Learn Canadian Drug Names – Pharmacy Crossword Puzzle: Eye health,travel meds…

Hi, thanks for checking out my page.

I’m updating the website and taking the content off the old website and putting it onto here.

I came across some golden oldies.  I originally created this crossword puzzle back in October 2009.  In September of 2009 I released my first book, Pharmacy Crosswords: Generic to Brand Name Conversions (picture above), and to help people get an idea of what the puzzles were like I created a series of free PDF pharmacy crosswords.

It is a Canadian medication brand name to generic name (and vice versa) conversion puzzle.

It has eye health medications, vaccines and drugs for travellers and some influenza questions.  (I did it in October which is the real start of our influenza season up here in Canada.)

I had to put an update on it because somethings had changed in the 8 years since I created it.  You’ll see the update written on the PDF file.


I do want to point out it is Canadian medication names, so if you’re from the States or elsewhere you’re probably looking at it thinking “this guy doesn’t know what he’s talking about!”


I hope this helps if you’re studying for your pharmacy exams, or pharmacy technician exams, and if you have any questions or concerns please let me know by leaving a comment.


Tim Dyer

Click the Link below to get the PDF copy of the pharmacy crossword puzzle.  (It will open in a new window)

Pharmacy Crossword eye health travel meds

Solutions. Click below

Pharmacy Crossword eye meds travel meds SOLUTION



Check out our SHOP PRODUCTS page if you want to purchase Pharmacy crossword puzzle bundles.

Are you missing this key ingredient to PEBC Exam Preparation?

The second semester of university is almost over.

What you're missing on your pebc exam study preparation

If you’re in the final year of your Pharmacy program you’re probably getting pretty nervous right about now.

The PEBC exam is coming up soon. (Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada)

It marks the end of being a student and the start of your career.  You probably have huge expectations on you to pass. You may even have contracts for work to fulfill once you finish.

You have spend all that money on schooling and it comes down to one exam.

Am I making you more nervous?


Use that nervous energy to your advantage.

But don’t be like a deflating balloon veering off in a hundred directions.

You need purpose.

You need direction.

You need a destination to aim towards.

Use that nervous energy you’re feeling to get moving toward your goal of passing the PEBC exam (not just passing but excelling at it).

You need a plan…you need a study schedule

Unfortunately I can’t give you much personal advice about my personal study schedule for the PEBC. The reason being is I didn’t have one.

Its a major case of I wish I knew then what I know now.

My PEBC Exam Preparation

I went out of town to my sister’s house for a week (away from “distractions” aka my kids 🙂 and starting reading through my class notes.

I had all the handouts from class so I started reading them over. But I didn’t have a rhyme or reason to my approach.  I just opened them up and started reading.

* I didn’t have a schedule. *


So I ended up spending way too much time on one topic, then having to rush through other topics just to get them crammed in by exam time.

For instance, going into the exam I knew a lot about asthma and inhalers, but less about anti-arrhythmics.

I didn’t get through a quarter of the “Therapeutics Choices” chapters that I wanted to, or should have.

By the way despite this, I did pass on my first attempt.

But I’m not recommending my approach to anyone.  See further below for how I should have approached the exam.

For me personally the written part of the exam (MCQ) was a bit harder than I was expecting, and the in-person counselling part (the OSCE) was easier.  I went into the exam expecting it to be the other way around. But everyone is different.

What I should have done to study for the PEBC exam

So I’ve explained how I studied for it, but here I’ll go over it with my “hindsight is 20/20” glasses and make improvements to my exam preparation.

First thing would have been to start studying further in advance.

I like the analogy of remembering something is like a jungle trail: the more you access and use that memory the more worn down and established it becomes just a like a pathway through the brush.


Study Schedule

I should have created a study schedule. Scheduling things and writing them down makes you accountable. Makes you obliged to get them down.

  •  I would have wrote down all the major therapeutic topics that we covered in school (e.g. Dermatology, Respiratory, Cardiovascular, Metabolic (like Diabetes), Infectious diseases, Psychiatry, etc…)


  • Then for each major topic I would have listed all the drug classes used for treating the conditions associated with that topic


  • I would designate time out of my schedule when I would start going through the topics and drug classes…

Example: Monday Feb. 22.  7-8pm –> Review pathophysiology and therapeutics of acne vulgarism.  Review topical tretinoins, antibiotics, and Isotretinoin. Review indications, contraindications, adverse events, warnings, dosages, how to use the drugs, how to monitor, etc..

Example II: Tuesday Feb.22. 6-7:30 –> Review pathophysiology and therapeutics of Psoriasis and Eczema. Review all topical treatments, oral treatments and biological treatments. For each drug identified review indications, contraindications, adverse events, etc…


  • I would continue like this working my way through Dermatology, then onto Respiratory, and on and on…


Minimize Distractions

During study times you have to cut out distractions.

You have to get into that amazing feeling of focus when the world melts away and you are sucking up information like a sponge.

I love that feeling.

When I graduated and wrote my PEBC exam in May of 2008 I didn’t have a smartphone. I had an old flip phone. So it wasn’t distracting to me. But chances are pretty damn good that you have a smartphone now. So turn it off when studying, hide it in your backpack and go old-school.  Paper. Pen. And your Attention.


And one place I would have gone more often is a library.

When I went there I got stuff done. I’d try to study at home but all my cool stuff around me would distract me. As your stuff probably distracts you.

I recommend packing up some notes on what you need to accomplish that day from your study schedule and head to the nearest library.


Remember to Take Care of your Body

A  healthy body helps create a healthy mind. Don’t neglect your body.  Set up a schedule to exercise, to eat properly, and time for adequate sleep. I discussed this more in an earlier post. Click here to read it. 


Helping teach others is a great way to learn something yourself.

Do you have a friend that needs help with a particular topic?

Do you know someone in a grade below you?

Prepare some awesome notes to teach them about a topic.  And hey, even if you don’t talk to them about it, you’ll have yourself some kick-ass study notes.


So I believe the missing key to PEBC exam preparation is a well organized, detailed study schedule. 

I hope this helps.  It would have helped me back in 2008. I would have been less stressed going into the exam if I’d followed a regimen like this.

If you have any tips on studying for big exams or your PEBC exam preparation, leave a comment below.



It may not be a study guide, but if you want a fun way to ease into studying, check out my downloadable PDF pharmacy crossword book. My goal for it is to help you ease into studying…have a little fun then get down to business.

Pharmacy Crosswords: Generic to Brand Name ConversionsCheck it out on the “Products” Page.

And you can buy the softcover book too!

P.S. I hope the graphic below motivates you. Keep the end goal in mind.

PEBC Exam studying motivation

Pharmacy Crossword Canada Mental Health Drugs

pharmacy crosswords canada mental health drugs

Today I’m uploading a pharmacy crossword puzzle that I initially created back in October 2010. Why let it go to waste right?

pharmacy crosswords canada mental health drugs


This pharmacy crossword puzzle contains Canadian mental health medications, and it involves finding the brand name or generic name of various meds.  It contains some SSRI’s, SNRI’s, some benzo’s and some antipsychotics medications.

Its a fun way to help you learn drug names.  If you are a foreign-trained pharmacist seeking certification in Canada this can help you get used to Canadian names.


I mention it in the foreword of my book “Pharmacy Crosswords: Generic to Brand Name Conversion” but I’ll bring it up again:

    • You could find the name of drug and enter it into the puzzle and call it finished…

              But go further!

Depending on what type of program you are in, e.g. pharmacy student or pharmacy technician, try and brain dump as much as you know about the medication on the paper.

  • Do you know the class of medications it belongs to?
  • Do you know the common dosing frequency of the medication? Is it once daily, BID, TID, PRN, etc…
  • If you are a pharmacy student, think about when you become a pharmacist: how will you counsel on this medication? What adverse effects will you tell them about?


Use the puzzle as a springboard to launch into further studying. Thats actually why I created these puzzles in the first place.  They are not intended to be a standalone study guide, but instead they are a fun way to ease into studying. To help you overcome the procrastination of starting to study.


DOWNLOAD THE PDF PUZZLE – Click the Link Below

Various Mental Health Medications Crossword Puzzle Canada


SOLUTION – Click the Link Below

SOLUTIONS – Various Mental Health Medications Crossword Puzzle Canada 


Let me know how it goes and if you have any questions send me an email.




Top 4 Mistakes I made as a New Pharmacy Student…

Top 4 mistakes I made as a new pharmacy student…and how you can avoid them!

Looking back I can clearly see mistakes I made as a new Pharmacy student so I’m here to share them and hopefully you can avoid them.  Most of them boil down to habits.

Good habits I didn’t have and bad ones I did.

You’re probably reading this because you are starting Pharmacy school soon, or you are already a Pharmacy student.


I started my first year of Pharmacy school at the University of British Columbia back in the Fall of 2004.  ( A long time ago…)  But looking back at my 4 years at UBC I can clearly see mistakes I made as a student.

Hopefully you can learn from my mistakes and it’ll make your university experience smoother.

So lets jump right into it.


MISTAKE #1)  Lack of consistently scheduled:

  • Sleep
  • Study time

If you look read biographies of successful people you will find they have positive habits built into their day, and they intentionally set up their day for success.

This means scheduling for success.

Sleep – The need for sleep is obvious but is often neglected by students.  Erratic bedtimes and awake times leaves you running on a mental “half-tank” of energy.

Go to bed at regular times and wake at regular times.  This will make the MISTAKES #2 and #3 easier to avoid.

Study time – If you give yourself a week to study for the exam you will find yourself doing nothing for 6 days and then trying to study it all the night before.

Avoid this by setting regularly scheduled study times.  Put a reminder into your phone. Have an alarm go off before every scheduled study period to remind you “TIME TO STUDY.”   Treat it like you would work.  If your boss expects you to work from 4pm – 6pm you show up and do your job. You don’t make plans with friends during that time, you don’t fiddle on your phone during that time: you work.

The more time you spend THINKING about what you’ve learned the deeper it will be ingrained in your brain and less need for cramming before exams. So put the time in.



MISTAKE #2)  Poor eating habits

Its commonly known that students eat Ichiban noodles and macaroni and cheese all the time right… well hopefully not, but due to a time crunch students can get into the habit of reaching for quick, nutrient-poor foods.

I used to eat very little during the day and then finish off a large, rising crust pizza by myself  at night.  Just imagine what that does to energy levels and blood sugar levels!

Its no wonder I made MISTAKE #1 repeatedly.

In western medicine we often compartmentalize and try to separate our brain from our body…as if they aren’t connected.  But how we treat our body will directly affect how our brain performs. If you feed your body crap your mind will suffer.

Top mental performance requires nourishing your physical body.

Try to avoid the “quick and easy” processed food and reach for more nutrient-rich foods.  Fruits are like nature’s fast food – wash and eat.  So plan ahead and bring some fruits and cut-up veggies with you to stop you from reaching for crappy foods when you get hungry.


And you’re going to be learning a whole bunch of new things, and one important thing to learn, if you don’t already know how, is to cook.  Its something you’ll be doing the rest of your life so learn now.  You’ll be able to plan ahead, cook larger meals and have some for leftovers.

I used to hate leftovers, but that is so stupid. Its like creating your own fast food for subsequent days.


MISTAKE #3)   No exercise

Just like I mentioned above, if you don’t take care of your body your mental performance will suffer.

Exercise has been shown to have many benefits including boosting mood and can make you feel better about yourself.

But more than that, I think the discipline it takes to establish and stick with an exercise program can make you believe you are somebody who “gets stuff done” and it’ll carry over to other aspects of your life: such as eating better food and being more structured with study time.

And after a good workout when your body is tired you sleep better. (Just don’t workout too close to bedtime or you may be too stimulated to sleep…still feeling the high.)

Do you see how these are all connected?  I sure see it now, but I guess I was too overwhelmed at the time to see this.  I made the mistake of thinking “I’m so busy…I don’t have the time to exercise, or eat properly, or sleep well.”  Not realizing that if I would have put some structure into my day and treated my body better I wouldn’t have been so overwhelmed, so stressed, ‘so busy.’



MISTAKE #4) I should have lightened  my 1st year Pharmacy school course load.

Speaking of overwhelmed…my first year at Pharmacy School was ridiculous.  I had something like 8 or 9 classes my first term (if you include Organic Chem lab). I can’t remember the exact number because I think i’ve blacked those terrible memories out.

But of these, probably only 4 or 5 were directly from the Pharmacy program.

There were several classes that I should have planned ahead and taken the summer before entering Pharmacy.  I had a Statistics class, Organic Chemistry, Organic chem lab, and some weird 1st year Cell Biology class all packed into that first year. And during the second year there was Biochemistry and Microbiology, and somewhere smushed in there was 2 terms of Anatomy and 2 terms of Physiology.

I would have saved money had I taken some of those classes at my cheaper community college, and it would have seriously lightened my course load once I got into Pharmacy at UBC.

It is true you don’t know you’re getting into the program until about July before it starts, but if you’re serious about getting in, and you are confident you’re going to get in, then take the classes and get them out of the way. I was confident I would get into the program: I never doubted it, but I didn’t have someone telling this little bit of advice so my first year was  nutty.


BONUS TIP for  a New Pharmacy Student

If you have a class that is more than just memorization and if it requires problem-solving and practice then make sure you put in the time to DO IT.  Don’t leave that class until the night before an exam and expect that you’ll be able to cram it in.   Set up the scheduled practice time and work on it.  It may be a math class, a physics class, an organic chemistry class, etc… whatever it is, make sure you respect the time required and put in the effort.


After reading all these mistakes I made you’re probably thinking, “how the hell did you graduate?” and the answer is yes I did graduate with my mark hovering around 80% but I could have made the experience a lot more pleasant and less stressful had I known then what I know now.


I hope this helps and if you have any additional tips for studying, scheduling, etc… leave a comment below so other students can benefit too.