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Queen's University
Pharmacology and Toxicology
PHAR 100
Hisham Elbatarny

History of Drug Usage • pharmacology → greek pharmakon: drug logos: study • drug: any substance received by a biological system that is not received for nutritive purposes • includes chemicals and biologicals, herbals • drugs have been used for 1000’s of years: ◦ morphine, alcohol, herbal material, blacksmith shop water for anemia (iron) ◦ Cleopatra used aloe vera, and of course the asp Influence of Religion • primitive societies: medicine men acted as priest and physician – two were intertwined and practice of medicine was distorted by religion and magic • religion used intoxicating substances ◦ psilocybin in Mexico: hallucinagen → communicating w/ gods ◦ Peyote Buttons – NorthAmerica – has mescaline which causes hallucinations and euphoria • drugs were part of the religious service as well as therapy Influence of Poisons • Paracelsus: considered the father of toxicology ◦ “all substances are poisons ◦ there is none which is not a poison ◦ the right dose differentiates a poison and a remedy.” West and Central Africa • ordeal trials – to identify sorcerers • sorcerers were thought to be responsible for all evil events that befell the group • healer gave each member a poison and those that vomited the poison survived and those that did not died and were the sorcerers • a number of today’s drugs have come from those trials – physostigmine • now modified to be less toxic, also control the dose. Amazon – arrow poison • natives dipped their arrow tips into a poison, curare, which caused paralysis by inhibitingACH at the neuromuscular junction • blocks muscle contraction • derivatives of curare are used today in surgery as a muscle relaxant • ergot : fungus on rye (usually) produces alkaloids usually during wet seasons– plant disease which can produce toxicities in humans • 12,000 in one area of Russia died – not recognized at the time (ergot poisoning) • symptoms of ergot poisoning: ◦ constriction of blood vessels to fingers toes and limbs, turned black due to lack of blood flow – gangrene (has ability to constrict smooth muscle → vascular system) ◦ burning in limbs– St.Anthony’s fire – monks set up hostels to care for patients (w/ ergot) ◦ mental frenzy – hallucinations and convulsions, ergot alkaloids resemble LSD ◦ abortion – ergot causes violet contractions of the uterus which results in abortions ◦ used by midwives 16th century ◦ recognized by Dr. J. Stearns who introduced ergot into medicine ◦ Pulvis Paturiens used in child birth – dose or product not standardized and those physicians with little experience with the drug used too high a dose resulting in death of many patients • ergotamine: more modern use is for migraine → constricts blood vessels (better drugs in 2013) • ergonovine: once used to contract the uterus to hasten delivery – too dangerous; no longer used ◦ used to control post partum bleeding – constricts blood vessels in the uterus. Drugs and Ancient Civilizations Early Chinese Medicine • early record of testing: in 2700 BC Shen Nong classified drugs (botanicals and animal products) according to taste. • “Hope that it was not too toxic”. • Ma Huang classified as a medium drug and was used for fever, colds, influenza. • ephedrine has been isolated from Ma Huang and used in asthma and as a decongestant • Chinese traditional medicine still use plants (as does western medicine) and animal parts – shavings of the antelope horn, bear gall bladder → impotence, and others • (no evidence of efficacy for the latter two) Early Egyptian Medicine • believed milk from a mother that gave birth to healthy child would cure a sick child • milk was collected and an incantation said over the milk, then administered to sick child. • Papyrus Ebers: ancient Egyptian writing, essentially textbook of drug use for physicians ◦ one of the earliest records of drug use • it contained purgative drugs (cleanses bowels): Castor oil, figs and senna ◦ use senna today Early Greek Medicine • in 380 BC, Theophrastus wrote a book on therapy which included opium • opium from the opium poppy – dried exudates • 1680 – Sydenham (british physician) “Among all the remedies which it has pleased almighty God to give to man to relieve his suffering none is so universal as opium” • 1803 – Serturner isolated morphine from opium: morphine from Morpheus, god of dreams • morphine is one of the most effective analgesic today Spain, Pers
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