Pharmacology of Protease Inhibitors

January 14th, 2017

An estimated 1.2 million people over the age of 13 are living with HIV in the United States, according to the CDC. Almost 1 in 7 of these cases are estimated to be undiagnosed, a statistic that’s unlikely to decline anytime soon. Medical intervention has proved invaluable, though. HIV medicines have transformed the lives of […]

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What is the difference between a drug and a medicine?

January 11th, 2017

There are many overlapping terms in medicine. Side effects and adverse effects, for example, being two of the most common. Drugs and medicines, too, are two terms whose meanings overlap – so what is, then, the difference between a drug and a medicine? To answer this question, we need to ask about purpose – more […]

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Why Patients Take Medicines Four Times Daily

January 4th, 2017

Patients often ask the question – why do I have to take this medicine once daily and that medicine four times daily? They might even wonder what four times daily really means – does it refer to waking hours or does it refer to the entire 24-hour clock? First and foremost, let’s consider half-life. The […]

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101 Pharmacology Facts that Every Pharmacy Student Should Know

December 16th, 2016

While it’s impossible to summarise every conceivable fact, this list goes some way toward that goal. It includes 101 facts that every pharmacy student should know – facts that touch indications, mechanisms of action, side effects, drug interactions and other clinical factors; a great addition to your NAPLEX revision. If you can think of any […]

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Fifth-Generation Cephalosporins – What are they?

December 13th, 2016

Cephalosporin generations have confused tens of thousands of students; their names and individual characteristics proving to be nothing other than a nexus of confusion. Here, we go some way toward clarifying what is otherwise an arcane subject. Whilst we are examining fifth generation cephalosporins here, you can find the other generations in the links below: […]

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Fourth-Generation Cephalosporins – What are they?

December 13th, 2016

Cephalosporin generations have confused tens of thousands of students; their names and individual characteristics proving to be nothing other than a nexus of confusion. Here, we go some way toward clarifying what is otherwise an arcane subject. Whilst we are examining fourth generation cephalosporins here, you can find the other generations in the links below: […]

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Third-Generation Cephalosporins – What are they?

December 13th, 2016

Cephalosporin generations have confused tens of thousands of students; their names and individual characteristics proving to be nothing other than a nexus of confusion. Here, we go some way toward clarifying what is otherwise an arcane subject. Whilst we are examining third generation cephalosporins here, you can find the other generations in the links below: […]

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Second-Generation Cephalosporins – What are they?

December 13th, 2016

Cephalosporin generations have confused tens of thousands of students; their names and individual characteristics proving to be nothing other than a nexus of confusion. Here, we go some way toward clarifying what is otherwise an arcane subject. Whilst we are examining second generation cephalosporins here, you can find the other generations in the links below: […]

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First-Generation Cephalosporins – What are they?

December 13th, 2016

Cephalosporin generations have confused tens of thousands of students; their names and individual characteristics proving to be nothing other than a nexus of confusion. Here, we go some way toward clarifying what is otherwise an arcane subject. Whilst we are examining second generation cephalosporins here, you can find the other generations in the links below: […]

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Bacteriostatic Antibiotics – What are they!?

December 9th, 2016

[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”no” equal_height_columns=”no” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” background_position=”center center” background_repeat=”no-repeat” fade=”no” background_parallax=”none” parallax_speed=”0.3″ video_aspect_ratio=”16:9″ video_loop=”yes” video_mute=”yes” overlay_opacity=”0.5″ border_style=”solid”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ layout=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” border_position=”all” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” center_content=”no” last=”no” min_height=”” hover_type=”none” link=””][fusion_text] What are bacteriostatic antibiotics? Antibiotics (also referred to as ‘antibacterial drugs’) are drugs used […]

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Iron Interactions with Drugs

December 8th, 2016

What is iron? Most people receive enough iron through their diet; an essential mineral for red blood cells. In fact, almost three-quarters of the body’s iron can be found inside red blood cells; their role involving, in part, the transport of oxygen and carbon dioxide around the body. Food sources high in iron include red […]

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Preparing for the NAPLEX Exam

December 7th, 2016

What is the NAPLEX exam? The NAPLEX – or North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination – tests an individual’s knowledge, ability and competence to practice the profession of pharmacy. There are 250 questions on the exam; an exam that’s tested entirely through computer means. However, not all questions are counted toward the final score. Instead, only […]

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Pharmacology of Alzheimer’s Disease

December 4th, 2016

What is Alzheimer’s disease Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive mental deterioration of the brain; itself accounting for almost three-fifths of dementia cases. To put the disease in some context, there are just over 5 million cases of Alzheimer’s disease in the United States in 2016 – the vast majority of those being over 65 years […]

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What is Pharmacology?

October 5th, 2016

Pharmacology is a subject at the heart of many academic subjects and professional degrees – such as pharmacy, medicine, dentistry, nursing, and pharmacology itself. But what is pharmacology, what does it cover, and why is it so important? Pharmacology is, at its most fundamental level, the branch of medicine associated with how and why drugs […]

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PharmaFactz – The Leading Pharmacology Site on the Net

September 22nd, 2016

As the leading pharmacology site on the net, PharmaFactz offers students an extensive array of outstanding and informative resources. These include summaries of drug classes, infographics, mindmaps, and quizzes – a total solution for students of every background. Pharmacology is a subject shared among many disciplines – both academic and professional. It is, of course, […]

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Pharmacology Mnemonics

July 28th, 2016

Students of pharmacology – whether they be students of medicine, pharmacy, or pharmacology itself – are obliged to commit a great deal of information to memory. These details include everything from classes and mechanisms, to side effects and drug interactions. Such is the breadth and depth of the subject of pharmacology, it can, for many, […]

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Pharmacology of Antihypertensive Drugs

March 31st, 2016

Introduction In this section we take a quick look at the pharmacology of antihypertensive drugs – looking at the various classes, their mechanism of action, pharmacokinetics, and unwanted effects. Before we begin, however, let’s look at how pervasive hypertension is in modern society. Approximately one in three adults in the United States have hypertension, but […]

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Pharmacology of Fibrinolytic Drugs

March 29th, 2016

Introduction In haemostasis pharmacology we have antiplatelet drugs, anticoagulant drugs, and fibrinolytic drugs. Aren’t they similar? What are the differences? It’s easy to become somewhat confused with the terminology – not least because all three classes are involved, to some extent or another, in the prevention or treatment of thromboembolism, and myocardial infarctions etc. Before […]

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Pharmacology of Anticoagulant Drugs (Oral)

March 26th, 2016

Introduction We’ve already discussed the pharmacology of injectable anticoagulants, so now we’re going to turn our attention to their oral equivalents. Anticoagulant drugs are used in the treatment of venous thromboembolism and as prophylactics against deep vein thrombosis, among other conditions. They work by preventing the clotting – or coagulation – of blood. The oral […]

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Pharmacology of Parkinson’s Disease

March 25th, 2016

Introduction Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disorder, currently affecting over 1 million people in the United States. Men are 1.5 times more likely to develop the condition than women. The cause of the condition is currently unknown (idiopathic), but certain environmental and genetic factors are known to play a role. Drugs used in Parkinson’s disease […]

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Pharmacology of Anticoagulant Drugs (Injectables)

March 23rd, 2016

Introduction Anticoagulant drugs, as their name suggests, prevent the clotting – or coagulation – of blood. There are two types of anticoagulant drug – injectable and oral, both of which have proved their worth on the clinical scene. Anticoagulants are used for a number of purposes, chief among them being venous thromboembolism. They are also […]

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Pharmacology of Antiplatelet Drugs

March 22nd, 2016

Introduction Let’s now turn our attention to the pharmacology of antiplatelet drugs – medicines which are used to inhibit the formation of blood clots (thrombi) and whose function is to decrease platelet aggregation. Platelets, or thrombocytes, are derives from larger cells called megakaryocytes – with platelets themselves containing no nucleus. They are also quite small, […]

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Pharmacology of Antimicrobial Agents

March 21st, 2016

Introduction Here, we offer an overview of the pharmacology of antimicrobial agents – specifically, those drugs deployed in the treatment of bacterial infections (see Pharmacology of Antifungal Drugs for an overview of antifungal drugs). There are many and varied classes of antibacterial drugs, some of which we have covered in other articles. Now, though, we […]

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Pharmacology of HIV Drugs

March 21st, 2016

Introduction Today we’re looking at the pharmacology of HIV drugs – including reverse transcriptase inhibitors, protease inhibitors, entry inhibitors, integrase inhibitors and – finally – viral DNA polymerase inhibitors. Obviously this is quite an extensive range of drugs, and so this section only serves as an introduction to what is a complex topic. We’ll address […]

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Pharmacology of Cephalosporins

March 20th, 2016

Introduction Let’s take a quick glance at the pharmacology of cephalosporins – drugs which are used in the treatment of bacterial infections. They belong to the beta-lactam class of antibacterial drugs – the same group as penicillins, monobactams, and carbapenems. Cephalosporins are classed in accordance with the generation they belong to. For example, first generation […]

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Pharmacology of Tetracyclines

March 19th, 2016

Introduction Let’s take a quick glance at the pharmacology of tetracyclines – drugs which interfere with bacterial protein synthesis. In this way, they share a common mechanism of action with macrolides – such as azithromycin, clarithromycin, and erythromycin – and with aminoglycosides – such as gentamicin, netilmicin, and tobramycin. Other drugs – such as lincosamides […]

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Pharmacology of Penicillin

February 10th, 2016

Penicillin is a true antibiotic, developed as it was out of the Penicillium fungi. It was first discovered by the Scottish physician, Alexander Fleming, in 1928 (but clinically used from 1942) – with the pharmacology of penicillin branching out even further. Today, for example, penicillin refers to a family of drugs including penicillin G, penicillin […]

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Pharmacology of Immunosuppressant Drugs

January 28th, 2016

The immune system is responsible for protecting the host organism against pathogens and tumour cells. It is composed of two main branches: the innate (natural) immune system and the adaptive immune system. The adaptive immune system is further bifurcated into the humoral and the cell-mediated systems. Before we delve deep into the pharmacology of immunosuppressant […]

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Pharmacology of Diuretics

December 15th, 2015

We begin with the kidney – a small bean-shaped organ which weighs, on average, around 130-170 grams in males and 120-150 grams in females. There’s an asymmetry between the left and right kidney, with the right kidney perched marginally lower than its left equivalent – not least due to the location of the liver. It’s […]

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Pharmacology of Beta Blockers

December 8th, 2015

The pharmacology of beta blockers was conceived in 1964 when Dr James Black – a Scottish pharmacologist – developed the first such drug of this class, propranolol. Since then, beta blockers have evolved to become some of the most widely deployed drugs in the treatment of conditions such as angina, myocardial infarction, congestive heart failure, […]

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Pharmacology of NSAIDs

December 7th, 2015

The pharmacology of NSAIDs is broad and diverse, yet the function of NSAIDs can be summarised quite neatly. NSAIDs have three principal effects: pain-killing (analgesic), fever-reducing (antipyretic), and anti-inflammatory effects (when administered at high doses). These three effects are highly advantageous in the clinical setting as so many patients are afflicted by one or more […]

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Pharmacology of Antifungal Drugs

November 23rd, 2015

When compared to antibacterial drugs, there are remarkably few antifungal drugs. These drugs have been designed to respond to infections which predominantly infect mucous membranes, skin and – more atypically – internal organs. Fungal infections are, like every other infection, more commonly seen in immunocompromised patients – such as patients on chemotherapy, or patients with […]

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Pharmacology of Quinolones

November 13th, 2015

Quinolones, also known as fluoroquinolones, are a class of drugs used in the treatment of bacterial infections. The first quinolone – nalidixic acid – was introduced in 1962 for the treatment of urinary tract infections. Since that time, quinolones have diversified to become broad-spectrum agents; drugs which work by inhibiting replication of bacterial DNA – […]

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Pharmacology of ACE Inhibitors

November 12th, 2015

ACE inhibitors (angiotensin-converting-enzyme inhibitors) are a class of drugs used in the treatment hypertension, heart disease, and chronic kidney failure. They lower blood pressure by several means – not least through competitive inhibition of plasma ACE. Lower plasma ACE levels mean less circulating angiotensin II and a further, consequent reduction in the release of aldosterone. […]

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Pharmacology of SSRIs

November 12th, 2015

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, more commonly referred to as SSRIs, are a class of drugs involved in the treatment of conditions such as depression, generalised anxiety disorder (GAD), obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), and eating disorders, among others. They work by reducing the neuronal uptake of serotonin which results, in turn, in higher synaptic concentrations. This […]

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Pharmacology of Aminosalicylates

October 19th, 2015

Aminosalicylates are used in the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease. Examples include balsalazide, mesalazine, olsalazine and sulfasalazine. Inflammatory bowel disease is a family term for a wide variety of inflammatory conditions: such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Ulcerative colitis only affects the colon and rectum, in contrast to Crohn’s disease which affects the colon, […]

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Pharmacology of Aminoglycosides

October 17th, 2015

Aminoglycosides are antibacterial drugs used in the treatment of – predominantly – gram-negative infections. They are also inactive against anaerobic bacteria. Aminoglycosides work by inhibiting protein synthesis, specifically by binding irreversibly to the 30S ribosomal subunit. Examples of aminoglycosides include gentamicin, amikacin, netilmicin, and streptomycin. They are poorly absorbed from the gut and are therefore […]

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Pharmacology of Insulin Analogues

October 16th, 2015

When the body fails to secrete sufficient quantities of insulin, this invariably results in diabetes mellitus – itself caused by excessive blood glucose levels. When fasting plasma concentrations exceed 7 mmol/L-1, the condition is diagnosed as diabetes. Diabetes may take the form of type 1 or type 2, depending on the cause. Type 1 diabetes […]

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Pharmacology of Bisphosphonates

October 16th, 2015

Bisphosphonates are drugs used in the treatment of osteoporosis, Paget’s disease and multiple myeloma. Examples of bisphosphonates include alendronic acid, etidronate, pamidronate and risedronate. They work by binding to hydroxyapatite crystals in the bone matrix – and tend to be deposited under osteoclasts. This inhibits the resorption of bone. Bisphosphonates are poorly absorbed from the […]

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Pharmacology of Calcium Channel Blockers

October 15th, 2015

Calcium channel blockers are drugs which disrupt the transfer of calcium ions through calcium channels. Examples include amlodipine, diltiazem, nifedipine and verapamil. They are frequently used in the treatment of hypertension and ischemic heart disease, where they decrease blood pressure, or lessen chest pain in patients suffering from angina pectoris. Verapamil is also used in […]

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Pharmacology of Macrolide Antibiotics

October 12th, 2015

Macrolide antibiotics are, to put it at its simplest, antibiotics which contain a macrocyclic lactone ring. These drugs work by interfering with bacterial protein synthesis, and their action is primarily bacteriostatic in effect. This means that macrolides are not structured to positively kill bacteria, but what they do is stem bacterial growth. Examples of macrolide […]

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How do Drugs Work?

December 5th, 2014

“Corpora non agunt nisi fixata [drugs will not act unless they are bound]” – Paul Ehrlich It was the renowned German scientist, Paul Ehrlich (1854-1915), who devised the concept of the ‘magic bullet’, that is to say, a drug with direct specificity to treat a given disease. Since then discovering such a ‘magic bullet’ has […]

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Pharmacology of Antidiarrheal Drugs

December 4th, 2014

This articles looks at the pharmacology of antidiarrhoeal drugs; exploring the classes of drugs used in the management of this common condition. The ubiquity of diarrhoea among the populace, for lifestyle as well as pathological reasons, makes it a highly pertinent area of study. We’re going to take a look at this pertinence, by first […]

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Pharmacology of Constipation

December 4th, 2014

Constipation is one of the most common, as well as one of the more frustrating, symptoms that patients encounter. Here, we’ll take you through the pharmacology of constipation – going through the principal drug classes involved in its treatment. Constipation, also referred to as costiveness or dyschezia, refers to the inability to pass stools; or […]

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Pharmacology of Inflammatory Bowel Disease

December 4th, 2014

This section looks at the pharmacology of inflammatory bowel disease; understanding the drugs involved in the management of both Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Inflammatory bowel disease is a chronic disorder of the gastrointestinal tract, commonly divided into two main conditions: Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis. However, despite the similarities between these two conditions, there […]

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Pharmacology of Antiemetics

December 4th, 2014

This section takes a comprehensive look at the pharmacology of antiemetics; looking at the aetiological factors that give rise to nausea and vomiting, before looking at the categories of drugs themselves. Introduction Vomiting is a ubiquitous and necessary process in the body that becomes enacted whenever the body feels the need to defend itself against […]

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Drugs Affecting Gastric Acid Secretion and Motility

December 4th, 2014

This article explores the pharmacology of drugs that affect gastric acid secretion and motility. It begins by exploring the physiological factors behind gastric acid secretion, before going on to look at classes of drugs that influence this secretion, as well as the motility of the gastrointestinal tract. Factors Affecting Gastric Acid Secretion As you can […]

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Medicinal Chemistry — Drug Metabolism

December 3rd, 2014

This section takes a look at drug metabolism – specifically, it provides a short overview of the various common conjugation reactions involved in the metabolism of drugs. So What is Drug Metabolism? Metabolism is what happens to a drug when it undergoes biotransformation through enzymatic processes in the body. The vast majority of this biotransformation […]

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Pharmaceutical Calculations — Parenteral Solutions and Isotonicity

December 1st, 2014

This is the final part of the seven-part series on pharmaceutical calculations, this time dealing with parenteral solutions and isotonicity. Concentrations Dilutions Formulations Calculation of Doses Density & Displacement Values Molecular Weights & Moles Parenteral Solutions & Isotonicity Example 1 A patient requires 1L of 0.9% saline solution over an 8 hour period. Assuming that […]

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Pharmaceutical Calculations — Molecular Weights and Moles

December 1st, 2014

This is the sixth part of our seven-part series on pharmaceutical calculations, this time dealing with molecular weights and moles. Concentrations Dilutions Formulations Calculation of Doses Density & Displacement Values Molecular Weights & Moles Parenteral Solutions & Isotonicity Section One Example 1 How many milligrams of sodium ions are contained in a 600mg tablet of […]

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