healthy life styles, can certainly prevent „bending‟ of spine in older individuals (It is far better to
prevent something than cure it)
• Drugs are very helpful for veterinary medicine (not just humans)
• Drugs are used for agriculture: effective drugs can prevent/treat plant disease and kill harmful
• As mentioned, plants have their own drugs for protection-purposes. Interestingly, some of our
best insecticides are derived from plants.
• Using drugs also raise environmental concern; effects on water, plants, wild-life, etc.
• For humans, drugs are also used for performance alteration (ex. Athletes, Olympics)
• Pharmacology is the bridge among many different disciplines
Pharmacy vs. Pharmacology
• Pharmacists sell drugs at their offices (more business-like)
• Pharmacologists are involved in studying drugs, developing and testing drugs, etc.
• A sub-specialty of pharmacology, a science of poisons
• Plant contains a variety of toxins.
• Poisons can show up at many different, rather strange places (ex. Without high enough
temperature, pottery can give out unexpected toxins)
• There are always potential toxins in foods. National agency and laboratories monitor/check
food sources and make sure there‟s no contaminant.
Side effects of drugs & Drugs interactions
• Drugs have side effects. In addition, when taking more than one types of drugs, they may
interact with each other. All these can make one‟s life quite miserable.
• One of the most important things that you must remember about pharmacology is that there‟s
no such thing as a drug without side effects. Every drug, as it alters biological systems, inevitably
produces side effects in at least some individuals (wonderful drugs for A may cause horrible
things on B)
• The crucial thing is to know what the side effects are, and document and understand about them.
You also have to consider + and – of the particular drug when taking or prescribing drugs.
• Some drugs may have very few and minor side effects, but one must be always concerned about
their side effects, and the drugs‟ pros (+) & cons (-).
• Side effects (by overdose or interactions) on babies/young children are of particular concern
because they are very vulnerable and their abilities to metabolize drugs are not great at that point
History of pharmacology
• People have used drugs and plant parts to treat disease. They knew that plants are very potent
sources. They gradually draw out and develop some useful drugs from plants.
• In days of Hippocrates, people used all different plant parts. We still do.
• In Hippocrates‟ time, understanding of the human body and disease was primitive, and