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Encyclopedia > Pharmacology

Pharmacology (in Greek: pharmakon (φάρμακον) meaning drug, and lego (λέγω) to tell (about)) is the study of how drugs interact with living organisms to produce a change in function.[1] If substances have medicinal properties, they are considered pharmaceuticals. The field encompasses drug composition and properties, interactions, toxicology, therapy, and medical applications and antipathogenic capabilities. Image File history File links Gnome-globe. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... For other meanings, see Drug (disambiguation). ... Many drugs are provided in tablet form. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... For other meanings, see Drug (disambiguation). ... Interaction is a kind of action that occurs as two or more objects have an effect upon one another. ... Toxicology (from the Greek words toxicos and logos [1]) is the study of the adverse effects of chemicals on living organisms [2]. It is the study of symptoms, mechanisms, treatments and detection of poisoning, especially the poisoning of people. ...

Development of medication is a vital concern to medicine, but also has strong economical and political implications. To protect the consumer and prevent abuse, many governments regulate the manufacture, sale, and administration of medication. In the United States, the main body that regulates pharmaceuticals is the Food and Drug Administration and they enforce standards set by the United States Pharmacopoeia. In the European Union, the main body that regulates pharmaceuticals is the EMEA and they enforce standards set by the European Pharmacopoeia. It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Pharmacology. ... Medicine is the science and art of maintaining andor restoring human health through the study, diagnosis, and treatment of patients. ... Wikibooks has more about this subject: Economics Wikibooks Wikiversity has more about this subject: School of Economics U.S. Economic Calendar Economics at the Open Directory Project Economics textbooks on Wikibooks The Economists Economics A-Z Institutions and organizations Bureau of Labor Statistics - from the American Labor Department Center... Politics is the process by which decisions are made within groups. ... Consumers refers to individuals or households that purchase and use goods and services generated within the economy. ... hi “FDA” redirects here. ... The word standard has several meanings: Classically, standard referred to a flag or banner; especially, a national or other ensign carried into battle; thus standard bearer indicates the one who bears, or carries, the standard. ... The United States Pharmacopoeia is a compendium of drugs published every five years by the United States Pharmacopoeial Convention. ... With regard to living things, a body is the integral physical material of an individual. ... EMEA can mean: Europe, the Middle East and Africa European Medicines Agency This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... The European Pharmacopoeia is a listing of a wide range of active substances and excipients used to prepare pharmaceutical products in Europe. ...

Pharmacology as a chemical science is practiced by pharmacologists. Subdisciplines include clinical pharmacology (the medical field of medication effects on humans), neuro- and psychopharmacology (effects of medication on behavior and nervous system functioning), pharmacogenetics (clinical testing of genetic variation that gives rise to differing response to drugs), pharmacogenomics (application of genomic technologies to new drug discovery and further characterization of older drugs), pharmacoepidemiology (study of effects of drugs in large numbers of people), toxicology and theoretical pharmacology. The terms pharmacogenomics and pharmacogenetics tend to be used interchangeably, and a precise, consensus definition of either remains elusive. ... Pharmacogenomics is the branch of pharmacology which deals with the influence of genetic variation on drug response in patients by correlating gene expression or single-nucleotide polymorphisms with a drugs efficacy or toxicity. ... Toxicology (from the Greek words toxicos and logos [1]) is the study of the adverse effects of chemicals on living organisms [2]. It is the study of symptoms, mechanisms, treatments and detection of poisoning, especially the poisoning of people. ...

Pharmacology is not identical with pharmacy, though in common usage the two are at times confused. For other uses, see Pharmacy (disambiguation). ...


Medicine development and safety testing

If the structure of a medicine is altered slightly, this will slightly alter the medicine's properties. This means when a useful activity has been identified, chemists will make many similar compounds called analogues, to attempt and maximise the beneficial effects. This development phase can take up to 3 years and is expensive.[2]

These new analogues need to be developed. It needs to be determined how safe the medicine is for human consumption, its stability in the human body and the best form for dispensing, like tablet or aerosol. After extensive testing, which can take up to 6 years the new medicine is ready for marketing.[2]

As a result of the long time required to develop analogues and test a new medicine and the fact that of every 5000 potential new medicines typically only one will ever reach the open market, this is an expensive way of doing things, costing millions of dollars. To recoup this outlay pharmaceutical companies may do a number of things:[2]

  • Carefully research the demand for their potential new product before spending an outlay of company funds.[2]
  • Obtain a patent on the new medicine preventing other companies from producing that medicine for a certain allocation of time.[2]

Drug legislation and safety

In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is responsible for creating guidelines for the approval and use of drugs. The FDA requires that all approved drugs fulfill two requirements: hi “FDA” redirects here. ...

  1. The drug must be found to be effective against the disease for which it is seeking approval.
  2. The drug must meet safety criteria by being subject to extensive animal and controlled human testing.

Gaining FDA approval usually takes several years to attain. Testing done on animals must be extensive and must include several species to help in the evaluation of both the effectiveness and toxicity of the drug. The dosage of any drug approved for use is intended to fall within a range in which the drug produces a therapeutic effect or desired outcome.[1] A therapeutic effect is a consequence of a medical treatment, of any kind, the results of which are judged to be desirable and beneficial. ...

The safety and effectiveness of prescription drugs in the U.S. is regulated by the federal Prescription Drug Marketing Act of 1987. The Prescription Drug Marketing Act (PDMA) of 1987 (P.L. 100-293, 102 Stat. ...

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has a similar role in the UK. The logo of the MHRA. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is the UK government agency which is responsible for ensuring that medicines and medical devices work and are acceptably safe. ...

Scientific background

The study of chemicals requires intimate knowledge of the biological system affected. With the knowledge of cell biology and biochemistry increasing, the field of pharmacology has also changed substantially. It has become possible, through molecular analysis of receptors, to design chemicals that act on specific cellular signalling or metabolic pathways by affecting sites directly on cell-surface receptors (which modulate and mediate cellular signalling pathways controlling cellular function). This article or section includes a list of works cited or a list of external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks in-text citations. ... Biochemistry is the study of the chemical processes and transformations in living organisms. ... In biochemistry, a receptor is a protein on the cell membrane or within the cytoplasm or cell nucleus that binds to a specific molecule (a ligand), such as a neurotransmitter, hormone, or other substance, and initiates the cellular response to the ligand. ... In biochemistry, a metabolic pathway is a series of chemical reactions occurring within a cell. ...

A chemical has, from the pharmacological point-of-view, various properties. Pharmacokinetics describes the effect of the body on the chemical (e.g. half-life and volume of distribution), and pharmacodynamics describes the chemical's effect on the body (desired or toxic). Pharmacokinetics (in Greek: pharmacon meaning drug, and kinetikos meaning putting in motion) is a branch of pharmacology dedicated to the determination of the fate of substances administered externally to a living organism. ... Half-Life For a quantity subject to exponential decay, the half-life is the time required for the quantity to fall to half of its initial value. ... The volume of distribution (VD) is a pharmacological term used to quantify the distribution of a drug throughout the body after oral or intravenous dosing. ... Pharmacodynamics is the study of the biochemical and physiological effects of drugs and the mechanisms of drug action and the relationship between drug concentration and effect. ... Toxic redirects here, but this is also the name of a song by Britney Spears; see Toxic (song) Look up toxic and toxicity in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...

When describing the pharmacokinetic properties of a chemical, pharmacologists are often interested in ADME: ADME is an acronym in pharmacokinetics and pharmacology for Absorption, Distribution, Metabolism, and Excretion, and describes the disposition of a pharmaceutical compound within an animal or human body. ...

  • Absorption - How is the medication absorbed (through the skin, the intestine, the oral mucosa)?
  • Distribution - How does it spread through the organism?
  • Metabolism - Is the medication converted chemically inside the body, and into which substances. Are these active? Could they be toxic?
  • Excretion - How is the medication eliminated (through the bile, urine, breath, skin)?

Medication is said to have a narrow or wide therapeutic index or therapeutic window. This describes the ratio of desired effect to toxic effect. A compound with a narrow therapeutic index (close to one) exerts its desired effect at a dose close to its toxic dose. A compound with a wide therapeutic index (greater than five) exerts its desired effect at a dose substantially below its toxic dose. Those with a narrow margin are more difficult to dose and administer, and may require therapeutic drug monitoring (examples are warfarin, some antiepileptics, aminoglycoside antibiotics). Most anti-cancer drugs have a narrow therapeutic margin: toxic side-effects are almost always encountered at doses used to kill tumours. Please wikify (format) this article or section as suggested in the Guide to layout and the Manual of Style. ... Distribution in pharmacology is a branch of pharmacokinetics describing reversible transfer of drug from one location to another within the body. ... Drug metabolism is the metabolism of drugs, their biochemical modification or degradation, usually through specialized enzymatic systems. ... Excretion is the process of eliminating waste products of metabolism and other materials that are of no use. ... The therapeutic index of a medication is a comparison of the amount that causes the therapeutic effect to the amount that causes toxic effects. ... The therapeutic index (also known as therapeutic ratio or margin of safety), is a comparison of the amount of a therapeutic agent that causes the therapeutic effect to the amount that causes toxic effects. ... Therapeutic drug monitoring is a branch of clinical chemistry that specialises in the measurement of medication levels in blood. ... Warfarin (also known under the brand names of Coumadin, Jantoven, Marevan, and Waran) is an anticoagulant medication that is administered orally or, very rarely, by injection. ... The anticonvulsants, sometimes also called antiepileptics, belong to a diverse group of pharmaceuticals used in prevention of the occurrence of epileptic seizures. ... Aminoglycosides are a group of antibiotics that are effective against certain types of bacteria. ... Cancer is a class of diseases or disorders characterized by uncontrolled division of cells and the ability of these to spread, either by direct growth into adjacent tissue through invasion, or by implantation into distant sites by metastasis (where cancer cells are transported through the bloodstream or lymphatic system). ...

Drugs used as medicines

Main article: Medication

A medication is a licensed drug (chemical) taken to cure, prevent or reduce symptoms of an illness or medical condition. This article does not cite any references or sources. ... This article needs more context around or a better explanation of technical details to make it more accessible to general readers and technical readers outside the specialty, without removing technical details. ...

Medications are generally divided into two groups -- over-the-counter (OTC) medications, which are available without special restrictions, and Prescription only medicines (POM), which must be prescribed by a physician. Most OTC medication is generally considered to be safe enough that most persons will not hurt themselves accidentally by taking it as instructed. Many countries, such as the UK have a third category of pharmacy medicines which can only be sold in registered pharmacies, by or under the supervision of a pharmacist. However, the precise distinction between OTC and prescription depends on the legal jurisdiction. Over-the-counter (OTC) drugs are medicines that may be sold without a prescription, in contrast to prescription drugs. ... A prescription drug (or POM Prescription Only Medicine, in UK) is a licensed medicine that is regulated by legislation to require a prescription before it can be obtained. ... The Doctor by Luke Fildes This article is about the term physician, one type of doctor; for other uses of the word doctor see Doctor. ... The mortar and pestle is an international symbol of pharmacists and pharmacies. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ...

Medications are typically produced by pharmaceutical companies and are often patented. Those that are not patented are called generic drugs. For other uses, see Patent (disambiguation). ... A generic drug (pl. ...


The study of pharmacology is typically offered as an advanced degree program. The following is a partial list of North American universities that offer a degree in pharmacology or in related disciplines. This article does not cite any references or sources. ... North America North America is a continent[1] in the Earths northern hemisphere and (chiefly) western hemisphere. ...

The University of Alberta (U of A) is a public coeducational research university located in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. ... The University of British Columbia (UBC) is a Canadian public university with its main campus located at Point Grey in the unincorporated Electoral Area A, immediately west of Vancouver, British Columbia. ... Dalhousie University is a university located in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. ... The Brody School of Medicine is the Medical School at East Carolina University. ... Duke University is a private coeducational research university located in Durham, North Carolina, USA. Founded by Methodists and Quakers in the present-day town of Trinity in 1838, the school moved to Durham in 1892. ... Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences is one of the largest colleges of pharmacy in the United States. ... Michigan Technological University (abbr. ... Purdue University (Purdue) is a land-grant, public university in West Lafayette, Indiana, United States. ... University at Buffalo, The State University of New York (also known as University at Buffalo, SUNY Buffalo or simply UB) is a coeducational public research university, which has multiple campuses located in Buffalo and Amherst, New York, USA. Offering 84 bachelors, 184 masters and 78 doctoral degrees, it... The State University of New York at Stony Brook (SUNYSB), also known as Stony Brook University (SBU) is a public research university located in Stony Brook, New York (on the north side of Long Island, about 55 miles east of Manhattan, New York). ... UCSF in 1908, with the streetcar that used to run on Parnassus Avenue The University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) is one of the worlds leading centers of health sciences research, patient care, and education. ... The University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) is a coeducational public university located on the Pacific Ocean in Santa Barbara County, California, USA. It is one out of 10 campuses of the University of California. ... The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (U of M, UM or simply Michigan) is a coeducational public research university in the state of Michigan, and one of the foremost universities in the United States. ... The University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, offers bachelors, masters, and doctoral degrees in a variety of health-related disciplines, including pharmacy, Pharmaceutical Marketing and Management, pharmacology, physical therapy, biology, chemistry, toxicology, cell biology, biochemistry, medical technology, and bioinformatics. ... “University of Wisconsin” redirects here. ... The University of Toledo is a public university situated in Toledo, Ohio. ...

See also

Cosmeceuticals are cosmetic products that are claimed, primarily by those within the cosmetic industry, to have drug-like benefits. ... Traditional Chinese medicine shop in Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong. ... // 1916 Eli Lilly crude drug case for pharmacy students to study: contains 216 different specimens Crude Drug[1]: any naturally occuring unrefined subtance derived from organic or inorganic sources such as plant, animal, bacteria, organs or whole organisms intended for use in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of... Drug design is the approach of finding drugs by design, based on their biological targets. ... Early drug discovery involves several phases from Target identification to preclinical development. ... HIV protease in a complex with the protease inhibitor ritonavir. ... Galenic formulation deals with the principles of preparing and compounding medicines in order to optimize their absorption. ... Dioscorides’ Materia Medica, c. ... Some drugs have been withdrawn from the market subsequently to their introduction due to risks for the patients. ... Medicare Part D is a federal program to subsidize the costs of prescription drugs for Medicare beneficiaries in the United States. ... Medicinal or pharmaceutical chemistry is a scientific discipline at the intersection of chemistry and pharmacy involved with designing, synthesizing and developing pharmaceutical drugs. ... Technical advancements in recent years have allowed progress toward the understanding of the brain and how drugs can be made to affect it. ... Neuropharmacology is the branch of health science concerned with the study of drugs on the nervous system. ... Nicholas Culpeper - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia /**/ @import /skins-1. ... A pharmaceutical company, or drug company, is a commercial business whose focus is to research, develop, market and/or distribute drugs, most commonly in the context of healthcare. ... Pharmacognosy is the study of medicines from natural sources. ... Pharmacotherapy is the practice of treating diseases with medication. ... Pharmakos (Greek φαρμακος) in Ancient Greek religion was a kind of scapegoat. ... The technical term placebo is precisely applied in the specialized medical domains of pharmacology, nosology, and aetiology to denote the pharmacologically inert, dummy simulator of an active drug that serves as a scientific control in clinical trials designed to determine the clinical efficacy of that particular drug. ... The Prescription Drug Marketing Act (PDMA) of 1987 (P.L. 100-293, 102 Stat. ... Psychopharmacology is the study of the effects of any psychoactive drug that acts upon the mind by affecting brain chemistry. ... Back cover of the Chinese pharmacopoeia First Edition (published in 1930) Pharmacopoeia (literally, the art of the drug compounder), in its modern technical sense, is a book containing directions for the identification of samples and the preparation of compound medicines, and published by the authority of a government or a... This multi-page article lists drugs alphabetically by name. ...


  1. ^ a b Nagle, Hinter; Barbara Nagle (2005). Pharmacology: An Introduction. Boston: McGraw Hill. ISBN 0-07-312275-0. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Newton, David; Alasdair Thorpe, Chris Otter (2004). Revise A2 Chemistry. Heinemann Educational Publishers, page 1. ISBN 0-435-58347-6. 

Nickname: City on the Hill, Beantown, The Hub (of the Universe)1, Athens of America, The Cradle of Revolution, Puritan City, Americas Walking City Location in Massachusetts, USA Counties Suffolk County Mayor Thomas M. Menino(D) Area    - City 232. ... The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. ...

External links

  Results from FactBites:
U of M: Department of Pharmacology: home page. (175 words)
The Department of Pharmacology is part of the Medical School at the University of Minnesota.
Learn the history of Pharmacology, the difference between Pharmacology and Pharmacy, speciality areas of Pharmacology, and more.
The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer.
Pharmacology - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (691 words)
Pharmacology (in Greek: pharmacon (φάρμακον) meaning drug, and logos (λόγος) meaning science) is the study of how chemical substances interact with living systems.
Pharmacology as a science is practiced by pharmacologists.
Subdisciplines are clinical pharmacology (the medical field of medication effects on humans), neuro- and psychopharmacology (effects of medication on behavior and nervous system functioning), and theoretical pharmacology.
  More results at FactBites »



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