Tips to revise Pharmacology for NEET MDS with MERITERS GRP

Starting out in pharmacology is no easy feat. Countless drugs, numerous side effects, counterindications and a lot of drug interactions. Already feeling shivers down your spine? We get it. This is, indeed, very frightening.  

Knowing how to study this difficult subject effectively is about creating a workable learning strategy. Itís all about knowing what to learn and how to learn. If you donít know the trick, you wonít be able to learn information that you need to know.

The points which need to be kept in mind while reading pharmacology include

1.Have a system by system approach  

∑ For instance, when it comes to learning antibacterial drugs that are not classified in an appropriate way, taking drug-by-drug approach doesnít work.  

∑ There is no need to learn non-specific side effects such as vomiting, nausea, as these are the most common side effects that are applicable to nearly all drugs. Instead, learn the specific side effects of drugs. This way, you can stay focused and learn only the necessary or relevant information that you need to know to not falter during exam.

∑ To excel in pharmacology, it is highly advised to memorize the concepts and different sets of drugs on a class-by-class basis.

∑  When you learn the topics by class, it will help you focus on one mechanism, set of indications, route of administration, metabolism, elimination, side effects, and drug interactions.

2. Restrict your syllabus, try remembering only relevant things

Avoid learning volumes of information and details at once. Instead, focus on only the details that can help you succeed. After your brain has absorbed the core knowledge, you can then start studying and accumulating information thatís secondary in terms of importance.

To make the learning process much easier, you can start with learning how the body is affected by administrating different sets of drugs such as increased heart rate, slower heart rate, increase urination, lower blood sugar level, etc. Learning why the drugs are used and how the body is affected can work well and create a strong and deeper understanding of the impact of each drug.

3. Use of Flashcards

To speed up the memorization process, use flashcards and bring them everywhere with you and read them over and over again. Mention the drug name, drug type, dosage, indications, contraindications, the mechanism of action and why it is given for.

4. You are a medical professional, read it to remember for your life not for any exam

∑ In order to clearly understand the fundamentals and pharmacological actions or side effects, try interlinking the different topics. This will boost your ability to memorize and to come up with a critical analysis that you can recall any time you want.

∑ The major benefit of interlinking concepts is that it avoids confusion and helps you retrieve the information with a single clue.

5. Visualising charts, pictures for MOA helps

You can learn the specific drug, its class, category, mechanism of action, adverse effects, interaction, in fact, everything about it with the help of an infographic. So, when you find a particular topic difficult, try to create a flowchart, graph, table or an infographic, to understand the concept. This will make studying pharmacology fun and more interesting.

For NEET exam this subject can be dealt in two parts

∑ Pharmacology Part 1

∑ Pharmacology Part 2


∑ Chemotherapy

∑ NSAIDs and other CNS drugs

∑ General Pharmacology

∑ Respiratory system

∑ Cardiovascular system


Chemotherapy, especially the antimicrobial drugs carry special weightage in NEET MDS examinations. This is also a fact that selected drugs are asked, all you need is to learn the important drug of each class and learn the mechanism of action. It will make your life simple.

1. Cell wall synthesis inhibitors and their mechanism

2. Beta lactams (Penicillin, Extended spectrum penicillin, Penicillinase resistant penicillin, Cephalosporins, Cephalosporin generation, Monobactams ).

3. Protein synthesis inhibitors

4. Tetracyclines (Classification, Adverse effects and Uses)

5. Chloramphenicol (brief review and adverse effects)

6. Macrolides (Classification, brief review of clindamycin )

7. Aminoglycosides (Classification)

8. Bactericidal drugs (Concentration dependent killing, Time dependent killing, Post antibiotic effect)

9. Antimetabolites  

10. Sulfonamides (various combinations like cotrimoxazole, Sulfadoxime+Pyrimethamine)

11. DNA Gyrase inhibitors

12. Quinolones (Fluoroquinolones in details)

13. Drugs acting on membranes

14. Antimycobacterial drugs (Anti tubercular drugs, First line second line; First line drugs in details, Antileprotic drugs in brief)

15. Malaria and antimalarial drugs

16. Antiviral drugs (Classification)

17. Anti-HIV drugs

18. Anti-fungal drugs

19. Anti-protozoal drugs in brief

20. Anti-helminthic drugs in brief

NSAIDs and other CNS drugs

No dentist in the world can deny the importance of NSAIDs. You are expected to know more than physicians in NSAIDs. Slight overview of CNS drugs, just a clear understanding of MOA with classification will work.

1. Histamines and its receptors, H1 blockers

2. Serotonin receptors

3. Prostaglandins

4. NSAIDs in details (Gout, Rheumatic arthritis, Migrains and Colchichine)

5. Sedative and hypnotics in brief

6. Parkinsonism

7. Antiepileptics

8. Opioids, alcohols and psychiatric illness in brief.

General Pharmacology

        General Pharmacology is the core of this subject. Maximum number of questions are asked on this topic whether its NEET, AIIMS or PGI. A lot of image based questions can be expected from this portion.

1. Pharmacokinetics-Absorption (Bioavailability, ionized and unionized concept).

2. Pharmacokinetics-Distribution (Factors affecting distribution, Volume of distribution).

3. Pharmacokinetics-Elimination (Metabolism, Phase 1 and Phase 2 reactions, Enzymes, Examples of inducer and inhibitor drugs).

4. Pharmacokinetics- Excretion (Clearance and various filtrations by kidney, Order of kinetics).

5. Pharmacodynamics- Classification of drugs based on signal transduction mechanism, Dose response curve (graphical image based).

6. Pharmacogenetics (Acetylation, G6-PD deficiency).

7. Plasma concentration and time graph.

8. Clinical trials

9. Types of drug antagonism

10. Therapeutic drug monitoring

11. Enzyme inhibition

12. Combined effect of drugs (Synergism, Antagonism and Potentiation).


∑ A.N.S.,Blood and Endocrinal drugs

∑ Drugs acting on CVS, GIT And Respiratory system

∑ Local And General Anesthetics

∑ Extra Cover

ANS, Blood and Endocrinal drugs

Autonomic Nervous System is one of the most conceptual topics of the pharmacology, Once it is understood along with correct classification, this can be the maximum scoring topic for you.Few questions are expected from blood and endocrine though.

1. Introduction to Parasympathetic and Sympathetic system and organs supplied

2. Parasympathetic neurotransmitters and their receptors

3. Parasympathomimetic

4. Acetylcholinesterase (Reversible and irreversible)

5. Adrenergic drugs

6. Sympathomimetic drugs

7. Antiadrenergic drugs

8. Antiplatelet drugs

9. Anti-fibrin drugs

10. Anticoagulant and Thrombolytic drugs

11. GH inhibiting drugs

12. Anti-thyroid drugs

13. Antidiabetic drugs

GIT, Respiratory system and Cardiovascular

After ANS if something attracts the examiner, thatís CVS. Good amount of questions are asked on CVS and just learning the concepts and classification will help.The important topics to focus in this chapter are

1. Proton pump inhibitors  

2. Anti-emetic drugs

3. Anti-diarrheal drugs

4. Laxatives and Purgatives

5. Classification of drugs acting on respiratory system

6. Bronchodilators

7. Phospholipids

8. Mast cell stabilizers

9. Omazilumab

10. Congestive Heart Failure (Diuretics and Ionotropics)

11. Chronic Heart failure (various drugs used in it)

12. ACE inhibitors (Classification in details and adverse effects)

13. ARBs

14. Drugs in angina pectoris

15. Antihypertensive drugs(Diuretics, Vasodilators, RAAS Blockers and Sympathetic system blockers).

16. Anti-arrhythmic drugs

17. Anti-dyslipidaemic drugs

Local and General Anaesthetics

Although most of the Local Anaesthesia is dealt in Oral Surgery. Its always good to learn basic concepts in pharmacology, you should know this from General Physicians perspective too.

Minimum one question is asked on GA in every NEET exam and since the topic is small its always worth doing it.

1. Local Anaesthetic agents (Classification and MOA).

2. Skeletal Muscle relaxants (Classification and MOA).

3. General Anaesthetics (Classification, MOA, Thiopentone, Ketamine, Max alveolar concentration concept, PIN index system).


Newer Discoveries and questions asked in recent NEET MDS and NEET PG examinations.

Dr Shivam Bhardwaj,


Updated Sep 09, 2020.