Chapter 2 – Drug Classification and Behavioural Assessment
Drug Classifications Based Upon Behavioural or Therapeutic Actions
- It is common psychopharmacology to describe a drug as belonging to a particular class or type
based upon the psychological effect produced or the desired therapeutic action.
- Drug Categories
Major Stimulants Amphetamine
Minor Stimulants Caffeine
- The discussion of classifying the behavioural and therapeutic effects of drugs raises the question
of how such effects are measure. The therapeutic effects of drugs are often assessed by rating
scales that attempt to measure the symptoms of a particular disorder; these scales are typically
developed for diagnostic purposes but also are used for measuring the effects of drugs.
- Animal models are also typically used because a lot of companies use them in drug
Drug Classification Based Upon Basic Neurological Actions
- One can also describe drugs in terms of their direct neurochemical actions. The ability of a drug
to induce a behavioural effect is dependent on its ability to alter the process of chemical
transmission in the nervous system.
- There are 5 basic stages of neurotransmission (synthesis, storage, release, post-synaptic action,
and inactivation) In addition there are numerous neurotransmitters and neuromodulators. Thus,
the action of a drug can be described as the intersection of the transmission process being
affected and the neurotransmitter/neuromodulator being affected.
Drug Names and Medical Uses of Drugs
- A single drug has several official names. When a pharmaceutical company discovers or
synthesizes a new drug, it is given a code name (Letters and numbers), it’s chemical name
provides a complete description of a particular molecule according to specific rules of organic
chemistry, the generic name of the compound indicates it’s legal, official or non-proprietary
name, which is typically