Textbook Notes (368,501)
Canada (161,931)
Psychology (9,695)
PSYC62H3 (313)
Chapter 2

Chapter Two

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Suzanne Erb

Chapter Two: Drug Classification and Behavioural Assessment  Drugs with almost identical molecular structures may induce entirely different effects, while other drugs whose molecular structures are quite different may induce almost identical effects Drug Classifications Based Upon Behavioural or Therapeutic Actions  If a new drug is discovered, and it’s said to have a profile of an anxiolytic (ie. Antianxiety agent) or a minor stimulant, it indicates that the new drug shares a profile of effects with other drugs that already belong to that class  Drugs that are a classed as major psychomotor stimulants share a set of properties, including actions such as enhancing attention and increasing various types of motor activities  Drugs that are classed as antipsychotic blunt the florid symptoms of schizophrenia and also treat mania  Many drugs classed as sedative-hypnotics induce stimulant-like effects or behavioural disinhibition at low doses (alcohol)  Antidepressants are sometimes used to treat anxiety, while anxiolytics can be used to treat depression  Atypical = unusual o Clozapine – atypical antipsychotic o Buspirone – atypical anxiolytic  Control or drug treatments at various doses reflect levels of the independent variable while the response to that drug is a dependent variable  Hamilton Depression Rating Scale or the Beck Depression Inventory assesses effects of anti depressant drugs  Hamilton Anxiety Scale measures the anxiolytic effects of drugs  Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale and the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale measure therapeutic effects of antipsychotic drugs  Much of psychopharmacology is experimental or preclinical in nature  Animal tests used to assess drug effects Drug Classification Based Upon Basic Neurochemical Actions  The ability of a drug to induce a behavioural effect is dependent upon its ability to alter the process of chemical transmission in the nervous system  Five basic stages of neurotransmission: synthesis, storage, release, postsynaptic action, inactivation  The action of a drug can be described as the intersection of the transmission process being affected and the neurotransmitter/neuromodulator being affected  Virtually all antipsychotic drugs currently used block dopamine receptors, while the minor stimulant caffeine antagonizes adenosine receptors Drug Names and Medical Uses of Drugs  Drugs have several official names  When a pharmaceutical company discovers or synthesizes a promising new drug, it is given a code name, generally consisting of two or more letters and a series of numbers  Its chemical name provides a complete description of a particular molecule according to specific rules of organic chemistry  The generic name of the compound indicates its legal, official, or non-proprietary name, which is typically the official name cited in research reports on the drugs  Once it’s been approved for marketing, it will have a brand or proprietary name given by its manufacturer  Prozac – fluoxetine – Lilly 110140  After 20 years, when the patent on a compound runs out, anybody can market it, so it may then have several other brand names  Reference book that describes psychotropic drugs according to their medical use – Physician’s Desk Reference (PDR) – lengthy explanations of the drugs’ chemical structure, how they work, conditions for which they’ve been approved for use, dosage administration, warnings, who can
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