UW School of Dentistry

DENT 540

Pharmacology Update

Robert Grubbs

1 credit / Quarters 11 and 15 (Spring Third and Fourth Years)

Course Description

Survey course of the current 50 most commonly prescribed drugs on the market; focus will be on mechanisms of action and potential for unfavorable interactions with each other.

Educational Goals/Objectives:

The student will (1) review basic principles of pharmacology; (2) review the 50 most prescribed drugs in general; (3) review the mechanisms of action of the 50 most-prescribed drugs; and (4) review the relevant drug interactions among the 50 most-prescribed drugs.

Course Requirements:

Prerequisites: Phcol 434 and 435.

Competencies Addressed/Assurance of Competencies:

This course is designed to assure that students are familiar with the mechanisms of action and potential drug interactions/contraindications of the medications that their patients are most likely to be taking when they seek dental care.

Course Outline

Specific content will be determined by which drugs are in the top 50 most prescribed each year. Presentation of these drugs will be grouped according to class/usage:

Part 1: (Dr. Grubbs) Analgesics, Lipid Lowering, Anti-hypertensive, Antibiotic, Anxiolytic/sedative drugs.

Part 2: (Dr. Grubbs) Antidepressant, Antiplatelet/anticoagulant, Hormone (synthroid, antidiabetic, bisphosphonates), GI (proton pump inhibitors ), Respiratory (inhaled steroids).

Examination/Grading Policies:

T o successfully meet the requirements of this course, the student must attend the course, and successfully pass two multiple choice exams. The standard UW undergraduate grading scale will be used.

Effective Winter Quarter 2007, completion of on-line course evaluation is a requirement of this course. Failure to comply will result in an “Incomplete” grade being assigned.


  • Pharmacology and Therapeutics for Dentistry , Needle and Yagilla
  • Lippincott’s Illustrated Reviews: Pharmacology, 4th Ed
  • annual review article published in the Journal of the American Dental Association on the top 50 prescription medications dispensed in pharmacies for the previous year

*last updated: 5/7/2013