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DERIVATION:The word pharmacology is derived from two Greek words i.e. PHARMAKON (an active principle or equivalent to drug, medicine or poison) and LOGIA (meaning study).

MEANING:Pharmacology means The Science of Drugs

DEFINITION:Pharmacology may be defined as the study of the History, Source, Physical and chemical properties, Compounding, Biochemical and Physiological effects, Mechanisms of Action, Absorption, Distribution, Biotransformation and Excretion, Therapeutic and other uses, precautions, Adverse effects, Interactions and Contra-indications of Drugs. It is discipline of Biology and is closely related to other disciplines in particular physiology and Biochemistry.

Pharmacokinetics embraces the knowledge of absorption, distribution and elimination (by metabolic biotransformation and /or excretion) of drugs. It does not deal with the effects of drugs. Distribution and elimination are sometimes referred to collectively in the single term disposition.

Pharmacodynamics may be defined as the study of biochemical and physiological effects of drugs and their mechanisms of actions. In simple words pharmacodynamics means the effects of drug on the body and Pharmacokinetics, means the way the body, well or sick, effects the drug with time.

Toxicology deals with noxious (hurtful) effects of drugs including toxic symptoms, diagnosis and their treatment. It is not only concerned with the therapeutic agents but also with many other chemicals that might be responsible for household (carbon monoxide poisoning) environmental (gases, tobacco smoking) and industrial intoxication (industry waste).

This is a branch of Health economics that aims to quantify in economic terms the cost and benefit of drugs used therapeutically.

This type of pharmacology deals with doses of drugs.

Pharmacogenetics is usually considered as branch of pharmacology that deals with the study of genetic factors that modify the individual response to drugs but it may equally be concerned with the influence of drugs on genes or the treatment of genetic diseases with drugs.

Pharmacogenomics is a branch of pharmacology that deals with the study of genetic make up of an individual to discover the gene variations which are associated with good and poor therapeutic response of an individual to a particular drug and this genetic information is utilized to guide the choice of drug therapy on an individual basis.

Pharmacoepidemiology is the study of drug effects at population level. It is concerned with the variability of drug effects between individuals in a population and between populations. Pharmacoepidemiological studies also take into account patient compliance and other factors that apply when the drug is used under real-life conditions.

It is that branch of medical science which is most concerned with the rational development, the effective and safe use and proper evaluation of drugs and other chemical entities in humans for the diagnosis, prevention, alleviation and cure of diseases and disease syndromes.

THEOTHERAPY:(Gr. Theos-god, therapeia-treatment). The treatment of disease by prayer and religious exercises.

A health science discipline that embodies the application and development, by pharmacists, of scientific principles of pharmacology, toxicology, therapeuctics, clinical pharmacokinetics, pharmacoeconomics, Pharmacogenomics, and other life sciences for the care of patients.

A pharmacist who is involved in clinical pharmacy practice, research and/or education. PHARMACY Pharmacy is concerned with the preparing, compounding and dispensing of chemical agents for therapeutic use.

Materia Medica is the science which deals with materials or substances used in medicine. The definition properly focuses mainly on names, sources, physical and chemical characters, preparations made from and doses of substances employed in the treatment of diseases.

Pharmacognosy may be defined as the science that deals with the biological, biochemical and economic features of natural drugs and their constituents. The modern aspects of the science describe not only the crude drugs but also their natural derivatives.


It deals with the structure and chemical reactions of active principles that are used as drugs.

Chemotherapy may be defined as the branch of pharmacology that deals with effects of drugs on microorganisms and parasites that are multiplying in the patients tissues. Such substances include natural or synthetic compounds which selectively kill the microorganisms or inhibit their growth without causing any injury or damage to host. The term chemotherapy is also, now-a-days, applied to the use of chemicals (either natural, semi- synthetic or synthetic)

used to inhibit the growth of malignant or cancerous cell in the body.

Bactericidal= which kills the bacteria (Penicillins)

Bacteriostatic= which inhibits the growth or multiplication of bacteria. (Tetracyclines)

It is the application of drug in the diagnosis prevention and treatment of diseases and their use in purposeful alteration of normal functions, such as in prevention of pregnancy or in the use of anaesthetics for surgical procedures. Pharmacotherapetuics is of primary concern to those who are engaged in healing professions. It is the branch of pharmacology which correlates pharmacodynamics with the pathologic physiology or microbiologic or biochemical aspects of disease.

Psychopharmacology is the study of actions of drugs on psychological functions and mental states.

Neuropharmacology is the study of effects of drugs on nervous system.