This topic focuses on the fundamental principles of pharmacol-ogy. It discusses basic information, such as how drugs are named and how they’re created. It also discusses the different routes by which drugs can be administered.
This topic also discusses what happens when a drug enters the body. This involves three main areas:
· pharmacokinetics (the absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion of a drug)
· pharmacodynamics (the biochemical and physi-cal effects of drugs and the mechanisms of drug ac-tions)
· pharmacotherapeutics (the use of drugs to pre-vent and treat diseases).
Drugs have a specific kind of nomenclature—that is, a drug can go by three different names:
· The chemical name is a scientific name that precisely describes its atomic and molecular structure.
· The generic, or nonproprietary, name is an abbreviation of the chemical name.
· The trade name (also known as the brand name or proprietaryname) is selected by the drug company selling the product. Tradenames are protected by copyright. The symbol ® after the trade name indicates that the name is registered by and restricted to the drug manufacturer.
To avoid confusion, it’s best to use a drug’s generic name be-cause any one drug can have a number of trade names.
In 1962, the federal government mandated the use of official names so that only one official name would represent each drug. The official names are listed in the United States Pharmacopeia and National Formulary.
Drugs that share similar characteristics are grouped together as a pharmacologic class (or family). Beta-adrenergic blockers are anexample of a pharmacologic class.
The therapeutic class groups drugs by therapeutic use. Antihy-pertensives are an example of a therapeutic class.