Question 23

Compare and contrast the pharmacology of Noradrenaline and Vasopressin

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College Answer

A straightforward question that was reasonably answered, with most candidates
using a methodical tabular approach to explaining the differences in pharmacology
between noradrenaline and vasopressin. The benefits of adhering to a wellorganised
system of columns showing direct comparisons of the various relevant
drug characteristics was clear, with candidates who chose this approach covering
most of the necessary information in a clear and comprehensive manner. Some
candidates managed to provide a great deal of relevant detail within the allocated
time as would be expected in this relatively uncomplicated question. Simple
definitions were often lacking and failing to provide this basic introductory information
resulted in lower marks for this question. While most candidates were able to discuss
the effects of each drug on the cardiovascular system, not as many were able to give
outline other physiological effects in sufficient detail. For example, many candidates
made little mention of important renal, metabolic and haematological effects. While
some candidates discussed pharmacokinetics well, many provided only a very
superficial outline of this aspect. The important area of adverse reactions could also
have been covered in greater detail.