Introduction to Pharmacology

Introduction to Pharmacology


General Pharmacology

       Introduction to Pharmacology

       Historical landmarks

       Scope of pharmacology

       Nature and source of drugs

Intended Learning Outcomes

At the end of this lecture, student will be able to

       Describe Pharmacology

       Explain the sources  of drugs

       Discuss the scope of pharmacology


       Science that deal with the drugs

       Derived from Greek words

       Pharmacon – An active principle/ drug

       Logos – Discourse/ Study

       India & China – Oldest known Pharmacological writings

       Vedas – Earliest Indian records

       Rig Veda – 3000 B.C

       Charaka, Sushrutha, Vagbhata – Described various medicinal plants


       300 herbal drugs

       Classified to 50 groups

       Original Ayurvedic Materia medica – superseded by alchemical/ Chemical substances in Christian era

       Chinese Materia medica – Pan Tsao

       Contained plant, metallic and few animal preparation

       Modern Medicine

       Date (450 B.C) from Hippocrates, a Greek physician

       Concept – pathologic process, observation, analysis

       Deduction by medicine

·         Western Medicine

       From Egypt, Assyria and Babylonia

       Papyri – First written account of medical experiences from Egypt (1900 B.C)

       Homeopathy (Similar suffering)

       Concept introduced by Hanneman in 19th century

       Like cures like & dilution potentiates the action of the drug

·         Allopathy (other suffering)

       Popularised by James Gregory (1753-1821)

       Differs from Modern Scientific medicine

       Wrongly applied


       Derived from French word drogue – a dry herb

       Drug is defined as any substance used for the purpose of diagnosis, prevention, relief/ cure of a disease in man/ animals

       According to WHO

                A drug is any substance / product that is used or intended to be used to modify/ explore physiological systems/ pathological state for the benefit of the recipient

Allied topics of Pharmacology



       Clinical Pharmacy












       Offical code containing selected established list of drugs

       Descriptions, sandards

       IP, BP, USP, Ph. Eur.


       Information about available drugs

       Based on original and reputed drug information sources

       WHO Model Formulary: Help countries to develop national formulary

       The British National Formulary: BMA & RPS

The Nature and Source of Drugs

       Mineral: Liquid paraffin, MgSo4, Mg trisilicate, Kaolin

       Animal: insulin, thyroid extract, heparin, Gn, sera

       Plant: Morphine, digoxin, quinine, atropine, reserpine

       Microorganism: Penicillins

       Synthetic: Analgesic, hypnotic, anticancer, antimicrobials

       Genetic engineering: Insulin, GH (rDNA)

       Hybridoma technique: Monoclonal Abs


       Schedule I

      High potential for abuse, research

      Cannot be prescribed


      LSD, Marijuana

       Schedule II

      High potential for abuse (Physical and psychic dependence)

      No telephonic prescriptions (not refillable)

      Morphine, codeine

       Schedule III

      Accepted medical use with restrictions

      Ketamine, thiopental, nalorphine

       Schedule IV

      Low abuse potential

      Long acting barbiturates and benzodiazepines

       Schedule V

      Minimum abuse

      Some on prescription - Codeine

      Others - OTC


       Pharmacology: Science that deals with the drugs

       Concept – pathologic process, observation, analysis

       Pharmacology is the branch of biology concerned with the study of drug action, where a drug can be broadly defined as any man-made, natural, or endogenous molecule which exerts a biochemical or physiological effect on the cell, tissue, organ, or organism 

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