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Chapter 2

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Suzanne Erb

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 Category Example Major Stimulants Amphetamine Minor Stimulants Caffeine Antipsychotics Thorazine Antidepressants Prozac Anxiolytic Valium Sedative-Hypnotics Alcohol Opiates Morphine Hallucinogens LSD - 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 development. 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
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