PharmacologyPharmacology is the study of medicinal substances called pharmaceuticals. The field encompasses drug composition, drug properties, interactions, toxicology, and desirable effects that can be used in therapy of diseases.
Greek : pharmacon - drug, logos - science.
Medication drugs have to be approved by drug regulatory authorities such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. This field is called regulatory affairs. The International Conference on Harmonisation works in the standardisation for this.
Pharmaceuticals may be provided in a number of different pharmacological forms. Probably the most familiar are pills, in tablet and capsule form.
There are various classification systems for medicinal products including the Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical Classification System.
Classes of medicinal products
antacid, reflux suppressant, antiflatulent, antidopaminergic, antispasmodic, proton pump inhibitor, H2 antagonists, cytoprotectant, prostaglandin analogue, laxative, antidiarrhoeal, bile acid sequestrants, opioid
ACE inhibitor, cardiac glycoside, phosphodiesterase inhibitor, nitrate, antianginal, antiarrhythmic, angiotensin receptor blocker, alpha blocker, beta-receptor blocker, calcium channel blocker, antihypertensive, diuretic, vasoconstrictor, vasodilator, peripheral activator, anticoagulant, heparin, antiplatelet drug, fibrinolytic, anti-hemophilic factor, haemostatic drugs, hypolipidaemic agent, statin.
hypnotic, anaesthetics, antipsychotic, antidepressant (including tricyclic antidepressants, monoamine oxidase inhibitor, lithium salt, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor), anti-emetic, anticonvulsant and antiepileptic, anxiolytic, barbiturate, movement disorder drug, stimulant (including amphetamines), benzodiazepine, cyclopyrrolone, dopamine antagonist, antihistamine, cholinergic, anticholinergic, emetic, cannabinoids, 5-HT antagonist
analgesics (includes acetaminophen, NSAIDs and opioids), local anesthetics, general anaesthetics, sedatives, migraine treatment drug
NSAIDs, muscle relaxant, neuromuscular drug
anticholinesterase, COX-2 inhibitor
For the eye
anti-infective, topical antibiotic, astringent, NSAIDs, miotics, adrenergic neurone blocker, carbonic anhydrase inhibitor, ocular lubricant, mydriatic
For the ear, nose and oropharynx
sympathomimetic, antihistamine, anticholinergic, NSAIDs, steroid, antiseptic, local anesthetic, antifungal, cerumenolytic
bronchodilator, NSAIDs, anti-allergic, antitussive, mucolytic, decongestant
corticosteroid, beta-receptor antagonist, anticholinergic, steroid
androgen, antiandrogen, gonadotropin, corticosteroid, growth hormone, insulin, antidiabetic (sulfonylurea, biguanide/metformin, thiazolidinedione, insulin), thyroid hormones, antithyroid drugs, calcitonin, diphosponate, vasopressin analogues
antifungal, alkalising agent, quinolones, antibiotic, cholinergic, anticholinergic, anticholinesterase, antispasmodic, 5-alpha reductase inhibitor, selective alpha-1 blocker
contraceptive, oral contraceptives, spermicide, depot contraceptives
NSAIDs, anticholinergic, haemostatic drug, antifibrinolytic, Hormone Replacement Therapy, bone regulator, beta-receptor agonist, follicle stimulating hormone, luteinising hormone, LHRH
gamolenic acid, gonadotropin release inhibitor, progestogen, dopamine agonist, oestrogen, prostaglandin, gonadorelin, clomiphene, tamoxifen, Diethylstilbestrol
emollient, anti-pruritic, antifungal, disinfectant, scabicide, pediculicide, tar products, vitamin A derivatives, vitamin D analogue, keratolytic, abrasive, systemic antibiotic, topical antibiotic, hormones, desloughing agent, exudate absorbant, fibrinolytic, proteolytic, sunscreen, antiperspirant
For infections and infestations
antibiotic, antifungal, antileprotic, antituberculous drug, antimalarial, anthelmintic, amoebicide, antiviral, antiprotozoal
vaccine, immunoglobulin, immunosuppressant, interferon, monoclonal antibody
anti-allergic, antihistamine, NSAIDs
tonic, iron preparation, electrolyte, parenteral nutritional supplement, vitamins, anti-obesity drug, anabolic drug, haematopoietic drug, food product drug
For neoplastic disorders
cytotoxic drug, sex hormones, aromatase inhibitor, somatostatin inhibitor, recombinant interleukins, G-CSF, erythropoietin
A euthanaticum is used for euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide, see also Barbiturate#Other_non-therapeutical_use.
Drugs found to have serious side effects and subsequently withdrawn from the market
Thalidomide (1950s-60s), diethylstilbestrol (1970s), phenformin and buformin, Fen-phen, phentermine, dexfenfluramine & fenfluramine (1997), troglitazone (2000), cerivastatin (2001), rapacuronium (ORG 9487)
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