Hey guys. I attempted to search older posts for a similar thread but wasn't able to come up with anything. Just the same I apologize if this happens to be a repost. Basically I've decided that one of the things I need to step up my game in is the recognition of popular patient prescription medications and their uses. I'm going to make an effort to record any medication I don't recognize when getting a patients RX list and after the call look up the info on that med. I was just hoping to get some feedback as to what you guys think are some popular ones that would be good to know. Thanks

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The ones you come across.

You'll start to see a pattern

Learn classes more importantly than specifics as drugs change. Knowing what a statin does for example rather than every generic. Perhaps too unlike many, learn generic drugs rather than brand names. Times changes as do drug names, but many generic names stay the same.

I'm not sure how things work in the US as far as educating paramedic and EMTs go but here in the UK we don't have specific education of patient meds.

Most of us learn about patient common medication simply by exposure to said patients and their meds.... experiential learning.

Here, these people put out a list of the 200 most-commonly prescribed drugs in the US, smack in the middle column of the website:


You can sort by name, or by # of prescriptions.

Thanks for the good feedback guys. That list seems to be a pretty good resource in addition to just paying attention to what I come across in the field

Before I got in to EMS I was a Navy corpsman.  At my first assignment I handled admin and screening for a group of internal medicine docs.  I had to do an H&P, vitals, and start the chart on every patient (like 70 per day).  The head doc in the clinic handed me a Merck Manual and a PDR and told me that I was to look up every patient diagnosis and every prescription that each patient was on (if I wanted to promote, that was).  Most of the clients were retired military and their families.  And he would quiz me as the patients were coming and going Needless to say, I learned a lot of vocabulary, chemical names, and common names those 15 months!

Might not be a bad idea for new medics who have time between calls!

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