Fundamentals of Pharmacology, 7E
The quote from Shakespeareâ€™s Romeo and Juliet alludes to two important points explored in this section. The rst is that medicines can be obtained from a variety of sources within our environment. The other is that these substances produce a powerful eect on the body. Thenature of the eect of medicines, both desired and unwanted, is the main theme of this book. Historical records show that medicine use has long been a part of human culture. A brief outline of the history of medicine use and the sources from which medicines are obtained is provided in Chapter1.
In Chapter2, we move to the present with a discussion of the sociocultural aspects of pharmacology. Our society is coming to grips with a number of issues related to medicine use, and health professionals must be aware of these issues and implement eective strategies to deal with them. Some of the issues raised in Chapter2 include the following:
â– the use of generic substances versus proprietary medicines;
â– medicine advertising;
â– perspectives of medicine use in the older person;
â– cultural dierences;
â– the use of over-the-counter (OTC) preparations.
The eect of these issues on health professionals, such as nurses, doctors and pharmacists, is also considered.
Pharmacology is a branch of medical science that deals with the properties and characteristics of chemical agents used for medicinal or other purposes. The actions and eects of these chemical agents on physiological systems are of particular interest. The physiological systems in which these eects are observed may be organs or tissues isolated from the body and articially maintainedâ€”in vitro situationsâ€”or within living whole organismsâ€”in vivo situations. In an etymological sense, the word â€˜pharmacologyâ€™ is derived from two Greek words: pharmakos, whichmeans medicine or drug, and logos, which means study.
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