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Jan 1, 2007
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I have always had a hard time with the graphs for autonomic drugs. I'm trying to use first aid and the kaplan notes right now to understand the concepts but again, i'm having some difficulties. How important are these graphs for the boards? Any advice as to how to apply the autonomic drug concepts to the graphs?


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Jan 24, 2007
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The instructor at the live Kaplan retreat I attended said they were extremely important and spent the whole day going over each graph in the Kaplan pharm book and then went over all the practice questions he could find.

It's definitely important because it's a way for them to test your reasoning based on core knowledge. You may know what "low dose" epi does and "high dose," but can you apply that concept in graphical format. Can you select the right alpha blocker to block its vasoconstrictive effects and utilize it's dilatory effects? Do you know which Beta Blockers are B1 selective versus non selective ones? Can you identify what drug is being used just by looking at a graph? Do you know how differences between norepi and epi would be visualized.

In summary I think it's very important and trips people up all the time.


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Oct 23, 2003
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Are you going to get 50 questions about the graphs, obviously not. My test had three or four though. Plus, if you understand the graphs you really understand the drugs and so you will be set for just about anything that comes your way.
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