Question 21

Describe the pharmacodynamic effects and indications for the use of anticholinesterase drugs.

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College Answer

It was expected the answer would provide a structured approach to describing the 
pharmacodynamics (what the drug does to the body) of this discreet class of drugs. A brief 
acknowledgement of the drugs in this class followed by a catalogue of the various clinical 
uses of this class of drugs would be a good start. If this was followed up with a description of 
the effects of these drugs on the CVS, GIT, Salivary glands, eye, NMJ and the lungs a good 
mark would have been awarded.
A number of candidates described the actions at the receptors in detail which did not attract 
marks. The extensive range of clinical uses for this class of drugs was poorly appreciated.
Few answers demonstrated any understanding of the PD effects of the drug class. There was 
generally a good knowledge of representative drugs within this class. Failing to achieve a 
pass mark reflected scant/brief answers that just did not cover enough of the expected