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Pharmacology

DanielleSaragoni

EnglishIIIHonors
Mrs.Kopp
February26,2015


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DanielleSaragoni
Mrs.Kopp
EnglishIIIHonors
26February2015
Pharmacology
DoctorandSurgeonsgaintherespectofthepublicbecauseoftheamazinglifesaving
workthattheypreform.Whathappensinthelabsandalloftheresearchbehindtheirworkoften
goesunrecognized.Pharmacistsworkthroughstressfulsituationsandoftendoublecheckthe
workofdoctorstoensurethesafetyoftheirpatients.Behindthepharmacywork,inthelabs
pharmacologistsspendendlesstimeresearchinganddiscoveringdrugs,theirforms,theirsafety,
andeverythingelseimaginableaboutmedicines.Pharmacology,thebranchofmedicinethat
focusesontheeffectsthatchemicaldrugshaveonlivingbiologicalsystems,isacareerofutmost
importanceinthemedicalfieldandhasmanydifferentfieldsthatbranchfromit.
Pharmacyisamedicalworkfieldpertainingtothemanufacturinganddistributingof
drugs.Ifsomeonegraduatesfromcollegewithapharmacydegreetheytheyarethenreferredto
asapharmacist.Pharmacyisanextremelyimportantdegreeinthemedicalfield,andalllegal
medicationsthatarenotoverthecounterdrugs,drugssolddirectlytoconsumerswithouta
writtenprofessionalprescription,comefrompharmacies.Pharmacistsworkbehindthecounters
ofcommondrugstores,corporatepharmacies,orevenselfownedpharmacies.Pharmacists
worktodistributeallofthedrugsprescribedbydoctorstotheirpatients.Alldoctorsfrom
dentists,pediatricians,andevensurgeonsprescribedrugstotheirpatientsformanydifferent
purposes.Pharmacistsmustensurethattheymeasurethecorrectdosagesandtypesof


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medicationsforpeopleofcertainweightsandsizes,peoplewhomayhaveallergies,orpeopleon
othermedications.Pharmacistshavemanymoreresponsibilitiesathantheyarecredited.
Pharmacology,commonlymistakenasanotherphraseforpharmacy,studiesthe
interactionsbetweenchemicallymanufacturesdrugsormedicationsanddifferentliving
biologicalsystems(PharmacologyandToxicology).Bothnaturalandsyntheticdrugscan
haveeffectsonthebiologicalsystemsofhumansandanimals.Pharmacologistshavealarge
responsibilityfortheextensiveresearchneededtodeterminehowthesedrugscanaffectthe
body,andhowthesedrugsinteractwitheachotherinsideofthebody.Manydifferentsciences
revolvearoundthestudyofpharmacology,suchasphysiology,biochemistry,andcelland
molecularbiology(WhatisPharmacology).Pharmacologistscanprovideaprofessional
viewpointwhenitcomestosolvingdrug,hormone,andchemicalrelatedproblems.
Thefirsttracesofearlypharmacologycamefromancientcultureswheretheytreated
bacterialinfectionswithdifferentplants,soil,andmolds(AncientTimes,2).Manyancient
civilizations,suchasSerbia,China,andGreece,usedmoldybreadtopreventinfections.They
wouldpresstheoldbreadagainstwoundstopreventinfectionfromgrowing.Othernatural
products,forinstancehoney,lard,andlint,alsoworkedtocoverwounds.Egyptiansusedthese
methodsaround1500'BC.Someoftheseremediesderivedfromspiritualbeliefs,and
apparentlysignalthegodsresponsiblefortheillness,butotherremedieshaveappeared
scientificallyproventowork.Honey,usedbytheEgyptianstocoverwounds,actuallycontains
hydrogenperoxide,abacteriakillingsubstance.
Althoughtheancientdevelopmentsofmedicinesbegantheprimaryideasfor
pharmacology,therealhistoryofpharmacologybeganinthelateseventeenhundredsandearly


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eighteenhundredsandchangeddrasticallyduringthenineteenthcentury.Intheearlyfifteen
hundredsaSwissalchemist,physician,botanist,andastrologer,Paracelsus,begantheuseof
chemicalelementsandmineralsinmedications.Paracelsusactivelyopposedtheuseofmultiple
substancesinasinglemedication.LaterintheseventeenhundredsamannamedWilliam
Witheringdiscovereddigitalis.Asadrugpreparedfromdriedfoxgloveleaves,Digitalisworked
asoneofthemostvaluablecardiacdrugsevercreated(ParacelsusBiography).Thisdrug
containssubstancesthatstimulatetheheartmuscle.Digitalisbecametheleadingtreatmentof
congestiveheartfailure,previouslyreferredtoasdropsy.
Anineteenthcenturychemist,FriedrichWohler,famouslyknownforthesynthesisof
ureafromchemicalsubstances,demolishedthevitalforcetheory.Ureaportraysahighly
soluble,colorless,odorlesssolid(FriedrichWohler).Thehumanbodyusesureainmany
processes,themostnotedprocessbeingnitrogenexcretion.Importanthighlightsinthehistory
ofpharmacologyinvolvethediscoveriesofverypopulardrugs.Oneoftheearliestpain
medicationsdiscoveredwasmorphine.Morphinewasfirstcreatedin1805byFriedrich
Serturner,anditstillremainsastheprimarytreatmentofseverepain.Hospitalstodaystilluse
morphineasoneofthenumberonepainreliefdrugs.Themainactivechemicalinmorphineis
opium.Before1922andthediscoveryofinsulin,diabeteswasoneofthemostfeareddiseases
becauseitalmostalwaysleadtodeath.Dr.FrederickBantingandhisassistantCharlesBest
discoveredthatiftheyremovedthepancreasfromalivingbody,thenthebodywouldacquire
diabetes.Theyperformedextensiveexperimentsonmultipledogs,andtheytiedoffthepancreas
inonedogstoppingthenourishmentflowtotheorgan.Theythenlaterremovedthepancreas
andsliceditupandfrozeitwithwaterandsaltsmixtures.Aftertheygroundedupandfiltered


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thesolutiontheybeganinjectingitintothebodiesofdogswithdiabetesandafteraperiodof
timetheynoticedthatthediabetessymptomsdisappearedandthedogswerebecominghealthy
again.Theyransimilartestsoncattletoensurethatitworkedwithotherspecies,andwhenthey
eventuallytesteditwithdiabetichumanstheydiscoveredthattheirtreatmentfordiabetesworked
effectively.TheynameditinsulinandafternewsspreadBantinglaterwontheNobelPrizein
PhysiologyandMedicine.Insulinisstillthetreatmentusedtodayfordiabeticpeopleallaround
theworld(ThediscoveryofInsulin).AnotherverycommondrugusedtodayisPenicillin.
Penicillinwascreatedin1928byAlexanderFleminganditwasoneofthefirstantibioticstobe
effectiveagainstseriousdiseases.AfterFlemingsexperiencesonthebattlefieldinWorldWar
1,hewantedtodiscoverachemicalthatcouldstopbacterialinfections(PBS).Onedayinhis
labhediscoveredthatinoneofhispetridishestherewasmoldgrowing,whichwasnormal,but
henoticedthatthebacteriaaroundthemoldhadbeenkilledbythepenicillininthedish(Singh,
H.Dr.).ThesediscoverieswerenotpublicallyrecognizeduntilthestartofWorldWar11,when
thebenefitsofpenicillinwereknown.
PedaniusDioscorides,agreekphysician,wroteafivevolumebookonhisdiscoveriesof
eachplantandtheiruses.Hisbook,DeMateriaMedica,wasknownasthesupremeauthorityof
medicineandpharmacologyforalmostfifteenhundredyears.ClaudeBernardalsoknownasthe
fatherofmodernexperimentalmedicineforhisdiscoveriesoftheneuromuscularsystem,andthe
functionoftheliverandpancreas(ClaudeBernard:Abriefbiography).Pharmacologywasa
partofdifferentmedicalsciences,butitfirstemergedasaseparatesciencedepartmentwhenthe
firstuniversitychairwasestablished.RudolfBuchheimwasappointedtheprofessorof
pharmacologyattheUniversityofDorpatinEstoniain1847.Theschooltodayisknowasthe


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UniversityofGiessenRudolfBuchheimInstituteforPharmacology.Buchheimbuiltthefirst
pharmacologylaboratoryinthebasementofhisownhomeduetothelackoffunding,butit
eventuallygrew.Hisreputationisoftenoutweighedbythatofoneofhisstudents,Oswald
Schmiedeberg.Schmiedebergisreferredtoasthefounderofmodernpharmacology,andhe
graduatedwithhismedicaldoctoratein1866undertheteachingsofBuchheimwithathesison
themeasurementofchloroforminblood.In1872hetookoverBuchheimspositionasthe
professorofpharmacology.AnAmericanwhotrainedunderSchmiedeberg,JohnJacobAbel,
establishedthefirstchairinpharmacologyattheUniversityofMichiganin1890(TheJohn
JacobsAbelcollection).AbelisreferredtoasthefatherofAmericanpharmacologybecauseof
hisextensiveresearchandmultipleproceduressuchastheisolationofaminoacidsfromthe
blood,theisolationofhistaminefrompituitaryextract,andthepreparationofpurecrystalline
insulin.Abelrenamedthesubjectpharmacologyopposetoit'soriginalnameMateriaMedica.
Thescienceofpharmacologycontainsmanydifferentbranchesofpharmacologywithin
it,suchasPharmacokinetics,Pharmacodynamics,Pharmacotherapeutics,Chemotherapy,
Toxicology,ClinicalPharmacology,Pharmacy,Pharmacognosy,Pharmacoeconomics,
Pharmacogenetics,Pharmacoepidemiology,ComparativePharmacology,Posology,andAnimal
Pharmacology("PharmacologyandToxicology").Allofthesefieldsdealwithhowpropertiesof
drugsaffectdifferentthings.
Pharmacokineticsreferstothestudyofdrugabsorption,expansion,metabolismand
excretion.Akeyconceptinpharmacokineticsistheeliminationofdrugsfromthebody.The
mostimportantgoalsofclinicalpharmacokineticsincorporateincreasingefficiencyand
decreasingtoxicityofthemedications.Theeffectofdrugsonthehumanbodyhasadirect


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relationshiptotheconcentrationofthedrugwhenthebodyfirstdetectsit.Theactionsitesinthe
body,ortheplaceswherethefirstdetectionofdrugsoccur,cannotbeobserved.Totestthe
concentrationofdrugsinthebodydoctorsandscientistsuseeasilysampledfluids.Thesefluids
consistofblood,silva,plasma,orurine(IntroductionofPharmacokineticsand
Pharmacodynamics1).Thisbranchofpharmacologypossessesmuchimportanceduetothe
necessityofit'sresearch.
Pharmacodynamicsreferstotherelationshipsthatcanoccurbetweendifferentdrug
concentrationsandhowthedifferentconcentrationsaffectthebodyindifferentways.The
relationshipsbetweentheseincludethetimecourseofthedrugs,theintensityofthedrugs,and
therapeuticreactionsofthedrugs(IntroductionofPharmacokineticsandPharmacodynamics
2).Tobetterunderstandpharmacokineticsandpharmacodynamics,pharmacokineticspertainsto
thestudyofwhatthebodydoestoadrug,whereaspharmacodynamicspertainstothestudyof
whatdrugsdotothebody.Theeffectsofdrugsonabiologicalsystemcanbecompiledinto
sevenmainorganizationsofactions,Stimulationaction,depressingaction,blockingaction,
stabilizingaction,replacingsubstances,directbeneficialchemicalreaction,anddirectharmful
chemicalreaction.Thecategorizationofalldrugscomesfromoneoftheseactions.
Thesedifferentbranchesorspecialtiesofpharmacologyincorporateallofthe
pharmacologicalcomponents.PharmacotherapeuticsorPharmacotherapyensuresthesafetyof
theuseofdrugsinpatientcare,alongwiththeappropriateandeconomicalusesofdrugsin
patientcare(Pharmacotherapy).Pharmacists,thepeopleresponsibleforensuringsafeand
appropriatepharmaceuticaldrugs,possessexpertskillsinpharmacotherapy.Pharmacologyis
oftenreferredtothesciencethatstrivestocontinuallyimprovepharmacotherapy.Pharmacists,


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aspharmacotherapyspecialists,specializeinadministeringandprescribingmedicationsandhave
aresponsibilityfordirectpatientcare.
Cancer,amalignantgrowthortumorthatresultsfromthedivisionofabnormalcells,is
oneofthemostdeadlyuncureddiseases,andthesecondleadingcauseofdeathintheUnited
States.Duetotheimprovementofcancertreatmentandscreening,survivalratescontinueto
increase.Chemotherapy,oneofthemostoftenusedandwellknowntreatmentsforcancer,acts
asoneofthemajorbranchesofpharmacology.Theusesofchemotherapyincludeshrinking
cancer,preventingcancerfromspreading,relievingthesymptomsofcancer,andoftencuring
cancer.Dependingonthetypeofcancer,andthelocationofthecancer,chemotherapyin
prescribedindifferentways.Themostcommonchemotherapytreatmentsareadministeredvia
injectionsintothemuscles,undertheskin,intoanartery,intoavein,orintothefluidaroundthe
spinalcordorbrain.Thelessinvasivechemotherapytreatmentincludespillstakenbymouth
(YiBinChen,MD).Sincechemotherapytravelsthroughthebloodtotheentirebody,itdoes
containmanysideeffects.Chemotherapycandamagenormalbodycellssuchasbonemarrow,
hair,andtheliningofthedigestivetract.Sincechemotherapydamagesthesecellsitresultsin
sideeffects.Mostpeoplewhoreceivechemotherapytreatmentoftenexperiencehairloss,upset
stomach,vomitinganddiarrhea,poorappetite,weightloss,drymouth,mouthsores,orswelling
ofthemouth,painduetodamagednerves,abnormalbleedingevenduringregulardaily
activities,easilytired,andmorelikelytoacquireinfections.Thesideeffectsofchemotherapy
dependondifferentthingssuchasthetypeofcancer,orthetypeofdrugsbeingused.Newer
formsofchemotherapyhavebeenalternatedtocausefewersideeffects.Theevolutionof
molecularoncologyandrationalcancertherapeuticsdirectlyrelatetotheevolutionof


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chemotherapy.Chemotherapyalsointegratesthebasicscience,pharmacology,pathology,and
clinicaloncology.
Toxicology,verysimilarlyrelatedtopharmacology,representsnotonlytheeffectsof
chemicalsonlivingorganisms,butalsothestudyofsymptoms,mechanisms,treatmentsand
detectionofpoisoningalongwiththepoisoningofpeople.Thekeycriteriaregardingthe
toxicityofadrugisthedosageoramount.Allsubstancesappeartoxicundertherightconditions
(WhatisToxicology?).Thedifferentfactorsthataffecttoxicityincludedosage,exposure,
species,age,sex,andenvironment.Allofthesefactorscantelltoxicologistsand
pharmacologistshowmuchofamedicationthattheycanprescribetopatients,howoften
patientscantakethemedications,andifthemedicationisevensuitabletocertainpatients.
ClinicalPharmacology,abroadscopeofpharmacology,connectsthegapbetweenactual
medicalpracticeandthelaboratoryresearchofthescience.Promotingthesafetyofa
prescription,maximizingthedrugeffects,andminimizingthesideeffectsconcludethemain
objectivesofclinicalpharmacology.Clinicalpharmacologistsworkinavarietyoffields.Inthe
laboratorysettingtheyworktoresearchandstudypharmacokinetics,drugmetabolisms,genetics,
andoftenbiomarkers(WhatisClinicalPharmacology).Clinicalpharmacologistsworkingin
theofficesettingsstrivetodesignclinicaltrialsandevaluatethem,alongwithworkingtocreate
andimplementtheguidelinesandregulationsofdruguse.Intheclinicalsettingtheyworkwith
patientsdirectly,participateindifferentexperimentalstudies,andinvestigatetheadverse
reactionsandinteractionsbetweendrugsandpeople.Thesedifferentworkfieldswithinclinical
pharmacologymakeitamorediversecareerpath.


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Pharmacognosyfocusesonthestudyofmedicinesthatarederivedfromnatural
resources.Plantsandherbsnaturallyproducechemicalcompoundsthatsyntheticdrugsderive
from.Whenbrokendown,thewordpharmacognosybasicallymeansdrugknowledge
(MedicinalChemistryandPharmacognosy).Drugknowledge,ormoresophisticallydefinedas
thestudyofthephysical,chemical,biochemical,andbiologicalpropertiesofdrugs,ordrug
substances,helpsustounderstandthedifferentpropertiesthatcomefromnaturaldrugs.
Allofthecomplexpharmacologicalbrancheshelptorepresentthesignificanceofsucha
career.Consideringthatthecareerofpharmacologyconsistsprimarilyonresearching
interactionsbetweendrugsandbiologicalsystemsandacollectionoflabworktosupportthe
reasoningoftheseinteractions,thestepstoachievingadegreechallengemostapplicants
(MedicinalChemistryandPharmacognosy).Afterreceivingacompletehighschooleducation
studentsmustattendapproximatelyeightyearsofcollegeinordertogainaproperpharmacology
degree.Theundergraduateprerequisitecoursesrequiredtoattendtheprofessional
pharmacologicalprogramtypicallytakestudentsfouryearstocomplete.Studentsinterestedin
enteringthefieldshouldtakeclassessuchastoxicology,chemistry,biology,pharmacology,and
microbiology.Afterearningabachelorsdegreeatafouryearcollege,studentswillcomplete
handsontrainingthroughlabsandevenclinicalexperiencestobetterequipthemselvesfora
futureinpharmacology.Pharmacistsorpharmacologistswhoplantoadministerdrugsto
humansorinteractwithpatients,mustbealicensedmedicaldoctor.Amedicaldoctordegreeor
M.D.requiresstudentstograduatefromanaccreditedmedicalschool,passlicensingexams,and
completeresidencyrequirements.Typicalpharmacologistsmusthaveadvanceddegreessuchas


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adoctorofpharmacydegree,Pharm.D.,oradoctorofphilosophydegree,Ph.D.,inorderto
findjobs.
Asidefromtheeducationalrequirements,pharmacologistsmustpossesscertainskills
suchasstrongbackgroundsinmathandscience,alongwithbeingabletogather,analyzeand
understandmedicaldata.Careerpathssimilarlyrelatedtopharmacologyincludebiochemistry
andepidemiology.Biochemistsstudylivingorganismssimilartopharmacologistsandworkin
labstodiscoverwhycellsdowhattheydo.Epidemiologistsstudytheevolutionofdisease
outbreaksandhowtocontroltheseoutbreaks.Bothofthesecareersrequirerelatedprerequisite
coursesandaPh.D.allowingstudentstocontinuemovingforwardwiththeircareerbefore
decidinganexactoccupation.Thecompetitiontogetacceptedintoamedicalcollegeconstantly
increases.Mostapplicantsfailtogetintomedicalschoolforvariousreasons.Applyingtoa
narrowrangeofschools,orschoolsthatdonotsuitstudentscandecreasethechancesof
acceptance.Studentslackingclinicalexperiencetendtohaveadifficulttimebeingacceptedinto
amedicalschool.Schoolscanseethestudentsaccomplishmentsandexposuresontheirresume,
butiftheydonotdemonstrateanyclinicalexposuretheschoolsloseinterestinthosecandidates
(Wright).Althoughmedicalschoolsappearscienceandmathbased,studentswhosubmitpoorly
writtendocumentsoressayshavetroublebeingaccepted.Performingwellincollegeclassesand
testingextremelywellonthemedicalcollegeadmissiontest,MCAT,helptoensurethatstudents
haveachanceatacceptance("TheBasics").Submittingtheapplicationontimeorpreferably
earlyanddemonstratinggoodinterviewskillsbetterthechancesforacceptance.
Whenchoosingschoolstoapplytoitisimportantthatstudentstakeintoconsideration
whichschoolshavethebestprogramsfortheirchoiceofstudy.Thetopthreeschoolsinthe


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countrybasedontheirpharmacologyprogramsincludeHarvardUniversity,Universityof
CaliforniaatSanFrancisco,andUniversityofNorthCarolinaatChapelHill(WorldRanking
SchoolsinPharmacyandPharmacology).Studentsonthesearchforanamazingtopranking
Universitytoattendforpharmacologyshouldlookintotheseschoolsorfindothersthatbetter
suittheirpersonalstyles.Forpharmacologystudentsseekingamedicaldoctordegree,thetop
threebestmedicalschoolsinthecountryincludeHarvardUniversity,StanfordUniversity,and
JohnsHopkinsUniversity.
Pharmacologyandthedifferentfieldsthatderivefromitstudytherelationshipsand
interactionsthatoccurbetweenbiologicalsystemsandmedications.Pharmacology,althoughit
goesunrecognizedbythepublic,containsgreatsignificance.Alloftheschooling,researching,
labworkandextensivehoursthatpharmacologistsputintoobtainingthesedegreeshas
importance.


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