BCPS Tips – Bioterrorism

With the help of 4 pharmacists (3 BCPS certified), I’m excited to share some BCPS Tips on Bioterrorism from my latest 300+ page creation: BCPS Bullets – I also wanted to say thanks to all who purchased it!  You guys all made it high #1 in the pharmacy category (surpassing the Nursing Drug Handbook for a period of time)! Sorry, the screenshot got a little blurry.  If you are liking BCPS Bullets and have a spare minute or two, I would love a kind review on Amazon! For those still considering, I’ll give you another taste. Below are some hard hitting facts from the Bioterrorism section!



  • Utilizing biological agents such as viruses or bacteria to deliberately cause harm
  • Signs and symptoms vary considerably depending on agent
  • Laboratory diagnosis of specimen ideal for confirmation of agent
  • State and regional public health officials should be notified of potential bioterrorism attacks and can help manage treatment

Common Risk Factors

  • Categories of bioterrorism agents
    • Category A
      • Highest risk agents due to easy transmission, high death rates, cause of public panic, and special public health preparedness requirements
      • Examples include smallpox, anthrax, botulism, tularemia, Ebola
    • Category B
      • Moderate risk agents with lower transmission rates causing moderate illness and low death rates
      • Examples include ricin, Q fever, brucellosis, Staphylococcus enterotoxin B, Salmonella, Shigella, E. coli O157:H7
    • Category C
      • Emerging pathogens that have potential to be mass produced in future
      • Examples include multi-drug resistant TB, yellow fever, hantavirus

Medications to Know

  • Antibiotics
    • Ciprofloxacin
      • Used for anthrax, tularemia, and plague
      • SEs: tendon rupture, peripheral neuropathy, QT prolongation, glucose abnormalities
    • Doxycycline
      • Used for anthrax, tularemia, and plague
      • Used in combination with rifampin for brucellosis
      • SEs: Nausea/vomiting (take with food), sun sensitivity
    • Antitoxins
      • Have been developed against anthrax, botulism, and ricin

To read more information about the BCPS Bullets study guide, click here!

Eric Christianson, PharmD, BCPS, BCGP

Written By Eric Christianson

April 2, 2017

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