Module 2: Basic Pharmacology of Controlled Drugs and Substances

Lesson 1

Some Basic Definitions

Pharmacotherapeutics is “the study of the therapeutic uses and effects of drugs”. Within this branch of pharmacy science are four important concepts (Poole Arcangelo, Peterson, 2016):

  • Pharmacodynamics looks at the mechanism(s) of action or the effects of a drug on the human body.
  • Pharmacokinetics looks at how the body affects the drug; specifically, how the drug is absorbed, metabolized, distributed and excreted.
  • Pharmacogenetics examines how an individual’s genetic disposition may influence drug response, including both intended effects and adverse effects.
  • Pharmacogenomics is a new field of “personalized medicine” that combines the study of pharmacology and genomics to help develop medications that can be modified or tailored to a patient’s specific genetic makeup.