What is pharmacology? | Branches of pharmacology

What is pharmacology


The word pharmacology is derived from the greek words “pharmacon” means drug and “logos” means study.

It is the study of substances that interact with living systems through chemical processes, especially by binding to regulatory molecules and activating or inhabiting normal body processes.

It is the study of biochemical and physiological aspects of drug effects, including absorption, distribution, biotransformation (metabolism),elimination (excretion),adverse effects and mechanism of action.

It is the study of origin, nature, properties and effects of Drugs on living organisms.

Important branches of pharmacology:


It refers to the way how the body deals with the drug for example absorption, distribution, biotransformation and elimination. It is a simply the action of body on the drug.

Absorption refers to how the drug enters the body, which can occur through various routes such as ingestion, inhalation, or injection. Distribution describes how the drug is transported throughout the body, including how it is distributed into different tissues and organs.

Metabolism, also known as biotransformation, refers to how the drug is broken down by the body's enzymes into different chemical compounds, which can either be active or inactive. Excretion is the elimination of the drug and its metabolites from the body, primarily through urine or feces.

Pharmacokinetics is an important aspect of drug development and use, as it helps to determine the optimal dosing and administration of drugs to achieve their therapeutic effects while minimizing adverse effects.


It refers to the way how the drug alters function of the living cells. It is the study of physiological and biochemical actions of the drugs and their mechanism of action. It is simply the action of drug on the body.

Pharmacodynamics encompasses the study of drug-receptor interactions, signal transduction pathways, and the resulting physiological responses that lead to therapeutic or adverse effects. This includes the ways in which drugs modify cellular and organ system functions, and how these changes affect the body as a whole.

Pharmacodynamics studies are critical in understanding the therapeutic potential and safety of a drug, as well as the mechanisms behind drug-drug interactions and drug toxicity. Understanding the pharmacodynamics of a drug is crucial in the development of new drugs and in optimizing the use of existing drugs for the treatment of various diseases and conditions.


It refers to the art of preparation, dispensing an proper utilisation of drugs.

Pharmacists are healthcare professionals who work in a variety of settings, such as hospitals, community pharmacies, and research laboratories. They are responsible for ensuring the safety and efficacy of medications by verifying prescriptions, counseling patients on the proper use and storage of medications, and monitoring for adverse drug reactions and drug interactions.

Pharmacists also play a critical role in the development of new drugs and in conducting clinical trials to determine the safety and effectiveness of new treatments. They work closely with other healthcare professionals, such as physicians and nurses, to ensure that patients receive the best possible care.


It is the branch of pharmacology that deals with the undesirable effects of drugs on living systems.

Toxicology covers a wide range of topics, including environmental toxicology, occupational toxicology, forensic toxicology, and clinical toxicology. Environmental toxicology focuses on the effects of pollutants and other chemicals on the environment and wildlife, while occupational toxicology examines the effects of chemicals on workers in various industries.


It involves the identification, extraction, and characterization of biologically active compounds from natural sources and the study of their pharmacological properties. The field of pharmacognosy combines knowledge from a range of disciplines, including botany, chemistry, pharmacology, and ethnobotany, to discover and develop new drugs and therapies from natural products.

Pharmacognosy is an important area of research in the pharmaceutical industry, as natural products have historically been a rich source of new drugs and continue to offer promising avenues for drug discovery.


It is the study of medicines concerned with the cure of disease or relief of symptoms.

It involves the use of various therapies, such as drugs, surgery, physical therapy, and psychological interventions, to alleviate symptoms, cure or control the disease, and improve overall health outcomes.

Therapeutics focuses on the identification of appropriate treatments for specific diseases or conditions based on scientific research, clinical trials, and evidence-based medicine. It is a key component of healthcare and aims to improve patient outcomes by providing effective and safe treatments tailored to individual patient needs.

Medical pharmacology (pharmacotherapeutics):

The study of substances used to prevent, diagnose and treat the disease.

It involves the study of how drugs interact with the body to produce therapeutic effects, as well as the identification of appropriate drug therapies for specific diseases or conditions based on scientific research and evidence-based medicine.

Pharmacotherapeutics includes the selection of the most appropriate drug for a particular patient, the determination of the optimal dose and duration of treatment, and the monitoring of the patient for adverse effects and treatment efficacy.

It also involves the study of drug interactions, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacodynamics to ensure safe and effective use of medications. Pharmacotherapeutics is an important aspect of modern medicine, and it plays a key role in the management of various diseases and conditions.


Pharmacogenetics is the study of how an individual's genetic makeup influences their response to drugs. It involves the analysis of genetic variations that affect the way the body metabolizes and responds to medications, and the use of this information to optimize drug therapy for individual patients. Pharmacogenetics aims to personalize drug therapy by identifying patients who are likely to have a positive or negative response to a particular drug based on their genetic profile, and adjusting the dosage or selecting an alternative drug accordingly. It is an important area of research that has the potential to improve drug efficacy, reduce adverse drug reactions, and ultimately lead to better patient outcomes.

What is drug?


The word drug is dry from a French word “Drouge” which means dry herbs.

Any substance that, when introduced into the body, bring about a change in biologic function through its chemical action.

Any substance used for the purpose of diagnosis, prevention, curing or relief of a disease is called a drug.

What is prodrug?


Prodrug is the precursor of drug. It is a chemical substance that must undergo chemical conversion (bioactivation) by metabolism within the body to become an active pharmacological agent. Example of pro drugs include:

  • Methyldopa (aldomet)
  • Omeprazole (risek)
  • Esomeprazole (esomax)
  • Lisinopril (zestril)

What is orphan drugs?

Orphan drugs:

Drugs developed for diseases in which the expected number of patients is small.

What is drugs nomenclature?

Drugs nomenclature:

There are three names for a drug

Chemical name:

It describes the chemical structure of drug.

Generic or Approved name:

Official name of drug given in the pharmacopoeia.

Trade of brand name:

Name given by pharmaceutical company that manufactures the drug.

Examples of drug nomenclature:

Nomenclature of paracetamol:

Chemical name: N-acetyl-para-amino-phenol

Generic name: Paracetamol (acetaminophen)

Trade name: Panadol

Nomenclature of aspirin:

Chemical name: Acetylsalicylic acid

Generic name: Aspirin

Trade name: Disprin

What is pharmacopoeia?


It is an official code containing a selected list of drugs and medicinal preparations with description of their physical properties, tests for their identity, purity and potency.

For examples:

What is BP?

BP: British pharmacopoeia

What is USP?

USP: united states pharmacopoeia

What is PP?

PP: pakistan pharmacopoeia

What is placebo?


It is an inactive preparation of substance given to satisfy the physiological need of patient for drug therapy. Such preparations may be in tablet and capsule forms.

Learn more

What is pharmacology?

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general pharmacology

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important branches of pharmacology

Top 8 important branches of pharmacology

What is pharmacokinetics?

what is pharmacodynamics?

what is therapeutics?

What is pharmacy?

What is toxicology?

What is medical pharmacology?

What is medical pharmacology? Anybody

what is pharmacotherapeutics?

what is pharmacogenetics?

What is nomenclature of drugs?

what is drug?

What is prodrug?

Nomenclature of drugs

3 names for nomenclature of drugs

Chemical name of drug

generic name of drug

trade name of drug

what is pharmacopeia?

what is placebo?

what is placebo effect?

What is BP?

What is USP?

What is PP?

What is orphan drugs?

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