Main Body

1. Introduction to Pharmacology

Pharmacology: the study of interaction of drugs with living systems.

Sub-Disciplines of Pharmacology

  • Pharmacodynamics: effects and mechanisms of drug action
    • Drug-Receptor Interactions
    • Dose-Response Relationships
    • Signal Transduction
  • Pharmacokinetics: movement of drug throughout the body including:
    • Absorption
    • Distribution
    • Metabolism
    • Excretion
  • Pharmacogenetics: genetic factors play a role in the following:
    • Rate of Drug Metabolism
    • Drug-Induced Toxicity
    • Drug-Induced Allergies

Pharmacology and the Pharmacist

Key Questions you should be asking as a Pharmacist:

  • Where is the molecular site of action?
  • What are the body function changes caused by a drug (pharmacodynamics)?
  • What is the relationship between the Dose vs. Effect?
  • How does a drug produce its effect?
  • What is the fate of the drug once it enters the body (pharmacokinetics)?
  • What is the interplay between genetic makeup and drug response?

Example: Beta 1 Blocker: Metoprolol Succinate (oral)

Drug Action: selective binding to cardiac muscle beta 1 adrenergic receptors that respond to norepinephrine (at higher doses, also inhibits bronchial and vascular smooth muscle by acting on beta 2 adrenergic receptors) to inhibit the binding of norepinephrine.

Drug Effect: reduced inotropic effect (contractility) and chronotropic effect (heart rate)

Fate of the Drug (pharmacokinetics): 12% protein binding and distribution 5.6 L/kg: hepatic metabolism (CYP2D6 mainly): <5% renal excretion: t1/23-7 hours


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Principles of Pharmacology - Study Guide Copyright © by Edited by Dr. Esam El-Fakahany and Becky Merkey, MEd is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.