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The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board examination is taken by pharmacy technicians for certification purposes. Becoming certified shows that a candidate has become proficient in the field. For a person attempting to become a Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT), the first step is to successfully complete the national PTCE, after which the acronym CPhT may be used after his or her name for professional purposes. In order to keep the pharmacy technician certification, a CPhT will need to acquire 20 hours of continuing education in the following two years.
- Before taking this assessment, a candidate must meet the following requirements:
- High school diploma or GED
- No felony convictions in the five years before taking the test; no felony convictions regarding drugs or pharmacy.
This assessment is computer-based. It contains 90 multiple-choice items. Ten questions on the test are for pre-trial purposes, and the remaining 80 will be scored. Candidates will not know which questions are scored and which are not. It is best to attempt to answer every question. The test tutorial, PTCE and exit survey takes two hours, but the PTCE alone takes 110 minutes. Every test covers the same basic material, but no two tests have the same questions in the same order. Candidates need a minimum scaled score of 650 in order to pass. If unsuccessful in the attempt, a candidate must wait until the next testing window, and a minimum of 90 days, before trying again. There are four testing windows annually.
The main areas tested in the PTCE are as follows:
- Assisting the Pharmacist in Serving Patients - 66%
- Maintaining Medication and Inventory Control Systems - 22%
- Participating in the Administration and Management of Pharmacy Practice - 12%
PTCB Practice Questions
1. Emtricitabine is in which drug class?
- Fusion inhibitor
- Protease inhibitor
- Nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor
- Nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor
2. What is the correct dose of cetirizine tablets?
- 10 mg, once daily
- 10 mg, twice daily
- 150 mg, once daily
- 150 mg, twice daily
3. Which of the following drugs is NOT indicated for dementia of the Alzheimer type?
4. Which of the following statements about drug classifications is NOT true?
- Amiodarone is an antiarrhythmic
- Clopidogrel is an antiplatelet
- Pioglitazone is an antibiotic
- Duloxetine is an, antidepressant
5. Which of the following statements about the monitoring parameters of drugs is NOT true?
- Furosemide is monitored by weight
- Tobramycin is monitored by peak and trough
- Insulin is monitored by HDL
- Atenolol is monitored by blood pressure
6. What is 65° F converted to degrees Celsius?
- -5° C
- 10° C
- 18° C
- 33° C
7. Which auxiliary label should be placed on a vial containing metronidazole tablets?
- Do not drink alcoholic beverages
- For external use only
- Take on an empty stomach
8. Which B vitamin is also called pyridoxine?
9. In which of the following dosage forms is clotrimazole NOT available?
- Oral troche
- Vaginal tablet
- Topical cream
10. How many grams of 2% and 5% ointments should be used to make 60 g of a 1% ointment?
- 12 g of 2%; 48 g of 5%
- 20 g of 2%; 40 g of 5%
- 48 g of 2%; 12 g of 5%
- 40 g of 2 %; 20 g of 5%
Answers & Explanations
1. C: Nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs) bind and prevent the release of neuraminidase, preventing the spread of HIV to healthy cells. Examples in addition to emtricitabine include abacavir, didanosine, and zidovudine. Nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs) also inhibit neuraminidase. Examples include delavirdine, efavirenz, and nevirapine. Protease inhibitors interfere with enzymatic activity, preventing the formation of a new virus. Examples include amprenavir, nelfinavir, and ritonavir. The fusion inhibitor enfuvirtide prevents HIV from entering healthy cells.
2. A: For adults and children older than six years, cetirizine tablets are dosed at 10 mg orally, once daily. For less severe symptoms, 5 mg once daily may be given. The dose should not exceed 10 mg in 24 hours. Cetirizine should not be confused with ranitidine, which is usually dosed in 150 mg increments.
3. B: Ziprasidone is indicated for schizophrenia. Memantine is a N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) antagonist used for moderate to severe dementia of the Alzheimer type. Donepezil and rivastigmine are cholinesterase inhibitors used for mild to moderate dementia of the Alzheimer type.
4. C: Amiodarone is used for heart arrhythmias. Clopidogrel is used to help reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke by inhibiting the ability of platelets from forming clots. Duloxetine is used to treat depression and anxiety. Pioglitazone is an oral agent used to treat diabetes.
5. C: Diuretics, such as furosemide, eliminate bodily fluid to help treat conditions like high blood pressure. Patients taking diuretics are often monitored by their weight. Tobramycin is an aminoglycoside antibiotic that is monitored by its peak (highest) level and trough (lowest) level in order to achieve desired antimicrobial effects. Atenolol is a beta-blocker used for treatment of high blood pressure. Insulin is monitored by glucose levels and hemoglobin A1C. Drugs used for high cholesterol are monitored using LDL, HDL, total cholesterol, and triglyceride levels.
6. C: In order to convert Fahrenheit to Celsius, subtract 32 from the Fahrenheit number (65-32 = 33) and divide the answer 1.8 (33/1.8 = 18.3) to get the temperature in Celsius: 18° C.
7. A: Metronidazole is an antibacterial agent that can be taken orally with food, topically, or intravenously. Adverse effects include metallic taste, diarrhea, and an antabuse reaction. This syndrome of blurred vision, difficulty breathing, a red or hot face, chest pains, and head and neck throbbing occurs upon ingestion of alcohol in a patient taking metronidazole. Patients should be instructed to avoid alcohol one day before and two days after taking metronidazole. Metronidazole tablets are stored at room temperature.
8. C: Vitamin B1 = thiamine; B2 = riboflavin; B6 = pyridoxine; B12 = cyanocobalamin
9. A: Clotrimazole is available as an oral troche (lozenge), topical cream, lotion or solution, and vaginal tablet or cream, but as an injection.
10. C: Follow procedures for answering allegation problems. Draw a tic-tac-toe table and place the highest concentration (5%) in the upper left corner. Place the lowest concentration (2%) in the lower left corner. Place the desired concentration (1%) in the center. Subtract 1% from 2% to get 1 part and place this number in the upper right corner. Subtract 1% from 5% to get 4 parts and place this number in the lower right corner. The total of the parts is 5. Use a proportion to answer the question: 5%: (1 part/5 parts) X 60 g = 12 g. 2%: (4 parts/5 parts) X 60 g = 48 g.