Drug, pharmacology and therapeutic
Pharmacology is the study of drugs, of their action and their employment.
A drug can be defined like any compound introduced into a living organism, animal or human, in order to prevent or to cure a disease, or only to attenuate symptoms, or to establish a diagnosis.
A drug is not a mysterious or a magic object. It is a well defined molecule which, according to its structure, interacts with a target of our body or that of a microorganism and causes effects related to the modification of this target. Its beneficial effects, its clinical uses and often its adverse effects result from this interaction. A drug is a molecule of which the beneficial effects appeared sufficiently important compared to the adverse effects for obtaining a new drug approval . Drugs, used on a preventive or curative basis of diseases or to modify a physiological parameter like fertility, entered the everyday life of each one.
Therapeutics is the part of the medicine which studies and applies the means suitable to cure and to relieve the patients. The principal difference between pharmacology and therapeutics is that the first is based on the properties of drugs from which are deduced their clinical uses and contraindications, whereas the second is based on the patient and the disease to be treated and looks for the best means for reaching that point: drugs and other means, surgery, psychotherapy, radiotherapy, functional rehabilitation, pacemaker, angioplasties….Pharmacology and therapeutics aim at the same goal- to improve the treatment of the patients - and are complementary.
Pharmacorama, internet site, supplies the basis necessary to the comprehension of the effects of drugs and their mechanisms of action.
The prescription of a drug, supposes, each time it is possible, a precise diagnosis of the disease, an evaluation of overall condition of the patient, a pathophysiological comprehension of the disorders and a prognosis of their spontaneous evolution.
The mechanism of action of the majority of drugs is known. The drugs whose mechanism of action is not elucidated are generally active only at very high doses, which shows their weak affinity for a particular type of target and supposes a diffuse activity on multiple targets. Ethanol is a compound which illustrates this characteristic: it necessitates for inducing behavioral modifications doses of more than 12 g whereas triazolam acts at the dose of 0,125 mg, 100.000 times less.
Pharmacorama does not follow the history of the discovery of drugs and its presentation could lead readers to think that it is the receptor which led to the discovery of drugs. Actually, until now, it is the drug which led to the discovery of the receptor, morphine in is an example. It is necessary to pay homage to those which during the preceding decades, starting from a systematic screening or particular observations, discovered the main drugs that we use today: neuroleptics, antidepressants, benzodiazepines, anticancer drugs, antivirals, antibiotics... However, now, much of new drugs such as agonists, antagonists and enzyme inhibitors are conceived from their target. The current knowledge and techniques thus make it possible to select a multitude of active molecules as potential drugs, of which it remains to make sure of the efficacy and the good tolerance over the long term in patients.
Pharmacorama is addressed to students, physicians and pharmacists but also to private individuals because drugs are now part of the everyday life of each one.