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The topic of pharmacology usually escapes the attention of many college students by virtue of the fact that pharmacology itself is rarely taught on the undergraduate level.
It generally is reserved for postbaccalaureate students who are enrolled in health curricula associated with medicine, dentistry, nursing, and the veterinary sciences; however, certain upper level undergraduates are interested in the subject.
This book – Introduction to Pharmacology PDF is the product of teaching undergraduates the principles of pharmacology over the last 20 years. During that period the author continually searched for an appropriate textbook for students who normally had some background in biochemistry and physiology. Medical school texts were of no use since their coverage is far too extensive. Alternatively, “softer” texts tended to overemphasize certain areas, such as drug abuse, which were often the driving force behind their creation. Although both types of texts were good in their own right, they missed the mark. Students frequently expressed a desire for more “hard” science that would not inundate them with boiler plate text. It is because I agree with this sentiment that this book – Introduction to Pharmacology PDF was created. The goal of this book – Introduction to Pharmacology PDF is not to be a mini-medical school pharmacology text. Rather, it is intended to address a wider audience of advanced undergraduate students who have an interest in learning about the diverse aspects of pharmacology in society—not simply about the curative aspects of drugs. It is hoped that not only students in the biological sciences but also those in the social sciences will find some, if not all, of Introduction to Pharmacology PDF contents informative and useful. This book – Introduction to Pharmacology PDF has been organized to provide a logical continuum of information relating to drugs, beginning with the inevitable historical discovery of drugs in food. With this background, important pharmacological principles will be considered relating to drug absorption, distribution, metabolism, and elimination. This material forms the corpus of the chapters that constitute Part 1. In essence, the emphasis is placed upon pharmacokinetic aspects of drug action. Having gained access to the body, how do drugs produce an effect and how can the effect be quantified for comparative purposes? In Part 2, the student is exposed to the concepts of drug–receptor interaction and the transduction of drug binding into pharmacodynamic or toxicodynamic responses. Factors influencing drug toxicity, as well as underlying principles of managing drug overdose, also will be presented as the inevitable “other side of the coin.” Part 3 reiterates, in more detail, the concept introduced in Part 1 that drugs can be classified into four broad categories: (1) drugs that replace physiological inadequacies, (2) drugs that cure, (3) drugs that treat symptoms, and (4) drugs that alter mood or behavior. In this regard, hormones, antibiotics, and neuroactive agents provide examples, respectively, in their own chapters. In addition, the pharmacology of substance abuse as well as the evolution of drug abuse laws and the use of drugs in sports are also discussed. In Part 4, the final three chapters deal with the development of drugs by the pharmaceutical industry and the challenges they face in new drug discovery as well as dealing with the FDA. The section concludes with a discussion of the controversial use of experimental animals in research, an area often neglected in the study of pharmacology.
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