rxlynn

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
Nov 16, 2005
917
5
Atlanta, GA
Status
Pharmacy Student
i was just wondering if pharm techs have to memorize or know the drug names when working at a retail pharmacy? I just thought that they only interpret doctor's written directions and input them into the computer. is it helpful at all to learn the drug names and what are they used for?
what does it take to be a good pharm tech at a community pharmacy?
My personal opinion is that yes, it is extremely helpful to learn the drug names and generally what they are used for! You will get a lot of requests on the phone along the lines of "I want to get my cholesterol medicine refilled". Well, if you know the most popular cholesterol by brand and generic (Zocor and Mevacor are available in generic now) you can provide good customer service. When you are typing in prescriptions, you will have a lot of questions about "Is this drug available in generic?" I carried around a brand/generic book with me the first 6 months I worked as a tech.
 
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Splack

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5+ Year Member
May 23, 2007
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Pre-Pharmacy
You can get a free one through Mylan.
Anybody know of any other brand/generic handbooks I could get a hold of since the mylan one is apparently OOS. I just got hired as a pharm tech for Walgreens and after spending a couple days training, it has been very intimidating.
 

shaun009

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Mar 4, 2006
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It takes time, people! You can sit there and read a book on meds all day. Spending a few weeks-months in a pharmacy, you'll be familiar with a lot of brand/generics and what they are used primarily for.
 

steveysmith54

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10+ Year Member
Dec 29, 2005
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I work at rite aid. The drugs are available on shelves by Brand names. If you're doing a refill for a generic drug like alprazolam, you have to know that's brand xanax so u can go to the shelf to retrieve it.

Also, when a customer comes in and has ambien prescription, you have to know that there is a generic available and you have offer it to them, etc.

So, i recommend you purchase drug flash cards and learn 5 new drugs a day and review old ones daily. If you want to become a pharmacist, you will have to learn them anyways. Challenge yourself to learn them.

You could get by looking up drugs on your stores' system, but that takes time.
 

islander01

10+ Year Member
Apr 2, 2007
97
0
Glendale, AZ
Status
Pharmacy Student
i dont think u need to take your time to memorize brand and generic. when you typed in the some drugs like 30 times within a week, you should be able to remember them. (unless u have STM you should take more time to memorize them)
 

parabolic

One of many
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Jan 30, 2007
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While you certainly will become familiar with the brand/generic drug names as you work in the pharmacy, sometimes when you're just starting out, it's too much new information at once to pay attention to which names are equivalent (ie, Ambien is zolpidem). If you have the time to sit down and memorize the brand/generic of a few of your pharmacy's common drugs each week, it will help you. Eventually they'll be second nature. You should also know what the drug's general use is (antihypertensive, analgesic, antidepressant, etc-- you don't have to go in-depth). Knowledge of drug names and their general uses are required to pass the Walgreens pharmacy technician course.

Being a good pharmacy technician takes time. You'll eventually need to master everything from cashiering at the register, to inputting and filling, to dealing with insurance issues, to ordering stock from the warehouse. Just learn each skill set as you come to it as thoroughly as you can (take notes!) and then work on doing it more accurately and efficiently.
 

MissPRN

10+ Year Member
Apr 6, 2007
20
0
Los Angeles
Status
Pre-Pharmacy
I've been working at Walgreens as a tech for almost 4.5 years now, and it is going to be VERY intimidating at first. I don't really think its necessary to sit down and study flashcards of drug brand/generic names, but it may be helpful. In my case being in the work environment, and typing up prescriptions and looking at drug information (while on the job) helped me remember drug names and what they are for much better. If you just sit down and try to memorize the names and what they are for it may seem tedious, due to the fact that there are soooo many medications and I just personally think its going to be much harder to learn it by memorization rather than learning it through experience. I do suggest having a brand/generic conversion book or a drug info book.
 
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