Pharmacology is the study of chemicals or drugs and the effect they have on the living animals. Introduction to pharmacology seeks to explain clearly what drugs are, what bodies do to them and their effect on body functions. Pharmacology explains the reason for people to experience side effects and why the action of drugs is different for different people. Everyone has relied on pharmaceutical products in life so it is important to basically understand pharmacology.
A drug is a chemical which interacts with body proteins to bring a physiological function which is the general idea behind each medicine. When the chemicals are absorbed into a systemic circulation they tend to bind with specific proteins therefore changing how the cell functions slightly. Side effects occur because the drug will not specifically interact with only one type of protein.
The active ingredient in a drug’s chemical is the one that affects physiological functioning. Most drugs only need a very small amount of chemical to cause the effect. The amount could be 5 micrograms which is so small to handle and package but these ingredients re so expensive and when such little amounts are given out, most of the drug will be wasted and lost.
Therefore most drugs comprise of inactive ingredients namely gluten, lactose and dyes in order to fill out the drug and they have no effect on how cells function. For drugs to be taken orally, inactive ingredients lubricate the drug and bind it together making it easy to swallow.
In introduction to pharmacology, you must know how drugs work. Proteins largely control our bodies where they exist in different forms and for different functions. There is a specific function for each protein and is also particular to the type of cell it acts on. For example receptors are protein of specific type and are embedded on cell surfaces and different protein types have different receptors. A receptor binds to other chemicals and proteins to the cells outside causing a change in how the cell functions. Agonists are drugs that cause changes in functioning of the cell while antagonists are drugs which stop the cell’s normal functioning.
Pharmacodynamics is a term to explain what the drug does to the body. A therapeutic effect is exerted when drugs are bound to proteins.
Drugs undergo different stages once they are in the body; the drug is absorbed across the cell membrane and into the blood to enter the cell. The drug is then distributed throughout the body for metabolism before it is excreted out of the body.
Every drug has a unique bioavailability which refers to the quantity of drug available to be effective on the biological system which is determined by pharmacokinetics for example some drugs are poorly absorbed so less of it will get to the systemic circulation where required.
As part of introduction to pharmacology, every drug has the range of dosages that will effectively treat a condition and still remain safe. Different types of drugs can vary greatly.