Psychiatric Pharmacy Sample Examination Items

These sample examination items are made available by BPS for the purposes of familiarizing certification candidates and other stakeholders with the structure and format of BPS certification examinations. This is not meant for use as a self-assessment. Performance on any of these items does not correlate with performance on the actual examination.

The content of these examples is meant to be illustrative of actual examination items, but these items do not appear on the certification examination and are not meant to identify the scope of the examination. For a more comprehensive indication of the scope of each certification examination, please refer to the Exam Content Outline for each specialty area.

Examination items are in multiple-choice format. The great majority of examination items are multiple-choice with a single response from among four options. Some examinations may include a small percentage of items that require selection of multiple (three or four) responses from among a larger set of available (up to eight) options. Examinations items may also be supplemented by an image.

A patient presents to an inpatient psychiatric unit expressing a desire to stop drinking and appears anxious and trembling. The patient reports consuming 4200 mL of beer and 750 mL of bourbon every day for the past 2 weeks. The last drink was taken 12 hours ago. Laboratory values are normal except for the AST 180 units/L and the ALT 280 units/L. Which of the following is the appropriate initial treatment for this patient?

Carbamazepine
Acamprosate
Lorazepam
Naltrexone

Correct!

Incorrect!

Which is an accurate statement regarding the use of fluoxetine in patients with borderline personality disorder?

Fluoxetine has been demonstrated to be safe and effective in borderline personality disorder in well-controlled clinical trials.
The risks of using fluoxetine in borderline personality disorder outweigh the potential benefits.
The efficacy of fluoxetine has been demonstrated in small trials; it may help alleviate some symptoms.
Fluoxetine has been approved by the FDA for treating borderline personality disorder.

Correct!

Incorrect!

A 7-year-old child with separation anxiety disorder has partially responded to the Coping Cat cognitive behavioral therapy program. Which oral medications should be added?

Sertraline 25 mg daily
Fluoxetine 20 mg daily
Paroxetine 10 mg daily
Venlafaxine ER 37.5 mg daily

Correct!

Incorrect!

A 62-year-old patient with prostatic hypertrophy and multi-infarct dementia becomes disoriented and agitated, with apparent auditory hallucinations. Clozapine 25 mg by mouth twice daily is ordered, and two doses are administered within 12 hours. The next morning, the patient falls upon arising, has a blood pressure of 100/50 mm Hg, and reports urinary hesitancy. What is the most likely cause of this reaction to clozapine?

Alpha1-adrenergic and muscarinic blocking effects
Muscarinic and serotonergic blocking effects
Alpha1-adrenergic and histamine blocking effects
Alpha2-adrenergic and histamine blocking effects

Correct!

Incorrect!

Which baseline monitoring parameter is recommended for patients who are initiated on atypical antipsychotic medications?

Waist circumference
Echocardiogram
Thyroid-stimulating hormone
Prolactin

Correct!

Incorrect!

Remission in clinical trials for major depressive disorder is defined as:

Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HAM-D) score of 7 or less.
Montgomery–Asberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) score of 16 or less.
reduction of symptoms by at least 20%.
reduction of symptoms by at least 50%.

Correct!

Incorrect!

A study of the effects of paroxetine on serum sodium revealed that in a group of five healthy volunteers, the mean serum sodium concentration was 140 mmol/L before treatment and 138 mmol/L after treatment with paroxetine. The results of a paired Student's t test revealed that the serum sodium concentrations before and after treatment were not significantly different (p = 0.15). What conclusion may be drawn from the results of this experiment?

There is at least a 15% chance that the difference between the groups did not occur by chance alone.
The number of subjects in the study was insufficient to preclude type II error.
The statistical method used was not appropriate.
Although not statistically significant, the difference is probably of clinical significance.

Correct!

Incorrect!

Genetic testing for HLA-B*1502 allele to reduce the risk of Stevens-Johnson Syndrome in persons with Asian ancestry has been established and is recommended for which of the following?

Divalproex
Levetiracetam
Topiramate
Carbamazepine

Correct!

Incorrect!

Which supplement is most likely to cause a manic episode?

Glucosamine and chondroitin
Omega 3 fatty acids
Melatonin
S-Adenosylmethionine (SAMe)

Correct!

Incorrect!

What is an accurate statement regarding suicide and antidepressant medications?

Antidepressants have been associated with increased suicidality in those aged 24 years and older.
Antidepressants have been associated with increased suicidality in those between 10 and 24 years old.
Antidepressants have been associated with completed suicides in those between 14 and 24 years old.
Antidepressants have been associated with completed suicides especially after 6 months of treatment.

Correct!

Incorrect!

When are research protocols that involve procedures with more than minimal risk acceptable to perform on children?

The risk/benefit ratio is difficult to predict when compared to available alternatives.
The level of risk and experiences is comparable to those of children with the same disorder who are not enrolled in the study.
The protocol has been reviewed and approved by the principal investigator.
Adequate provisions have been made for obtaining informed consent from the child and caregiver.

Correct!

Incorrect!

What is an accurate description of the National Alliance on Mental Illness?

A for-profit education organization that provides educational programs such as On Campus
A lobbying organization that represents individuals with mental illness and advocates for crisis teams
A national organization that provides support to individuals who are homeless due to mental illness
A non-profit education, advocacy, and research organization for all individuals with mental illness

Correct!

Incorrect!

A psychiatric pharmacist who is reviewing dispensing errors notes that, in 10 incidents over the past 3 months, levofloxacin 500 mg and levetiracetam 500 mg have been confused for each other. Pharmacist A was responsible for seven of the errors, Pharmacist B for two, and Pharmacist C for one. Which of the following is the best recommendation for the future?

Implement therapeutic interchange of moxifloxacin for levofloxacin.
Require indications on every medication container and educate staff.
Restrict dispensing of medication to technicians with pharmacist verification.
Implement disciplinary action on Pharmacist A.

Correct!

Incorrect!

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Psychiatric Pharmacy Sample Questions

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