Each week we compile all the latest pharmacology facts released on our social media platforms. This is great pharmacology for students, as these facts are bite-sized, random, and often important facts that all students of medicine should commit to memory.
- A xenobiotic (from the Greek, meaning 'stranger to life') is any foreign substance found within an organism that is not otherwise present.
- Posology is the study of how medicines are dosed. It depends on factors including age, climate, weight, sex, and time of administration.
- A nootropic is a supplement or drug used to enhance cognitive function - examples of which include methylphenidate and caffeine.
- Fexofenadine is a second generation antihistamine that is less able to cross the blood-brain barrier (and cause sedation) compared to first generation drugs.
- The nocebo effect - the opposite of its placebo equivalent - is where patient disbelief in the efficacy of a drug can worsen symptoms.
- An antipruritic drug is one that inhibits itching. Examples of antipruritics include diphenhydramine, hydrocortisone, and menthol.
- Milnacipran is an SNRI used in the treatment of fibromyalgia. Only available via oral dosing, of which is has an 85% bioavailability.
- Aromatase inhibitors - such as anastrozole, letrozole, and exemestane - are used to treat breast cancer. Aromatase is an enzyme that produces estrogen.
- Apomorphine - a dopamine agonist - is used to treat Parkinson's disease. It's also used as a powerful emetic to induce vomiting in dogs.
- Disulfiram is used to support the treatment of chronic alcoholism by increasing ethanol sensitivity; it inhibits acetaldehyde dehydrogenase.
Mnemonics and mindmaps are also another great way to commit pharmacology to memory. But if you’d like to learn more about specific drug classes, check out these more detailed articles for more information.
Check out last week's pharmacology facts here!