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Basic Pharmacology - Understanding Basic Concepts of Pharmacology

Basic Pharmacology - Understanding Basic Concepts of Pharmacology

Basic Pharmacology - Understanding Basic Concepts of Pharmacology - In order to acquire a proper knowledge of pharmacology one needs to be thorough with the most basic concepts of this field and therefore, we need to go through the very simple as well as the very complex terminologies, definitions, phenomenon and mechanisms of this vast subject.

Divisions of Pharmacology

The science of pharmacology has been broadly subdivided into the following:
1. Pharmacodynamics – The biological and physiological effects of the drug.
2. Pharmacokinetics – The absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion of the drug.

Nomenclature of Drugs

The pharmacological nomenclature of drugs is done accordingly:
Chemical Name – A systematic name given to the structure of the substance.
Generic Name – The name of the drug itself. It is applicable in the case of drugs which belong to the same class have a common denouement (allows you to classify drug & predict effects).
Trade Name – The name set or delineated by the company producing the drug.

Pharmacological Targets of Drugs

1. Receptors for endogenous substances (hormones, neurotransmitters, growth factors)

Opioid analgesics, Beta-blockers, Bronchodilators, Tamoxifen, Antihistamines.

2.Transport molecules

SSRIs, Proton pump inhibitors, Cocaine.

3. Ion channels

Benzodiazepines, Inhaled anaesthetics, Calcium channel blockers, Alcohol.

4. Enzymes

NSAIDs, Statins – cholesterol-lowering agents, ACE inhibitors – lower Blood Pressure.

Concepts of Basic Pharmacology

1. Bioavailability: The amount of unchanged drug that reaches the systemic circulation
2. Therapeutic Index: A comparison of amount of a drug that causes therapeutic effect vs toxicity
3. Adverse Effect: Unwanted undesirable harmful effects of any medicament
4. Therapeutic Effect: A desirable or beneficial effect produced by any medicament
5. Contraindication: It can be a specific situation in which a drug substance should not be used as it may be harmful

Receptor agonists and antagonists and examples of the use of each in a clinical setting.

1. Receptor agonists: These are the ones which enhance the action of the drug by producing the same response as
a natural substance does. E.g. Opioid analgesics to reduce pain.
2. Receptor antagonists: These are the ones which decrease the action of the drug by binding to a receptor, having no effect of themselves but preventing the natural substance or an agonist from binding to its target site. E.g. Beta-blockers to reduce blood pressure.

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