Description Medication Class: SNRIs

For the longitudinal project this quarter, you are to develop a 1-page “peripheral brain” handout on a medication class. The handout can be 1-sided or double-sided but should not exceed 1 page. The handout must include at least one image or graphic.

For this project, assume you are completing your first APPE rotation. Your preceptor asked you to develop a “peripheral brain” handout on a medication class to help you prepare for your first topic discussion, to use as a reference throughout the rotation and on your future APPEs, and to utilize as a resource for upcoming IPPE pharmacy students. Your preceptor explained that student pharmacists and pharmacists often create a “peripheral brain” which is a collection of references that can be quickly accessed to help recall important information. A “peripheral brain” can be organized in a variety of ways such as in a notebook. While you can always access information using drug information resources online, sometimes, it is better to have a quick reference that you can keep in your white coat and use while you do not have access to online drug information resources such as during clinical rounds. Your preceptor said the handout should be visually appealing and written at an appropriate level for student pharmacists. Your preceptor has detailed what you should include in your handout in the instructions below. Your preceptor has encouraged you to be creative when designing your handout but has instructed you to keep your handout clear and concise.


  1. Review and utilize the resources below to develop your “peripheral brain” handout and video. You may also utilize additional resources. 
    1. RxPrep NAPLEX Course Book – A copy of this book is on reserve in the library for use on the project.
    1. Lexicomp
    1. Micromedex
    1. Package insert for medications within your medication class
    1. Clinical guidelines for any disease state(s) the medication class is used to treat
  2. Your “peripheral brain” handout should include the following information:
    1. A list of all the medications within the medication class that includes both the brand and generic names for each medication. You should also include if the medication is available as a generic or is only available as the brand name as part of this list.
    1. Common use(s) for the medications within that medication class.
    1. For the one common use listed below, discuss the place in therapy for your medication class. You should include information such as if the medication class is considered first line, second line, last line, etc., and you should also include if there are particular medications in the class that are preferred over another. You may find it helpful to include a treatment algorithm to help visualize the role in therapy of the medication class. 
    1. SNRIs – Major depressive disorder
    1. Mechanism of action for the medication class written in your own words and include a visual to show the mechanism of action.
    1. Boxed warning(s) for the medication class. You also need to describe why the boxed warning(s) is on the medication class.
    1. Contraindications for the medication class. You also need to describe why the contraindication(s) are on the medication class.
    1. Table comparing the starting dose, dose titrations, and renal, hepatic, or age-related dose adjustments. Dosing information should include the dose, route, and frequency. Only include the select medications for the indication shown below in your dosing table. 
Drug ClassDisease State to Include Dosing Information ForSpecific Medications to Include in Dosing Table
SNRIsMajor depressive disorderdesvenlafaxine duloxetine venlafaxine
  • Adverse effects of the medication class including common and serious adverse effects. Limit this information to no more than five common adverse effects and no more than three serious adverse effects. When limiting the information, consider the frequency with which these are expected to occur. Monitoring parameters for both efficacy and safety for the medications within the medication class. Patient education regarding the medication class. Limit this information to no more than three pertinent patient counseling points. Any clinical pearls pertinent for the medication class. Examples include significant drug-drug interactions, significant drug-disease interactions, druginduced diseases, specific information regarding formulations, unique storage/preparation/administration points, or other safety considerations.

Tips to Be Successful

  • Utilize the resources suggested.
  • Ensure you address all of the information listed in the instructions.
  • Review the “Peripheral Brain” Handout and Video Rubric that is posted to Canvas before you start to understand the expectations of the project.
  • After you develop your “peripheral brain” handout and video, review the “Peripheral Brain” Handout and Video Rubric again to ensure that you have addressed all the information and have appropriately developed your handout and video.
  • After you develop your “peripheral brain” handout and video, ask for a peer review. Ask one of your classmates to help you review these.
  • Plan your time wisely and start early. Do not procrastinate. Plan to dedicate 20 minutes to this project outside of class each week.
  • Break the project into smaller tasks so it feels less overwhelming to complete. Examples tasks to complete may include:
    • Draft bullet points of the key information you want to include.
    • Begin looking for visuals to include that reinforce the content and make your handout easier to understand. o Decide what tool you want to use to make your handout. You can use Word but could also consider other platforms such as Canva, PowerPoint, Photoshop, etc. o Draft how you plan to lay out the information on the handout. o Create the first draft of the handout. o Replace any sentences with phrases.
    • Ensure section headers are short and descriptive.
    • Add design elements such as arrows, bullet points, bold font, larger font, etc. to highlight key points.
    • Proofread for accuracy of the information and grammar and spelling errors.

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