Mnemonic Monday: Antiarrhythmics – Just how do they work?

Antiarrhythmics how do they workBy Molly Lewis

The antiarrhythmic drugs have always been a challenge for me. In fact, just spelling the word “antiarrhythmic“ correctly is hard enough!

Here a few mnemonics to help you keep them straight!
(And be sure to check out First Aid for the USMLE Step 1 book for more mnemonics for the antiarrhythmics!).

First, a way to remember the mechanism of action of each of the classes:

“MBA College”

  • M = class I = membrane stabilization
  • B = class II = Beta blockade
  • A = class III = Action potential widening
  • C = class IV = Calcium channel blockers

(PS: I like this mnemonic because, although I may remember that class I agents block sodium channels, a question may go deeper and ask what is the result of the Na+ channel blockade: membrane stabilization!
The same goes for the class III agents; they block potassium channels, but the result of that K+ channel blockade is to widen the action potential).

Another option for remembering the mechanisms of action is:

“SoBe PoCa” (say: “South Beach Polka”)

  • So = Sodium channel blockade
  • Be = Beta blockers
  • Po = Potassium channel blockers
  • Ca = Calcium channel blockers

Do you have a mnemonic to remember the mechanisms of the antiarrhythmics? Post it below!

Check back soon for my next antiarrhythmic mnemonic post, which will cover the names of the class I agents!



MBA College mnemonic:
SoBe mnemonic:



Categories: Mnemonics

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