basic medical sciences


The study of drugs as for their chemical nature and therapeutic applications is included in the subject ‘pharmacology’. In typical medical courses the drugs are presented in relation to the body system for which they are usually used; e.g. drugs of digestive system, drugs of the eye and so on. In such way many students do not like the subject as it would overstrain their memorization capacity. In another apparently not better working style the drugs are ordered in alphabetical manner regardless their uses or forms. If this would be the case, medical teachers and students should find some compromise in learning pharmacology with more appreciation for its importance for the medical practitioner.

Indeed, in pharmacology we find interesting information about drugs as regard their metabolism in the body (pharmacokinetics), effect (pharmacodynamics) and relation to genetic factors (pharmacogenomics). In the latter theme the individual response to some drug is handled so that the drug type, form and dose would be appropriately tailored to suit a given type of patient. This would rely on the fact that there could be differences among different persons in their tolerance and response to some drug depending on differences in metabolic machinery (e.g. enzymes) which in turn have to do with the genetic makeup. Given the sophistication and high expenditure of those tests for individualized drug tailoring their applications would considerably differ by time and place. However, the keen appreciation of such differences can prove crucial for wise and prudent use of medically important drugs.

In this topic I may point to an interesting aspect of studying drugs concerning the frequency or mode of its taking. For examples: how often a dose should be given? Should it follow some diurnal rhythm (morning, day or night)? should the dose be always the same in some application context? How should be then its pattern in case it might be changing? ‘Pharmacorhythmics’ would consider an individualized drug dose, pattern and frequency to best suit a given patient in a given medical context. Needless to emphasize that such drug “iterations” need good knowledge of drugs and their particular therapeutic contexts.

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