Sunday, 9 December 2012

How to study Pharmacology for GPAT? Important topics of Pharmacology

Pharmacology is one of the core subjects of graduation in Pharmacy (B.Pharma). If you are studying pharmacy and aspiring to crack GPAT for pursuing higher education in pharmacy then GPAT is the essential nut for you to crack. GPAT is conducted every year in the first week of May by MS University, Baroda for AICTE. Those who successfully qualify this exam get a stipend of 8000 per month for pursuing M.Pharma from a recognized institute. In GPAT, there are fair amount of questions which are asked from the Pharmacology and if one study this subject thoroughly then he can easily crack the GPAT with flying colors. In this article, I have explained the main important topics from where you will definitely get questions every year.
So now coming to the core of the topic, let’s have a look on the important topics of pharmacology with respect to the GPAT. By analyzing the question paper of previous years, I have figured out the following topics which are touched by the examiner every time. Here is the discussion of each topic one by one.

Receptors and drug actions

Receptors and drug action is one of the most important topic which must be covered by a GPAT aspirant. Most of the students neglect this topic while preparing for GPAT but if you see the question of previous years, you will definitely find questions regarding the receptors in the exam.
Most of the questions asked in the GPAT are primarily focused on the types of receptors through which a drug exhibits its mechanism and pharmacological action. After studying this topic you must be able to answer different types of receptors, their mechanism of action and major classes of drugs acting through a particular receptor.

Chemotherapy of anticancer drugs

This is also an important topic of pharmacology keeping in mind the preparation of the GPAT. Most of the students while studying chemotherapy focus only on the established classes of chemotherapeutic agents for cancer but neglect the newer anticancer agents. This can cost them a question or two in the GPAT as most of the times questions are asked from the newer anticancer agents.
Along with the new anti cancer agents, one should not forget to study the classification and mechanism of action of every class of anticancer agents.

Pharmacology of antiviral drugs

Antiviral drugs also have a crucial place in the preparation of the GPAT. While studying antiviral drugs for GPAT, you must study the classification of the antiviral drugs, their mechanism of action and adverse actions of the selected drugs.
Here, special emphasis should be given while studying the antiviral treatment of HIV infection as this is the most hit topic in the GPAT question paper. Along with this, due focus should also be given to the structure of the virus.

Drug metabolism and excretion

From my analysis of previous year’s question paper of the GPAT I have made a conclusion that your preparation is incomplete if you will not study Drug metabolism in detail. In this topic, one should pay attention on the structure of the cytochrome-p450, general metabolism of pathway of the important classes of drugs and drug interactions due to the altered metabolism of a drug by the other class of the drug.
Along with the above portion one should also focus on the numerical portion of drug metabolism and excretion. There are fair amount of numerical on this topic in the paper. One can argue that numerical on this topic comes in Biopharmaceutics but to get best result I highly recommend studying the theory and numerical portion of this topic simultaneously to have better understanding of the topic.

Pharmacology of the antiepileptic drugs

Epilepsy is an indispensable topic if you preparing for GPAT. Most of the questions asked in this portion are from the mechanism of actions of different classes of drugs used to treat epilepsy. But, along with this topic one should also study the classification of the antiepileptic drugs and the different types of epilepsy with their clinical manifestations.
Adverse drug action of these drugs and their interaction s with other drugs also have due weightage in the GPAT exam.

Other important topics of Pharmacology for GPAT

Along with above topics, other topics which are also important for GPAT preparation include Antipsychotic drugs, Anti-hyperlipidemic drugs, cardiac glycosides, general pharmacology and anti-ulcer drugs.
These topics also have due weightage in the GPAT exam. If a GPAT aspirant can study the above topics in detail then he can easily answers 15-20 questions correctly which is nearly equal to the 50% of the marks required to qualify the GPAT exam.

Books to study Pharmacology for GPAT

The one and clear winner for this is KD Tripathy’s Essential of Pharmacology. This book is written with almost 100% accuracy and the most important thing is that most of the questions are set from this book only. This book has been written in an easy language and in descriptive manner so you can follow it without any hindrance.
Along with KD Tripathy’s Essential of Pharmacology, one can also study Goodman & Gilman’s The pharmacological basis of therapeutics if someone wants to have the deep knowledge of the subject.
The author of this post is pursuing Ph.D in Pharmaceutical Chemistry from a recognized NAAC A graded government University. He has qualified GPAT two times with 94 and 97 percentile respectively. He is running this blog to help those who wish to crack GPAT but can’t afford coaching due to any reason.
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