Thursday, December 12, 2013

Terms Related to Adverse Drug Reactions

Terms that may be included as Adverse Drug Reactions (ADRs) are side effects, drug intolerance, idiosyncratic reactions, toxic reactions, allergic reactions, or hypersensitivity reactions.

Side effects are reactions that are unintended and unwanted but are known pharmacologic effects of the drug and occur with predictable frequency.

Drug adverse reactions

Drug intolerance is a mild reaction to a drug that results in little or no change in patient management.

Idiosyncratic reaction is an unexpected response that occurs with usual dose of a drug.Toxic reactionis predictable response that results from greater than recommended drug dosages or drug concentration in the body.

Allergic or hypersensitivity reaction is an unusual sensitivity to a drug of an immunologic nature.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Opportunities and Limitations of Biopharmaceuticals

Biopharmaceuticals are attractive as drugs because they represent naturally derived products for treatment of disease. However, the complexities of the manufacturing process, and the drugs themselves, represent some major challenges in their development and formidable limitations to their widespread use. Even if biotechnology can now successfully produce large quantities of the pure protein, controlling its 3D structure during manufacturing, handling, and storage is critical to safety and efficacy. Delivering the protein to the patient in a safe, accurate, convenient, and reproducible manner is difficult. Even if these problems are overcome, the body often treats proteins differently than it treats small molecules, limiting their use.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

How Do Drugs Work?

The site of action of a drug is the location in the body where the drug performs its desired function. For example, a drug may act in the brain, heart, eye, or kidney. Within the organ, the drug may act on a particular component of the organ, such as a certain type of cell. Drug action may be extracellular, where the drug performs its function outside the cell, or intracellular, in which case the drug has to enter the cell to work. Alternatively, the action may be on the cell surface, at the cell membrane.

Drugs work by interacting with target molecules found at the site of action, and altering their activity in a way that is beneficial to health. Drug targets are usually biomolecules such as proteins, protein complexes, or nucleic acids that play a role in a particular disease process. In most cases, the drug must temporarily attach bind) to the target to exert its action. The drug–target binding can either stimulate the target or block the normal activity of the target, resulting in a physiological effect. A common type of drug target is a receptor, generally a protein on the cell membrane, that can bind with a specific molecule (such as an endogenous compound or a drug) to alter the cell’s behavior. The interactions between a drug and its receptor and succeeding events that lead to pharmacological action of the drug are broadly considered the field of pharmacodynamics.

A simple analogy often used to describe drug–target interactions is that of a lock and key—the target is a lock on a door that only a certain drug (the key) can bind to and open, this is illustrated in Figure 1.1. Ideally, the key should not fit any other lock, and different keys should not open this lock. Some keys may fit in the lock, but not perfectly. Consequently, these imperfect keys cannot open the door. Yet, by fitting into the lock, imperfect keys prevent the original key from fitting into the lock; they therefore block the door from opening.

A simplified diagram illustrating drug–receptor binding. Drug A has a structure that is complementary to the receptor and therefore can bind to it. The structure of Drug B is not compatible with the receptor, and thus no binding occurs.
Using this analogy, the target is a molecular lock that contains a “keyhole” with a very specific and consistent size and shape. This molecular keyhole is termed the activesite of the target and can interact with only molecular keys of a complementary size, shape, and charge. The three-dimensional shape of the drug molecule must fit exactly into the structure of the target to activate it. Therefore, just like locks and their keys, the interactions between drugs and their targets are highly specific.

In reality, most targets are not as rigid as locks and the active site can somewhat change its shape and size depending on the environment. Most drugs, also, are not as specific as a key. Thus target–drug interactions are much more complex than the simple lock-and-key analogy leads us to believe. Few drugs interact exclusively with their intended target. Many drugs bind to more than one type of target and influence physiological or biochemical processes that were not targeted. This leads to undesirable side effects of drugs, or toxicity. [Source: Pharmaceutical Sciences Book Chapter]

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Interesting Poem for Pharmacy Students- Studying Pharmacy by Rita El Khoury

Studyin' pharmacy ain't easy, I've been told
By many people, some young and some old...
Well, let me tell you, I'm not a 'nerd'
So take off your lips this ugly word.

Pharmacy ain't as hard as you suppose
You just need a very curious nose,
A pair of working eyes, but one is enough
Two ears, coz with one you may find it tough,
A sportive tongue ready to pronounce
All the weird names, titles and nouns,
A bit of free space in your brains
And, for the hard days, some chains;
An ability to memorize a lot and a lot
Whether you actually understand or not,
The skill to never object or complain
When a teacher chooses not to explain,
A mouth that shuts up when you're told to,
One working hand, better if you got two,
The faculty of studying 20 pages per hour
The power to feel clean without a shower
And to stay awake without having slept too
(Because you might not find time to).

That's the indispensible equipment
You might thrown in, if you want,
Some scientifical knowledge and some intelligence.
Add to these opitonals a lot of patience
To manage busy secretaries, absent educators,
Curious patients and arrogant know-it-all doctors.

That's about it, but you could use
A pair of nice pants and trendy shoes.

This poem was written by Rita El Khoury from Beirut and first appeared on

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Guest Post: The Most Prescribed Medications in the USA

The pharmaceutical industry has revolutionized the way we treat our health. There was a time that when people had pain, they didn’t have a little pill that eased it. And there was a time that when you had an infection,death was very likely. Today, 70% of Americans take at least one type of prescription drug, while 50% take at least two. There are pills to control diabetes, treat depression, decrease your risk of heart disease, and something for most every ailment possible.

most prescribed medicine in the USA guest post

Here are the most prescribed medications in the USA:

For people with moderate to severe pain, hydrocodone is often recommended by healthcare professionals.

Generic Syhnthroid
Synthroid is a prescription drug that restores the balance of your thyroid hormone by swapping the hormone that the body already naturally makes.

Generic Prilosec
Prilosec, also known as Omeprazole, is used to treat ulcers, gastroesophageal reflux disease and gastritis. It is usually combined with antibiotics like amoxicillin and clarithromycin to treat these gastric issues.

As the leading antibiotic, amoxicillin treats bacterial infections, lyme disease, pneumonia, urinary-tract infections, chlamydia, Salmonella and other infections. Some people develop bad reactions to the drug, often resulting in a large rash, yes it is frequently known as the most prescribed antibiotic.

High blood pressure is one of the most common health problems for Americans. Sometimes, this is caused by genetics or it is linked to other health issues, such as obesity.

Azithromycin is another antibiotic, used to treat a few bacterial infections, such as sexually transmitted diseases, bronchitis, pneumonia and infections of the lungs, sinuses, throat, ears and reproductive organs.

When your body retains too much fluid, it can cause a myriad of health issues, including heart disease and high blood pressure.

Regardless of how healthy you try to be through diet and exercise, there may come a time when you need a prescription drug, whether it’s because of genetics or as a result of age. As long as you do your research and know all the details from your doctor, you can use the medication to fight whatever ails you.

Read the full article here and related more pharmaceutical articles here.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Dr. Pharma Seuss – Humorous Pharmacy Poem | Pharma Mirror Magazine

Oh the things you can fill
For the folks who are ill.
With your bright shiny spatula
Oh, what a thrill.
Besmocked and bedecked out
In Pharmacist clothes
Knowing all of the things
That a Pharmacist knows.
You’re quick and efficient,
You’re sharp and inventive.
It also just happens
You’re very attentive.
Then ol’ Mrs. Snifflemore
Gives you that smile
And you know once again
That it’s almost worthwhile

So you hang up your smock
And put down your free pen.
Tomorrow you’ll do it
All over again.

Oh the things you will fill For the folks who are ill. With your bright shiny spatula Oh, what a thrill!