Drug Suffixes | NCLEX Review (2019)

By Paul Henry / in , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , /

Welcome to this video on drug suffixes. Remembering thousands of drug names and what
they do is an enormous task, so I’m hoping this video will help you in your study of
pharmacology… First, we’ll take a look at some blood pressure
medications… ACE inhibitors end in -pril, such as captopril
& lisinopril. ACE inhibitors reduce blood pressure by dilating
blood vessels, thus reducing the heart’s workload. Beta blockers end in -lol such as atenolol,
propranolol, & labetalol. Beta blockers reduce blood pressure by slowing
the heart rate & reducing myocardial contractility. They are given for hypertension, CHF, & chronic
heart failure. Drugs ending in -dipine are Ca channel blockers,
such as amlodipine and nifedipine. Calcium channel blockers relax blood vessels,
therefore increasing blood supply & oxygen to the heart, reducing the heart’s workload
& lowering blood pressure. Angiotensin-II receptor antagonists/blockers
(ARBs) end in -sartan, such as losartan and valsartan. ARBs inhibit blood vessel constriction, helping
blood vessels relax, which lowers blood pressure. Diuretics are often used in conjunction with
blood pressure medication. Drugs ending in -actone are potassium-sparing
diuretics, such as spironolactone, also known as aldactone. These diuretics increase the fluid passed
out by the kidneys, while retaining potassium in the body – considered a weak diuretic. Thiazide diuretics end in -thiazide and are
used mainly for treating high blood pressure and edema, but potassium is lost in the process. Hydrochlorothiazide (hctz) is commonly used. Let’s look at another group of drugs that
cause hypotension (low blood pressure) as a side effect, but with other intended purposes. Drugs used to treat erectile dysfunction end
in -afil and include sildenafil (Viagra), vardenafil (Levitra), and tadalafil (Cialis). These medications cause direct coronary vasodilation
and special precaution should be taken in men with cardiovascular disease. Let’s go over a few more cardiovascular drugs… Statins, or antilipidemic drugs, end with
(you guessed it) -statin, including atorvastatin (Lipitor) & simvastatin (Zocor). These are anti-cholesterol drugs that reduce
LDL cholesterol & cardiovascular disease. Thrombolytic drugs end with -ase, such as
streptokinase or alteplase (which is also known as tPA – tissue plasminogen activator). These are clot-buster drugs, given to break
down unwanted blood clots causing heart attacks & strokes. The sooner treatment is given, the quicker
blood flow is restored to the area. If the medication ends with -arin, it’s most
likely an anticoagulant, such as heparin or warfarin. Anticoagulants prevent blood coagulation or
prolong the clotting time. Now let’s take a look at some antibiotics… There are tetracyclines, which have an easy
ending: -cycline, such as tetracycline or doxycycline. These broad-spectrum antimicrobial drugs are
used in treating and preventing bacterial infections. Aminoglycosides are another antibiotic, ending
with -mycin, such as erythromycin and vancomycin. Fluoroquinolones are a broad-spectrum antibiotic
ending in -floxacin, such as ciprofloxacin & levofloxacin. While antibiotics treat bacterial infections,
antivirals treat a virus infection. If the ending is -vir, it’s most likely an
antiviral, such as acyclovir. Let’s turn our focus to some drugs that treat
intestinal issues. Drugs ending in -azine, such as promethazine,
are an antiemetic – used to treat nausea and vomiting. Proton pump inhibitors end with -prazole,
such as lansoprazole (Prevacid) and omeprazole (Prilosec). These are anti-ulcer drugs that reduce gastric
acid production. Another anti-ulcer drug is the H2 receptor
antagonists (H2 blockers) which block the action of histamine in the stomach, decreasing
the production of stomach acid. These drugs usually end in -tidine, such as
cimetidine (Tagamet), famotidine (Pepcid), and ranitidine (Zantac). We’ve included a couple of common respiratory
drugs… Bronchodilators dilate the bronchi & bronchioles,
decreasing resistance in the airway and increasing airflow to the lungs. These medications are given for asthma & COPD
and include drugs ending in -terol and -phylline, such as albuterol, levalbuterol, theophylline,
and aminophylline. Antihistamines are given to treat allergy
symptoms, such as sneezing, runny nose, itching, or hives and include drugs ending in -ine,
such as diphenhydramine, loratadine, and brompheniramine. Medications used to treat depression and anxiety
include the following… Drugs ending in -pam or -lam are most likely
a benzodiazepine, which are used to treat anxiety; and prolonged use may lead to physical
dependence. Benzodiazepines include alprazolam (xanax),
diazepam (Valium), and lorazepam (Ativan). Several tricyclic antidepressants end in -triptyline,
such as amitriptyline and nortriptyline. These drugs are used to treat depression,
bipolar disorder, anxiety, OCD, and other mood disorders. SSRI, or Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitors,
block or delay the reabsorption of serotonin and are used to treat major depressive disorders
and anxiety disorders. You’ll find that they end in -pram or -ine,
such as fluoxetine (Prozac), sertraline (Zoloft); citalopram (Celexa), and escitalopram (Lexapro). As I near the end of the list, there are a
few that didn’t fall into the earlier categories. Drugs ending in -caine are local anesthetics,
such as lidocaine and xylocaine. Local anesthetics prevent the transmission
of nerve impulses/pain without causing unconsciousness. Corticosteroids are anti-inflammatory drugs
used to control many different symptoms, but not a cure for the underlying disease process. Most corticosteroids end in -sone or -lone,
including dexamethasone, prednisone; methylprednisolone, and triamcinolone. Oral hypoglycemic agents lower blood sugar
for the diabetic patient and include drugs ending in -ide, such as glyburide and glipizide. Thank you for watching this video on drug

22 thoughts on “Drug Suffixes | NCLEX Review (2019)

  1. Subscribed! Thank you!

    One thing to note is that I followed your link and not all drugs were listed there. For example. Pril drugs for ace inhibitors. That's fine though, the video helped and I'll just type up my own notes.

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  3. Very helpful to all reviewing for NCLEX.Thank you RN Laura & your whole team.God bless you all😇🙏🏻

  4. Very informative video. I was once curious about the "mab" (monoclonal antibodies) suffix seen on many medications.

    Stunned to learn from medical dictionaries that the suffix meant human antibodies crossed with a "small amount of" mouse or rat dna.
    These drug for use by humans.

    Totally blew my mind… well if it helps and if its just a little…..wow

  5. Thanks for the video! Is there any way the Learning sheet/ Drug review chart could be updated to include the antihypertensive drugs?

  6. Both examples you used for aminoglycosides are actually incorrect. Erythromycin is a macrolide antibiotic, and vancomycin is a glycopeptide antibiotic. Examples of aminoglycoside antibiotics are Neomycin, Gentamycin, Tobramycin etc

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