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Pharmacology-Definition, History and Branches

Discussion in 'Pharmacology' started by abdullah35khan, Jul 19, 2013.

  1. abdullah35khan

    abdullah35khan Young Member

    May 31, 2013
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    It is the science that deals with the study of drugs, including their origin, nature, chemistry, uses and beneficial and adverse effects. It includes the study of substances that bind to regulatory molecules and activate or inhibit normal body processes.

    A Brief Historical Perspective of Pharmacology:

    Ancient people used many plants and animals in an attempt to cure diseases. But they knew nothing about the chemistry or action of the actual substance. They also lacked the resources and systems to experiment and evaluate the action of drugs on large scales. Some people also practised very bizarre methods without any rational basis.

    Around the 17th century, reliance on observation and experimentation began to replace theorizing in medicine. The science of preparation and medical use of drugs at that time was called materia medica (Latin means medical matter). In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, Francois Magendie and Claude Bernard began to develop methods of experimentation in the fields of physiology and pharmacology.

    Slow modifications kept on going in the use of drugs later. In the past 50-60 years, however, there were tremendous advancements in this field. New molecular discoveries utterly changed the concepts of drug therapies. Now, materia medica is called pharmacology (derived from Greek words, pharmakos meaning "drug" and logos meaning "study or reasoning"). Today, we know much about the nature, chemistry and actions of drugs. Drug use or disuse is now based on its beneficial and harmful effects studied on animals and humans on large scales. Today we have resources to investigate about the molecular basis of the disease, which can enable us to use and discover the appropriate drugs. Newer methods and therapies are being discovered very fast these days.

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