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Michelle Strange: A Tale of Two Hygienists presents this week’s TIPisode: Quick and easy tips to keep you up to date, and presented by the experts in the profession. Now, get ready for your unofficial TIPisode.
Claire Jeong: Hello. This is Claire at Dental Toaster CE courses and StudentRDH dental hygiene exam prep solution. So this is a special spot that we have dedicated for you to enhance your brain power. You will understand what I mean.
Let’s think about this scenario: You are in the clinic. You have this new patient. He’s 56 years old. You are reviewing his medical history and you ask, “Are you taking any medications?” And the patient says, “Yes, I am taking amlodipine.” Now, you don’t have your drug book list next to you, and your mind is running. You want to look smart, so first you nod and say, “Okay. Thank you for sharing.” But then you think, “What was this drug about? I think it was hypertension drug, but which class of hypertension drug was it? And is there any oral lesions or anything that I have to know related to this that could be important for the patient?” So that’s what we’re going to review today: The hypertension drug, their suffixes, so how they end, with the class of hypertension drug they are.
So I’m going to rephrase this in a different style, in a question format. Question: The hypertension drug amlodipine is (insert choice): (a) beta-blocker, (b) calcium channel blocker, (c) ACE inhibitor, (d) diuretic. So the answer here is amlodipine is a (b) calcium channel blocker. If you got it right, congratulations; if not, that is okay. We’re going to discover this right now.
We’re going to use this WakeUp Memory Methodology that has been used by memory champions for thousands of years and that has been modified for us, so I have done that for a dental professionals [sic]. You can find out more at dentaltoaster.com/pages/wakeupmemory.
So let’s try to memorize those hypertension drugs. Their suffix says, “Once and for all.” But why are we doing this? This is because one out of three adults in the United States have hypertension. That’s about 75 million people, so that just shows how important it is for us to master the hypertension drugs. Now, memorizing those drugs are not easy, but you’ll understand. With the WakeUp Memory Methodology, it’s so much easier.
Let’s start with this drug. [indiscernible 00:02:36] drug will be discovered. Amlodipine ends with -p-i-n-e. So those drugs that end with -p-i-n-e are calcium channel blockers. Calcium increases the strength and force of contraction in the heart and blood vessels. When there’s calcium channel blockers, the blood pressure is less. That’s the mechanism, but let’s memorize calcium channel blockers.
So what I think is “Cal” like California, and I think the day I was at this beautiful beach in California. It was a very nice, sunny day. I was having this water come up to my toes, and the wind was blowing in my face. It felt great. And behind me was this huge, beautiful pine forest. I’ve never seen something like that in my life. Now, imagine this pine and link it to “Cal”, and it makes me think that all the drugs that end with -p-i-n-e in hypertension drugs are calcium channel blockers.
Now, you might tell me, “Well, Florida can have pine trees as well.” But what we’re trying to do is link to your memory something that exists already. That’s what I’ve done. But if that doesn’t exists, as long as you can make the imagination vivid, you can feel it, then it will start to grown in your mind. This is WakeUp Memory Methodology.
Let’s continue. Drugs that end with -o-l-o-l, such as atenolol, are beta-blockers. Now, beta-blockers lower blood pressure by acting directly on the heart by reducing the heart rate and the force of pumping.
Let’s try to remember -o-l-o-l with beta-blockers. Now, I want you to write with your hand, you don’t need a pen, -o-l-o-l. Now, you put the o and the l together. That makes d, right? So you have a d and a d. You flip it in a mirror image, and it makes a b and a b. There you go. So now you know that drugs that end with -o-l-o-l are beta-blockers. You [sic] associating what you can see, a visualization, with something than can help you remember it.
Let’s continue. Drugs that end with -pril, -p-r-i-l, such as lisinopril, are ACE inhibitors. ACE stands for angiotensin-converting enzyme. How do I know that? Well, before, let me talk about the mechanism. Angiotensin is a hormone that causes the blood vessel to narrow. So, with ACE inhibitors, we are decreasing the production of angiotensin, which in turns [sic] lower the blood pressure.
But we have to memorize things that end with -p-r-i-l are ACE inhibitors. This is what I do. I take the a in ACE inhibitor and I put it in front of -p-r-i-l, and you get an a-p-r-i-l, right? Now, you remember April, but to make it a little bit more alive, to awaken the brain, we need to connect it with something we already know, such as my mom’s birthday, which is in April. Now when I see -p-r-i-l, I know ACE inhibitor. If you had your graduation in April, or something memorable, please think about it right now, and I bet you will never forget this.
Let’s continue. Things that end with -i-d-e, such as hydrochlorothiazide, are diuretics. Now, diuretics increase the urination, which reduces sodium and fluid in the body.
But how do I know that things that end with -i-d-e are diuretics? This is what I do. I put a t in front of -i-d-e. And what does that give me? t-i-d-e, right? So you can think of Tide the brand of detergent you use to wash your clothes. That gives you water, because you need water as well to wash your clothes, or you can think of the tide of the ocean. Again, water. So you link that, and you get diuretic.
The last one we’re going to see together is drugs that end with -t-a-n, such a losartan. And losartan is an ARB, angiotensin receptor blocker. We learned what angiotensin does, which narrows the blood vessel, and if there are angiotensin II receptor blockers, they prevent from binding to the receptor, and that helps lower the blood pressure. That’s how it works.
But how am I going to memorize, then, drugs that end with -t-a-n are ARBs? This is what I think. So, when I think of -t-a-n, I think my arm is tan. Not my legs, but my arm. And why do I say that? Because I have this memory that, after many snowy winters in Boston, we finally went to a tropical destination, and it felt so good, right? After a lot of snow, you go in the sun, you’re burning, you know that, but it feels great. My arms were especially tan, and they were pealing. You can imagine on the shoulders, but, again, I was happy to have a nice tan afterwards. So things that end with -t-a-n, I link it to my arm, which is very similar to ARB, A-R-B, angiotensin receptor blockers.
So we have seen five different types of hypertension drugs, things that end with -p-i-n-e, -o-l-o-l, -p-r-i-l, -i-d-e, and -t-a-n. Now, why do we really have to memorize them? Because there are some complications related to those drugs. One important thing here is those calcium channel blockers, things that end with -p-i-n-e, remember “Cal” pine, can cause gingival hyperplasia. So, if you have a patient who come [sic] with swollen gums, it’s not because they have other diseases. It’s if you look at the medical history and you find a match with calcium channel blockers, you can intelligently tell the patient why that can happen and help them, guide them to better oral care. So this is why we really do that.
To recap, -p-i-n-e, calcium channel blockers; -o-l-o-l are beta-blockers; -p-r-i-l, remember April, that’s an ACE inhibitor; -i-d-e, it’s a diuretic; and -t-a-n, my arm is tan, it’s a ARB.
I hope we reviewed a lot. Got to dentaltoaster.com/pages/wakeupmemory, and I hope your brain feels super powerful now. Thank you.
Michelle Strange: We hope you enjoyed this week’s TIPisode. Be sure to reach out to our guest experts and let them know how helpful their tips were. Follow A Tale of Two Hygienists on Facebook, Instagram, and head over to ataleoftwohygienists.com and subscribe to our newsletter. You can also email us at [email protected], and keep listening for more awesome content from your unofficial dental hygiene podcast.