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

PTCB Certification Test : Commonly Used Abbreviations in Pharmacy/Hospitals

Here is a list of some commonly used abbreviations in pharmacy/hospital setting. Memorizing this list will help you in PTCB Certification test and also on job.


Part 1


  • FA: Folic Acid
  • KCL: Chemical formula for potassium chloride 
  • NaCl: Formula for sodium chloride (salt)
  • MAOI: Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (used in treatment of depression)
  • MS: Autoimmune disease multiple sclerosis
  • CCB: Calcium channel blocker (used as antihypertensive drugs)
  • DVT: Deep venous thrombosis ( blood clot that forms in a vein deep in the body)
  • CHF: Congestive heart failure






Make sure you are comfortable with medication order abbreviations as well.