Pharm Chapter 2: Pharmacologic Principles

Addictive effects
Drug interactions in which the effects of a combination of two or more drugs with similar actions is equivalent to the sum of the individual effects of the same drug given alone. For example, 1 + 1 = 2 (compare with synergistic effects) p.31

Adverse drug event
Any undesirable occurrence related to the administering or failing to administer a prescribed medication. p.32

Adverse drug reaction
Any unexpected, unintended, undesired, or excessive response to a medication given at a therapeutic dosage (as opposed to overdose). p.32

Adverse effects
A general term for any undesirable effects that are a direct response to one or more drugs. p.30

Agonist
A drug that binds to and stimulates the activity of one or more receptors in the body. p.29

Allergic reaction
an immunological hypersensitivity reaction resulting from the unusual sensitivity of a patient to a particular medication; a type of adverse drug event. p.32

Antagonist
A drug that binds to and inhibits the activity of one or more receptors in the body. Also called inhibitors. p.29

Antagonistic effects
Drug interaction which the effect of a combination of two or more drugs is less than the sum of the individual effects of the same drug given alone (1 + 1 = less than 2); it is usually caused by an antagonizing (blocking or reducing) effect of one drug on another. p.31

Bioavailability
A measure of the extent of drug absorption for a given drug and route (from 0% to 100%) p.20

Biotransformation
One or more biochemical reactions involving a parent drug. Biotransformation occurs mainly in the liver and produces a metabolite that is either inactive or active. Also known as a metabolism. p.25

Blood-brain barrier
The barrier system that restricts the passage of various chemicals and microscopic entities (e.g. bacteria, viruses) between the bloodstream and the central nervous system. It still allows for the passage of essential substances such as oxygen. p.25

Chemical name
The name that describes the chemical composition and molecular structure of a drug. p.18

Contraindication
Any condition, especially one related to a disease state or other patient characteristic, including current or recent drug therapy, that renders a particular form of treatment improper or undesirable. p.29

Cytochrome P-450
The general name for a large class of enzymes that play a significant role in drug metabolism. p.25

Dependence
A state in which there is a compulsive or chronic need, as for a drug. p.30

Dissolution
The process by which solid forms of a drug disintegrate in the gastrointestinal tract and become soluble before being absorbed into the circulation. p.19

Drug
Any chemical that affects the physiologic processes of a living organism. p.17

Drug actions
The cellular process involved in the interaction between a drug and body cells (e.g. the action of a drug on a receptor protein); also called mechanism of action. p. 18

Drug effects
The physiologic reactions of the body to a drug. They can be therapeutic or toxic and describe how the function of the body is affected as a whole by the drug. The terms onset, peak, and duration are used to describe drug effects (most often referring to therapeutic effects) p.26

Drug-induced teratogenesis
The development of congenital anomalies or defects in the developing fetus caused by the toxic effects of a drug. p.33

Drug interaction
Alteration in the pharmacologic activity of a given drug caused by the presence of one or more additional drugs; it is usually related to effects on the enzymes required for metabolism of the involved drugs. p.30

Duration of action
The length of time the concentration of a drug in the blood or tissues is sufficient to elicit a drug response. p.27

Enzyme
Protein molecules that catalyze one or more of a variety of biochemical reactions, including those related to the body’s own physiologic processes as well as those related to drug metabolism. p.28

First-pass effect
The initial metabolism in the liver of a drug absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract before the drug reaches systemic circulation through the bloodstream. p.20

Generic name
The name given to a drug by the United States Adopted Name Council. Also called the nonpropietary name. Then generic name is much shorter and simpler than the chemical name and is not protected by the trademark. p.18

Half-life
In pharmacokinetics, the time required for half of an administered dose of drug to be eliminated by the body, or the time it takes for the blood level of a drug to be reduced by 50% (also called elimination half-life) p. 26

Idiosyncratic reaction
An abnormal and unexpected response to a medication, other than an allergic reaction, that is peculiar to an individual patient. p. 32

Incompatibility
The characteristic that causes two parental drugs or solutions to undergo a reaction when mixed or given together that results in the chemical deterioration of at least one of the drugs. p. 31

Intraarticular
Within a joint (e.g. intraarticular injection). p.21

Intrathecal
Within a sheath (e.g. the theca of a spinal cord, as in an intrathecal injection into the subarachnoid space). p.21

Medication error
Any preventable adverse drug event involving inappropriate medication use by a patient or health care professional; it may not cause patient harm. p.32

Medication use process
The prescribing, dispensing, and administering of medications, and the monitoring of their side effects. p. 32

Metabolite(s)
A chemical form of a drug that is the product of one or more biochemical (metabolic) reactions involving the parent drug. Active metabolites are those that have pharmacologic activity of their own, even if the parent drug is inactive. Inactive metabolites lack pharmacologic activity and are simply drug waste products awaiting excretion from the body. (e.g. via the urinary, gastrointestinal, or respiratory tract). p.25

Onset of action
The time required for a drug to elicit a therapeutic response after doing. p.27

Parent drug
The chemical form of a drug that is administered before it is metabolized by the body’s biochemical reactions into its active or inactive metabolites. A parent drug that is not pharmacologically active itself is called a prodrug. A prodrug is then metabolized to pharmacologically active metabolites. p.20

Peak effect
The time required for a drug to reach its maximum therapeutic response in the body. p. 27

Peak level
The maximum concentration of a drug in the body after administration, usually measured in a blood sample for therapeutic drug monitoring. p. 27

Pharmaceutics
The science of preparing and dispensing drugs, including dosage form design. p.18

Pharmacodynamics
The study of the biochemical and physiologic interactions of drugs at their site of activity. It examines the physicochemical properties of drugs and their pharmacologic interactions with body receptors. p.18

Pharmacogenetics
The study of the influence of genetic factors on drug response, including the nature of genetic aberrations that result in the absence, overabundance, or insufficiency of drug-metabolizing enzymes (also called pharmacogenomics). p.32

Pharmacognosy
The study of drugs that are obtained from natural plant and animal sources. p.19

Pharmacokinetics
The rate of drug distribution among various body compartments after a drug has entered the body. It includes the phases of absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion of drugs. p.18

Pharmacology
The broadest term for the study or science of drugs. p.18

Pharmacotherapeutics
The treatment of pathologic conditions through the use of drugs. p.18

Prodrug
An inactive drug dosage form that is converted to an active metabolite by various biochemical reactions once it is inside the body. p.25

Receptor
A molecular structure within or on the outer surface of a cell. Receptors bind specific substances (e.g. drug molecules), and one or more corresponding cellular effects (drug actions) occurs as a result of this drug-receptor interaction. p.28

Steady state
The physiologic state in which the amount of drug removed via elimination is equal to the amount of drug absorbed with each dose. p.26

Substrates
Substances (e.g. drugs or natural biochemicals in the body) on which an enzyme acts. p.25

Synergistic effects
Drug interactions in which the effect of a combination of two or more drugs with similar actions is greater than the sum of the individual effects of the same drugs given alone. For example, 1 + 1 = greater than 2 (compare with additive effects). p.31

Therapeutic drug monitoring
The process of measuring drug peak and trough levels to gauge the level of a patient’s drug exposure and allow adjustment of dosages with the goals of maximizing therapeutic effects and minimizing toxicity. p.27

Therapeutic effect
The desired or intended effects of a particular medicine. p.28

Therapeutic index
The ratio between the toxic and therapeutic concentrations of a drug. p.30

Tolerance
Reduced response to a drug after prolonged use. p.30

Toxic
The quality of being poisonous (i.e. injurious to health or dangerous to life). p.19

Toxicity
The condition of producing adverse bodily effects due to poisonous qualities. p. 27

Toxicology
The study of poisons, including toxic drug effects, and applicable treatments. p.19

Trade name
The commercial name given to a drug product by its manufacturer, also called the proprietary name. p.18

Trough level
The lowest concentration of drug reached in the body after it falls from its peak level, usually measured in a blood sample for therapeutic drug monitoring. p.27

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