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


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Written By Eric Christianson

April 2, 2017

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