Medication
Overview
A pharmaceutical drug, also referred to as medicine, medication or medicament, can be loosely defined as any chemical substance
Chemical substance
In chemistry, a chemical substance is a form of matter that has constant chemical composition and characteristic properties. It cannot be separated into components by physical separation methods, i.e. without breaking chemical bonds. They can be solids, liquids or gases.Chemical substances are...

 intended for use in the medical diagnosis
Medical diagnosis
Medical diagnosis refers both to the process of attempting to determine or identify a possible disease or disorder , and to the opinion reached by this process...

, cure
Cure
A cure is a completely effective treatment for a disease.The Cure is an English rock band.Cure, or similar, may also refer to:-Film and television:* The Cure , a short film starring Charlie Chaplin...

, treatment
Therapy
This is a list of types of therapy .* Adventure therapy* Animal-assisted therapy* Aquatic therapy* Aromatherapy* Art and dementia* Art therapy* Authentic Movement* Behavioral therapy* Bibliotherapy* Buteyko Method* Chemotherapy...

, or prevention
Preventive medicine
Preventive medicine or preventive care refers to measures taken to prevent diseases, rather than curing them or treating their symptoms...

 of disease
Disease
A disease is an abnormal condition affecting the body of an organism. It is often construed to be a medical condition associated with specific symptoms and signs. It may be caused by external factors, such as infectious disease, or it may be caused by internal dysfunctions, such as autoimmune...

.
Medications can be classified in various ways, such as by chemical properties
Chemical property
A chemical property is any of a material's properties that becomes evident during a chemical reaction; that is, any quality that can be established only by changing a substance's chemical identity...

, mode or route of administration
Route of administration
A route of administration in pharmacology and toxicology is the path by which a drug, fluid, poison, or other substance is taken into the body.-Classification:Routes of administration are usually classified by application location...

, biological system
Biological system
In biology, a biological system is a group of organs that work together to perform a certain task. Common systems, such as those present in mammals and other animals, seen in human anatomy, are those such as the circulatory system, the respiratory system, the nervous system, etc.A group of systems...

 affected, or therapeutic effect
Therapeutic effect
A therapeutic effect is a consequence of a medical treatment of any kind, the results of which are judged to be desirable and beneficial. This is true whether the result was expected, unexpected, or even an unintended consequence of the treatment...

s. An elaborate and widely used classification system is the Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical Classification System
Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical Classification System
The Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical Classification System is used for the classification of drugs. It is controlled by the WHO Collaborating Centre for Drug Statistics Methodology , and was first published in 1976....

 (ATC system). The World Health Organization
World Health Organization
The World Health Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations that acts as a coordinating authority on international public health. Established on 7 April 1948, with headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, the agency inherited the mandate and resources of its predecessor, the Health...

 keeps a list of essential medicines
Essential medicines
Essential medicines, as defined by the World Health Organization are "those drugs that satisfy the health care needs of the majority of the population; they should therefore be available at all times in adequate amounts and in appropriate dosage forms, at a price the community can afford."The WHO...

.

A sampling of classes of medicine includes:
  1. Trentyxicyls: reducing headache
    Headache
    A headache or cephalalgia is pain anywhere in the region of the head or neck. It can be a symptom of a number of different conditions of the head and neck. The brain tissue itself is not sensitive to pain because it lacks pain receptors. Rather, the pain is caused by disturbance of the...

     (sexual appetite/erectile disfunction)
  2. Antipyretic
    Antipyretic
    Antipyretics ; an-tee-pahy-ret-iks; from the Greek anti, against, and pyreticus, are drugs or herbs that reduce fever. Normally, they will not lower body temperature if one does not have a fever. Antipyretics cause the hypothalamus to override an interleukin-induced increase in temperature...

    s: reducing fever
    Fever
    Fever is a common medical sign characterized by an elevation of temperature above the normal range of due to an increase in the body temperature regulatory set-point. This increase in set-point triggers increased muscle tone and shivering.As a person's temperature increases, there is, in...

     (pyrexia/pyresis)
  3. Analgesic
    Analgesic
    An analgesic is any member of the group of drugs used to relieve pain . The word analgesic derives from Greek an- and algos ....

    s: reducing pain
    Pain
    Pain is an unpleasant sensation often caused by intense or damaging stimuli such as stubbing a toe, burning a finger, putting iodine on a cut, and bumping the "funny bone."...

     (painkillers)
  4. Antimalarial drug
    Antimalarial drug
    Antimalarial medications, also known as antimalarials, are designed to prevent or cure malaria. Such drugs may be used for some or all of the following:* Treatment of malaria in individuals with suspected or confirmed infection...

    s: treating malaria
    Malaria
    Malaria is a mosquito-borne infectious disease of humans and other animals caused by eukaryotic protists of the genus Plasmodium. The disease results from the multiplication of Plasmodium parasites within red blood cells, causing symptoms that typically include fever and headache, in severe cases...

  5. Antibiotic
    Antibiotic
    An antibacterial is a compound or substance that kills or slows down the growth of bacteria.The term is often used synonymously with the term antibiotic; today, however, with increased knowledge of the causative agents of various infectious diseases, antibiotic has come to denote a broader range of...

    s: inhibiting germ
    Microorganism
    A microorganism or microbe is a microscopic organism that comprises either a single cell , cell clusters, or no cell at all...

     growth
  6. Antiseptic
    Antiseptic
    Antiseptics are antimicrobial substances that are applied to living tissue/skin to reduce the possibility of infection, sepsis, or putrefaction...

    s: prevention of germ growth near burn
    Burn
    A burn is an injury to flesh caused by heat, electricity, chemicals, light, radiation, or friction.Burn may also refer to:*Combustion*Burn , type of watercourses so named in Scotland and north-eastern England...

    s, cut
    Cut
    Cut may refer to:* The act of cutting, the separation of an object into two through acutely directed force-Mathematics:* Cut * Branch cut, a concept in complex analysis* Dedekind cut, a partition of rational numbers* Cut-elimination theorem...

    s and wound
    Wound
    A wound is a type of injury in which skin is torn, cut or punctured , or where blunt force trauma causes a contusion . In pathology, it specifically refers to a sharp injury which damages the dermis of the skin.-Open:...

    s

  • Upper digestive tract
    Gastrointestinal tract
    The human gastrointestinal tract refers to the stomach and intestine, and sometimes to all the structures from the mouth to the anus. ....

    : antacid
    Antacid
    An antacid is a substance which neutralizes stomach acidity.-Mechanism of action:Antacids perform a neutralization reaction, increasing the pH to reduce acidity in the stomach. When gastric hydrochloric acid reaches the nerves in the gastrointestinal mucosa, they signal pain to the central nervous...

    s, reflux suppressant
    Reflux suppressant
    A reflux suppressant is any one of a number of drugs used to combat oesophageal reflux. Commonly, following ingestion a 'raft' of alginic acid is created, floating on the stomach contents by carbon dioxide released by the drug. This forms a mechanical barrier to further reflux...

    s, antiflatulent
    Antiflatulent
    An antiflatulent agent is a drug used for the alleviation or prevention of excessive intestinal gas, i.e., flatulence.- Preventing gas :* Enzymes - Enzyme-based dietary supplements break down indigestible substances and prevent these substances from reaching the large intestine intact -- where...

    s, antidopaminergics
    Dopamine antagonist
    A dopamine antagonist is a drug which blocks dopamine receptors by receptor antagonism. There are five known types of dopamine receptors in the human body; they are found in the brain, peripheral nervous system, blood vessels, gastrointestinal tract and the kidney.-Uses and examples:* Used as...

    , proton pump inhibitor
    Proton pump inhibitor
    Proton-pump inhibitors are a group of drugs whose main action is a pronounced and long-lasting reduction of gastric acid production. They are the most potent inhibitors of acid secretion available today. The group followed and has largely superseded another group of pharmaceuticals with similar...

    s (PPIs), H2-receptor antagonists, cytoprotectants, prostaglandin analogue
    Prostaglandin analogue
    Synthetic prostaglandin analogues are molecules which are manufactured to bind to a prostaglandin receptor.Wider use of prostaglandin analogues is limited by unwanted side effects and their abortive potential.-Uses:...

    s
  • Lower digestive tract: laxative
    Laxative
    Laxatives are foods, compounds, or drugs taken to induce bowel movements or to loosen the stool, most often taken to treat constipation. Certain stimulant, lubricant, and saline laxatives are used to evacuate the colon for rectal and/or bowel examinations, and may be supplemented by enemas under...

    s, antispasmodic
    Antispasmodic
    An antispasmodic is a drug or a herb that suppresses muscle spasms.-Smooth muscle spasm:One type of antispasmodics is used for smooth muscle contraction, especially in tubular organs of the gastrointestinal tract...

    s, antidiarrhoeal
    Antidiarrhoeal
    An anti-diarrhoeal drug is any medication which provides symptomatic relief for diarrhoea.-Types:* Electrolyte solutions are used to replace lost fluids and salts in acute cases....

    s, bile acid sequestrant
    Bile acid sequestrant
    The bile acid sequestrants are a group of medications used to bind certain components of bile in the gastrointestinal tract. They disrupt the enterohepatic circulation of bile acids by sequestering them and preventing their reabsorption from the gut. In general, they are classified as hypolipidemic...

    s, opioid
    Opioid
    An opioid is a psychoactive chemical that works by binding to opioid receptors, which are found principally in the central and peripheral nervous system and the gastrointestinal tract...


  • General: β-receptor blockers
    Beta blocker
    Beta blockers or beta-adrenergic blocking agents, beta-adrenergic antagonists, beta-adrenoreceptor antagonists or beta antagonists, are a class of drugs used for various indications. They are particularly for the management of cardiac arrhythmias, cardioprotection after myocardial infarction ,...

     ("beta blockers"), calcium channel blocker
    Calcium channel blocker
    A calcium channel blocker is a chemical that disrupts the movement of calcium through calcium channels.CCB drugs devised to target neurons are used as antiepileptics. However, the most widespread clinical usage of calcium channel blockers is to decrease blood pressure in patients with...

    s, diuretic
    Diuretic
    A diuretic provides a means of forced diuresis which elevates the rate of urination. There are several categories of diuretics. All diuretics increase the excretion of water from bodies, although each class does so in a distinct way.- Medical uses :...

    s, cardiac glycoside
    Cardiac glycoside
    Cardiac glycosides are drugs used in the treatment of congestive heart failure and cardiac arrhythmia. These glycosides are found as secondary metabolites in several plants, but also in some animals, such as the milkweed butterflies. -Function:...

    s, antiarrhythmics
    Antiarrhythmic agent
    Antiarrhythmic agents are a group of pharmaceuticals that are used to suppress abnormal rhythms of the heart , such as atrial fibrillation, atrial flutter, ventricular tachycardia, and ventricular fibrillation....

    , nitrate
    Nitrate
    The nitrate ion is a polyatomic ion with the molecular formula NO and a molecular mass of 62.0049 g/mol. It is the conjugate base of nitric acid, consisting of one central nitrogen atom surrounded by three identically-bonded oxygen atoms in a trigonal planar arrangement. The nitrate ion carries a...

    , antianginal
    Antianginal
    An antianginal is any drug used in the treatment of angina pectoris, a symptom of ischaemic heart disease.-Nitrates:Nitrates cause vasodilation of the venous capacitance vessels by stimulating the endothelium-derived relaxing factor...

    s, vasoconstrictors
    Vasoconstriction
    Vasoconstriction is the narrowing of the blood vessels resulting from contraction of the muscular wall of the vessels, particularly the large arteries, small arterioles and veins. The process is the opposite of vasodilation, the widening of blood vessels. The process is particularly important in...

    , vasodilators
    Vasodilation
    Vasodilation refers to the widening of blood vessels resulting from relaxation of smooth muscle cells within the vessel walls, particularly in the large arteries, smaller arterioles and large veins. The process is essentially the opposite of vasoconstriction, or the narrowing of blood vessels. When...

    , peripheral activators
  • Affecting blood pressure
    Blood pressure
    Blood pressure is the pressure exerted by circulating blood upon the walls of blood vessels, and is one of the principal vital signs. When used without further specification, "blood pressure" usually refers to the arterial pressure of the systemic circulation. During each heartbeat, BP varies...

     (antihypertensive drugs): ACE inhibitor
    ACE inhibitor
    ACE inhibitors or angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors are a group of drugs used primarily for the treatment of hypertension and congestive heart failure...

    s, angiotensin receptor blockers
    Angiotensin II receptor antagonist
    Angiotensin II receptor antagonists, also known as angiotensin receptor blockers , AT1-receptor antagonists or sartans, are a group of pharmaceuticals which modulate the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system...

    , α blockers
    Alpha blocker
    Alpha-1 blockers constitute a variety of drugs which block α1-adrenergic receptors in arteries and smooth muscles.-Pharmacology:...

    , calcium channel blocker
    Calcium channel blocker
    A calcium channel blocker is a chemical that disrupts the movement of calcium through calcium channels.CCB drugs devised to target neurons are used as antiepileptics. However, the most widespread clinical usage of calcium channel blockers is to decrease blood pressure in patients with...

    s
  • Coagulation
    Coagulation
    Coagulation is a complex process by which blood forms clots. It is an important part of hemostasis, the cessation of blood loss from a damaged vessel, wherein a damaged blood vessel wall is covered by a platelet and fibrin-containing clot to stop bleeding and begin repair of the damaged vessel...

    : anticoagulant
    Anticoagulant
    An anticoagulant is a substance that prevents coagulation of blood. A group of pharmaceuticals called anticoagulants can be used in vivo as a medication for thrombotic disorders. Some anticoagulants are used in medical equipment, such as test tubes, blood transfusion bags, and renal dialysis...

    s, heparin
    Heparin
    Heparin , also known as unfractionated heparin, a highly sulfated glycosaminoglycan, is widely used as an injectable anticoagulant, and has the highest negative charge density of any known biological molecule...

    , antiplatelet drug
    Antiplatelet drug
    An antiplatelet drug is a member of a class of pharmaceuticals that decrease platelet aggregation and inhibit thrombus formation...

    s, fibrinolytics
    Fibrinolysis
    Fibrinolysis is a process that prevents blood clots from growing and becoming problematic. This process has two types: primary fibrinolysis and secondary fibrinolysis...

    , anti-hemophilic factor
    Factor VIII
    Factor VIII is an essential blood clotting factor also known as anti-hemophilic factor . In humans, Factor VIII is encoded by the F8 gene...

    s, haemostatic drugs
  • Atherosclerosis
    Atherosclerosis
    Atherosclerosis is a condition in which an artery wall thickens as a result of the accumulation of fatty materials such as cholesterol...

    /cholesterol
    Cholesterol
    Cholesterol is a complex isoprenoid. Specifically, it is a waxy steroid of fat that is produced in the liver or intestines. It is used to produce hormones and cell membranes and is transported in the blood plasma of all mammals. It is an essential structural component of mammalian cell membranes...

     inhibitors: hypolipidaemic agents, statin
    Statin
    Statins are a class of drugs used to lower cholesterol levels by inhibiting the enzyme HMG-CoA reductase, which plays a central role in the production of cholesterol in the liver. Increased cholesterol levels have been associated with cardiovascular diseases, and statins are therefore used in the...

    s.

Drugs affecting the central nervous system
Central nervous system
The central nervous system is the part of the nervous system that integrates the information that it receives from, and coordinates the activity of, all parts of the bodies of bilaterian animals—that is, all multicellular animals except sponges and radially symmetric animals such as jellyfish...

 include: hypnotic
Hypnotic
Hypnotic drugs are a class of psychoactives whose primary function is to induce sleep and to be used in the treatment of insomnia and in surgical anesthesia...

s, anaesthetics, antipsychotic
Antipsychotic
An antipsychotic is a tranquilizing psychiatric medication primarily used to manage psychosis , particularly in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. A first generation of antipsychotics, known as typical antipsychotics, was discovered in the 1950s...

s, antidepressant
Antidepressant
An antidepressant is a psychiatric medication used to alleviate mood disorders, such as major depression and dysthymia and anxiety disorders such as social anxiety disorder. According to Gelder, Mayou &*Geddes people with a depressive illness will experience a therapeutic effect to their mood;...

s (including tricyclic antidepressant
Tricyclic antidepressant
Tricyclic antidepressants are heterocyclic chemical compounds used primarily as antidepressants. The TCAs were first discovered in the early 1950s and were subsequently introduced later in the decade; they are named after their chemical structure, which contains three rings of atoms...

s, monoamine oxidase inhibitor
Monoamine oxidase inhibitor
Monoamine oxidase inhibitors are a class of antidepressant drugs prescribed for the treatment of depression. They are particularly effective in treating atypical depression....

s, lithium salts
Lithium pharmacology
Lithium pharmacology refers to use of the lithium ion, Li+, as a drug. A number of chemical salts of lithium are used medically as a mood stabilizing drug, primarily in the treatment of bipolar disorder, where they have a role in the treatment of depression and particularly of mania, both acutely...

, and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor
Selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors or serotonin-specific reuptake inhibitor are a class of compounds typically used as antidepressants in the treatment of depression, anxiety disorders, and some personality disorders. The efficacy of SSRIs is disputed...

s (SSRIs)), antiemetic
Antiemetic
An antiemetic is a drug that is effective against vomiting and nausea. Antiemetics are typically used to treat motion sickness and the side effects of opioid analgesics, general anaesthetics, and chemotherapy directed against cancer....

s, anticonvulsants/antiepileptics
Anticonvulsant
The anticonvulsants are a diverse group of pharmaceuticals used in the treatment of epileptic seizures. Anticonvulsants are also increasingly being used in the treatment of bipolar disorder, since many seem to act as mood stabilizers, and in the treatment of neuropathic pain. The goal of an...

, anxiolytic
Anxiolytic
An anxiolytic is a drug used for the treatment of anxiety, and its related psychological and physical symptoms...

s, barbiturate
Barbiturate
Barbiturates are drugs that act as central nervous system depressants, and can therefore produce a wide spectrum of effects, from mild sedation to total anesthesia. They are also effective as anxiolytics, as hypnotics, and as anticonvulsants...

s, movement disorder (e.g., Parkinson's disease
Parkinson's disease
Parkinson's disease is a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system...

) drugs, stimulant
Stimulant
Stimulants are psychoactive drugs which induce temporary improvements in either mental or physical function or both. Examples of these kinds of effects may include enhanced alertness, wakefulness, and locomotion, among others...

s (including amphetamine
Amphetamine
Amphetamine or amfetamine is a psychostimulant drug of the phenethylamine class which produces increased wakefulness and focus in association with decreased fatigue and appetite.Brand names of medications that contain, or metabolize into, amphetamine include Adderall, Dexedrine, Dextrostat,...

s), benzodiazepine
Benzodiazepine
A benzodiazepine is a psychoactive drug whose core chemical structure is the fusion of a benzene ring and a diazepine ring...

s, cyclopyrrolones
Cyclopyrrolones
Cyclopyrrolones are a family of hypnotic and anxiolytic nonbenzodiazepine drugs with similar pharmacological profiles to the benzodiazepine derivatives....

, dopamine antagonist
Dopamine antagonist
A dopamine antagonist is a drug which blocks dopamine receptors by receptor antagonism. There are five known types of dopamine receptors in the human body; they are found in the brain, peripheral nervous system, blood vessels, gastrointestinal tract and the kidney.-Uses and examples:* Used as...

s, antihistamines
Histamine antagonist
A histamine antagonist, commonly referred to as antihistamine, is a pharmaceutical drug that inhibits action of histamine by blocking it from attaching to histamine receptors.- Clinical effects :...

, cholinergic
Cholinergic
The word choline generally refers to the various quaternary ammonium salts containing the N,N,N-trimethylethanolammonium cation. Found in most animal tissues, choline is a primary component of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine and functions with inositol as a basic constituent of lecithin...

s, anticholinergic
Anticholinergic
An anticholinergic agent is a substance that blocks the neurotransmitter acetylcholine in the central and the peripheral nervous system. An example of an anticholinergic is dicycloverine, and the classic example is atropine....

s, emetics, cannabinoids, and 5-HT (serotonin) antagonists
Serotonin antagonist
A serotonin antagonist is a drug used to inhibit the action at serotonin receptors.Many of the most important medications of this class selectively act at the 5-HT3 receptor, and thus are known as 5-HT3 antagonists...

.
The main classes of painkillers are NSAIDs, opioid
Opioid
An opioid is a psychoactive chemical that works by binding to opioid receptors, which are found principally in the central and peripheral nervous system and the gastrointestinal tract...

s and various orphans
Orphan drug
An orphan drug is a pharmaceutical agent that has been developed specifically to treat a rare medical condition, the condition itself being referred to as an orphan disease...

 such as paracetamol
Paracetamol
Paracetamol INN , or acetaminophen USAN , is a widely used over-the-counter analgesic and antipyretic . It is commonly used for the relief of headaches and other minor aches and pains and is a major ingredient in numerous cold and flu remedies...

, tricyclic antidepressant
Tricyclic antidepressant
Tricyclic antidepressants are heterocyclic chemical compounds used primarily as antidepressants. The TCAs were first discovered in the early 1950s and were subsequently introduced later in the decade; they are named after their chemical structure, which contains three rings of atoms...

s and anticonvulsant
Anticonvulsant
The anticonvulsants are a diverse group of pharmaceuticals used in the treatment of epileptic seizures. Anticonvulsants are also increasingly being used in the treatment of bipolar disorder, since many seem to act as mood stabilizers, and in the treatment of neuropathic pain. The goal of an...

s.
The main categories of drugs for musculoskeletal disorders
Musculoskeletal disorders
Musculoskeletal disorders can affect the body's muscles, joints, tendons, ligaments and nerves. Most work-related MSDs develop over time and are caused either by the work itself or by the employees' working environment...

 are: NSAIDs (including COX-2 selective inhibitors), muscle relaxant
Muscle relaxant
A muscle relaxant is a drug which affects skeletal muscle function and decreases the muscle tone. It may be used to alleviate symptoms such as muscle spasms, pain, and hyperreflexia. The term "muscle relaxant" is used to refer to two major therapeutic groups: neuromuscular blockers and spasmolytics...

s, neuromuscular
Neuromuscular disease
Neuromuscular disease is a very broad term that encompasses many diseases and ailments that either directly, via intrinsic muscle pathology, or indirectly, via nerve pathology, impair the functioning of the muscles....

 drugs, and anticholinesterases
Acetylcholinesterase inhibitor
An acetylcholinesterase inhibitor or anti-cholinesterase is a chemical that inhibits the cholinesterase enzyme from breaking down acetylcholine, increasing both the level and duration of action of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine.- Uses :Acetylcholinesterase inhibitors:* Occur naturally as...

.
  • General: adrenergic neurone blocker, astringent
    Astringent
    An astringent substance is a chemical compound that tends to shrink or constrict body tissues, usually locally after topical medicinal application. The word "astringent" derives from Latin adstringere, meaning "to bind fast"...

    , ocular lubricant
  • Diagnostic: topical anesthetic
    Topical anesthetic
    A topical anesthetic is a local anesthetic that is used to numb the surface of a body part. They can be used to numb any area of the skin as well as the front of the eyeball, the inside of the nose, ear or throat, the anus and the genital area. Topical anesthetics are available in creams,...

    s, sympathomimetics, parasympatholytic
    Parasympatholytic
    A parasympatholytic agent is a substance or activity that reduces the activity of the parasympathetic nervous system. A parasympatholytic agent is a substance or activity that reduces the activity of the parasympathetic nervous system. A parasympatholytic agent is a substance or activity that...

    s, mydriatics, cycloplegics
  • Anti-bacterial: antibiotic
    Antibiotic
    An antibacterial is a compound or substance that kills or slows down the growth of bacteria.The term is often used synonymously with the term antibiotic; today, however, with increased knowledge of the causative agents of various infectious diseases, antibiotic has come to denote a broader range of...

    s, topical antibiotics, sulfa drugs, aminoglycosides, fluoroquinolones
  • Antiviral drug
    Antiviral drug
    Antiviral drugs are a class of medication used specifically for treating viral infections. Like antibiotics for bacteria, specific antivirals are used for specific viruses...

    :
  • Anti-fungal: imidazole
    Imidazole
    Imidazole is an organic compound with the formula C3H4N2. This aromatic heterocyclic is a diazole and is classified as an alkaloid. Imidazole refers to the parent compound, whereas imidazoles are a class of heterocycles with similar ring structure, but varying substituents...

    s, polyene
    Polyene
    Polyenes are poly-unsaturated organic compounds that contain one or more sequences of alternating double and single carbon-carbon bonds. These double carbon-carbon bonds interact in a process known as conjugation, which results in an overall lower energy state of the molecule.Organic compounds with...

    s
  • Anti-inflammatory
    Anti-inflammatory
    Anti-inflammatory refers to the property of a substance or treatment that reduces inflammation. Anti-inflammatory drugs make up about half of analgesics, remedying pain by reducing inflammation as opposed to opioids, which affect the central nervous system....

    : NSAIDs, corticosteroids
  • Anti-allergy
    Allergy
    An Allergy is a hypersensitivity disorder of the immune system. Allergic reactions occur when a person's immune system reacts to normally harmless substances in the environment. A substance that causes a reaction is called an allergen. These reactions are acquired, predictable, and rapid...

    : mast cell inhibitors
    Mast cell
    A mast cell is a resident cell of several types of tissues and contains many granules rich in histamine and heparin...

  • Anti-glaucoma
    Glaucoma
    Glaucoma is an eye disorder in which the optic nerve suffers damage, permanently damaging vision in the affected eye and progressing to complete blindness if untreated. It is often, but not always, associated with increased pressure of the fluid in the eye...

    : adrenergic agonists, beta-blockers, carbonic anhydrase inhibitors/hyperosmotics, cholinergic
    Cholinergic
    The word choline generally refers to the various quaternary ammonium salts containing the N,N,N-trimethylethanolammonium cation. Found in most animal tissues, choline is a primary component of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine and functions with inositol as a basic constituent of lecithin...

    s, miotics, parasympathomimetics, prostaglandin agonists/prostaglandin inhibitors.
Encyclopedia
A pharmaceutical drug, also referred to as medicine, medication or medicament, can be loosely defined as any chemical substance
Chemical substance
In chemistry, a chemical substance is a form of matter that has constant chemical composition and characteristic properties. It cannot be separated into components by physical separation methods, i.e. without breaking chemical bonds. They can be solids, liquids or gases.Chemical substances are...

 intended for use in the medical diagnosis
Medical diagnosis
Medical diagnosis refers both to the process of attempting to determine or identify a possible disease or disorder , and to the opinion reached by this process...

, cure
Cure
A cure is a completely effective treatment for a disease.The Cure is an English rock band.Cure, or similar, may also refer to:-Film and television:* The Cure , a short film starring Charlie Chaplin...

, treatment
Therapy
This is a list of types of therapy .* Adventure therapy* Animal-assisted therapy* Aquatic therapy* Aromatherapy* Art and dementia* Art therapy* Authentic Movement* Behavioral therapy* Bibliotherapy* Buteyko Method* Chemotherapy...

, or prevention
Preventive medicine
Preventive medicine or preventive care refers to measures taken to prevent diseases, rather than curing them or treating their symptoms...

 of disease
Disease
A disease is an abnormal condition affecting the body of an organism. It is often construed to be a medical condition associated with specific symptoms and signs. It may be caused by external factors, such as infectious disease, or it may be caused by internal dysfunctions, such as autoimmune...

.

Classification

Medications can be classified in various ways, such as by chemical properties
Chemical property
A chemical property is any of a material's properties that becomes evident during a chemical reaction; that is, any quality that can be established only by changing a substance's chemical identity...

, mode or route of administration
Route of administration
A route of administration in pharmacology and toxicology is the path by which a drug, fluid, poison, or other substance is taken into the body.-Classification:Routes of administration are usually classified by application location...

, biological system
Biological system
In biology, a biological system is a group of organs that work together to perform a certain task. Common systems, such as those present in mammals and other animals, seen in human anatomy, are those such as the circulatory system, the respiratory system, the nervous system, etc.A group of systems...

 affected, or therapeutic effect
Therapeutic effect
A therapeutic effect is a consequence of a medical treatment of any kind, the results of which are judged to be desirable and beneficial. This is true whether the result was expected, unexpected, or even an unintended consequence of the treatment...

s. An elaborate and widely used classification system is the Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical Classification System
Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical Classification System
The Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical Classification System is used for the classification of drugs. It is controlled by the WHO Collaborating Centre for Drug Statistics Methodology , and was first published in 1976....

 (ATC system). The World Health Organization
World Health Organization
The World Health Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations that acts as a coordinating authority on international public health. Established on 7 April 1948, with headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, the agency inherited the mandate and resources of its predecessor, the Health...

 keeps a list of essential medicines
Essential medicines
Essential medicines, as defined by the World Health Organization are "those drugs that satisfy the health care needs of the majority of the population; they should therefore be available at all times in adequate amounts and in appropriate dosage forms, at a price the community can afford."The WHO...

.

A sampling of classes of medicine includes:
  1. Trentyxicyls: reducing headache
    Headache
    A headache or cephalalgia is pain anywhere in the region of the head or neck. It can be a symptom of a number of different conditions of the head and neck. The brain tissue itself is not sensitive to pain because it lacks pain receptors. Rather, the pain is caused by disturbance of the...

     (sexual appetite/erectile disfunction)
  2. Antipyretic
    Antipyretic
    Antipyretics ; an-tee-pahy-ret-iks; from the Greek anti, against, and pyreticus, are drugs or herbs that reduce fever. Normally, they will not lower body temperature if one does not have a fever. Antipyretics cause the hypothalamus to override an interleukin-induced increase in temperature...

    s: reducing fever
    Fever
    Fever is a common medical sign characterized by an elevation of temperature above the normal range of due to an increase in the body temperature regulatory set-point. This increase in set-point triggers increased muscle tone and shivering.As a person's temperature increases, there is, in...

     (pyrexia/pyresis)
  3. Analgesic
    Analgesic
    An analgesic is any member of the group of drugs used to relieve pain . The word analgesic derives from Greek an- and algos ....

    s: reducing pain
    Pain
    Pain is an unpleasant sensation often caused by intense or damaging stimuli such as stubbing a toe, burning a finger, putting iodine on a cut, and bumping the "funny bone."...

     (painkillers)
  4. Antimalarial drug
    Antimalarial drug
    Antimalarial medications, also known as antimalarials, are designed to prevent or cure malaria. Such drugs may be used for some or all of the following:* Treatment of malaria in individuals with suspected or confirmed infection...

    s: treating malaria
    Malaria
    Malaria is a mosquito-borne infectious disease of humans and other animals caused by eukaryotic protists of the genus Plasmodium. The disease results from the multiplication of Plasmodium parasites within red blood cells, causing symptoms that typically include fever and headache, in severe cases...

  5. Antibiotic
    Antibiotic
    An antibacterial is a compound or substance that kills or slows down the growth of bacteria.The term is often used synonymously with the term antibiotic; today, however, with increased knowledge of the causative agents of various infectious diseases, antibiotic has come to denote a broader range of...

    s: inhibiting germ
    Microorganism
    A microorganism or microbe is a microscopic organism that comprises either a single cell , cell clusters, or no cell at all...

     growth
  6. Antiseptic
    Antiseptic
    Antiseptics are antimicrobial substances that are applied to living tissue/skin to reduce the possibility of infection, sepsis, or putrefaction...

    s: prevention of germ growth near burn
    Burn
    A burn is an injury to flesh caused by heat, electricity, chemicals, light, radiation, or friction.Burn may also refer to:*Combustion*Burn , type of watercourses so named in Scotland and north-eastern England...

    s, cut
    Cut
    Cut may refer to:* The act of cutting, the separation of an object into two through acutely directed force-Mathematics:* Cut * Branch cut, a concept in complex analysis* Dedekind cut, a partition of rational numbers* Cut-elimination theorem...

    s and wound
    Wound
    A wound is a type of injury in which skin is torn, cut or punctured , or where blunt force trauma causes a contusion . In pathology, it specifically refers to a sharp injury which damages the dermis of the skin.-Open:...

    s

For the gastrointestinal tract (digestive system)

  • Upper digestive tract
    Gastrointestinal tract
    The human gastrointestinal tract refers to the stomach and intestine, and sometimes to all the structures from the mouth to the anus. ....

    : antacid
    Antacid
    An antacid is a substance which neutralizes stomach acidity.-Mechanism of action:Antacids perform a neutralization reaction, increasing the pH to reduce acidity in the stomach. When gastric hydrochloric acid reaches the nerves in the gastrointestinal mucosa, they signal pain to the central nervous...

    s, reflux suppressant
    Reflux suppressant
    A reflux suppressant is any one of a number of drugs used to combat oesophageal reflux. Commonly, following ingestion a 'raft' of alginic acid is created, floating on the stomach contents by carbon dioxide released by the drug. This forms a mechanical barrier to further reflux...

    s, antiflatulent
    Antiflatulent
    An antiflatulent agent is a drug used for the alleviation or prevention of excessive intestinal gas, i.e., flatulence.- Preventing gas :* Enzymes - Enzyme-based dietary supplements break down indigestible substances and prevent these substances from reaching the large intestine intact -- where...

    s, antidopaminergics
    Dopamine antagonist
    A dopamine antagonist is a drug which blocks dopamine receptors by receptor antagonism. There are five known types of dopamine receptors in the human body; they are found in the brain, peripheral nervous system, blood vessels, gastrointestinal tract and the kidney.-Uses and examples:* Used as...

    , proton pump inhibitor
    Proton pump inhibitor
    Proton-pump inhibitors are a group of drugs whose main action is a pronounced and long-lasting reduction of gastric acid production. They are the most potent inhibitors of acid secretion available today. The group followed and has largely superseded another group of pharmaceuticals with similar...

    s (PPIs), H2-receptor antagonists, cytoprotectants, prostaglandin analogue
    Prostaglandin analogue
    Synthetic prostaglandin analogues are molecules which are manufactured to bind to a prostaglandin receptor.Wider use of prostaglandin analogues is limited by unwanted side effects and their abortive potential.-Uses:...

    s
  • Lower digestive tract: laxative
    Laxative
    Laxatives are foods, compounds, or drugs taken to induce bowel movements or to loosen the stool, most often taken to treat constipation. Certain stimulant, lubricant, and saline laxatives are used to evacuate the colon for rectal and/or bowel examinations, and may be supplemented by enemas under...

    s, antispasmodic
    Antispasmodic
    An antispasmodic is a drug or a herb that suppresses muscle spasms.-Smooth muscle spasm:One type of antispasmodics is used for smooth muscle contraction, especially in tubular organs of the gastrointestinal tract...

    s, antidiarrhoeal
    Antidiarrhoeal
    An anti-diarrhoeal drug is any medication which provides symptomatic relief for diarrhoea.-Types:* Electrolyte solutions are used to replace lost fluids and salts in acute cases....

    s, bile acid sequestrant
    Bile acid sequestrant
    The bile acid sequestrants are a group of medications used to bind certain components of bile in the gastrointestinal tract. They disrupt the enterohepatic circulation of bile acids by sequestering them and preventing their reabsorption from the gut. In general, they are classified as hypolipidemic...

    s, opioid
    Opioid
    An opioid is a psychoactive chemical that works by binding to opioid receptors, which are found principally in the central and peripheral nervous system and the gastrointestinal tract...


For the cardiovascular system
Circulatory system
The circulatory system is an organ system that passes nutrients , gases, hormones, blood cells, etc...

 

  • General: β-receptor blockers
    Beta blocker
    Beta blockers or beta-adrenergic blocking agents, beta-adrenergic antagonists, beta-adrenoreceptor antagonists or beta antagonists, are a class of drugs used for various indications. They are particularly for the management of cardiac arrhythmias, cardioprotection after myocardial infarction ,...

     ("beta blockers"), calcium channel blocker
    Calcium channel blocker
    A calcium channel blocker is a chemical that disrupts the movement of calcium through calcium channels.CCB drugs devised to target neurons are used as antiepileptics. However, the most widespread clinical usage of calcium channel blockers is to decrease blood pressure in patients with...

    s, diuretic
    Diuretic
    A diuretic provides a means of forced diuresis which elevates the rate of urination. There are several categories of diuretics. All diuretics increase the excretion of water from bodies, although each class does so in a distinct way.- Medical uses :...

    s, cardiac glycoside
    Cardiac glycoside
    Cardiac glycosides are drugs used in the treatment of congestive heart failure and cardiac arrhythmia. These glycosides are found as secondary metabolites in several plants, but also in some animals, such as the milkweed butterflies. -Function:...

    s, antiarrhythmics
    Antiarrhythmic agent
    Antiarrhythmic agents are a group of pharmaceuticals that are used to suppress abnormal rhythms of the heart , such as atrial fibrillation, atrial flutter, ventricular tachycardia, and ventricular fibrillation....

    , nitrate
    Nitrate
    The nitrate ion is a polyatomic ion with the molecular formula NO and a molecular mass of 62.0049 g/mol. It is the conjugate base of nitric acid, consisting of one central nitrogen atom surrounded by three identically-bonded oxygen atoms in a trigonal planar arrangement. The nitrate ion carries a...

    , antianginal
    Antianginal
    An antianginal is any drug used in the treatment of angina pectoris, a symptom of ischaemic heart disease.-Nitrates:Nitrates cause vasodilation of the venous capacitance vessels by stimulating the endothelium-derived relaxing factor...

    s, vasoconstrictors
    Vasoconstriction
    Vasoconstriction is the narrowing of the blood vessels resulting from contraction of the muscular wall of the vessels, particularly the large arteries, small arterioles and veins. The process is the opposite of vasodilation, the widening of blood vessels. The process is particularly important in...

    , vasodilators
    Vasodilation
    Vasodilation refers to the widening of blood vessels resulting from relaxation of smooth muscle cells within the vessel walls, particularly in the large arteries, smaller arterioles and large veins. The process is essentially the opposite of vasoconstriction, or the narrowing of blood vessels. When...

    , peripheral activators
  • Affecting blood pressure
    Blood pressure
    Blood pressure is the pressure exerted by circulating blood upon the walls of blood vessels, and is one of the principal vital signs. When used without further specification, "blood pressure" usually refers to the arterial pressure of the systemic circulation. During each heartbeat, BP varies...

     (antihypertensive drugs): ACE inhibitor
    ACE inhibitor
    ACE inhibitors or angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors are a group of drugs used primarily for the treatment of hypertension and congestive heart failure...

    s, angiotensin receptor blockers
    Angiotensin II receptor antagonist
    Angiotensin II receptor antagonists, also known as angiotensin receptor blockers , AT1-receptor antagonists or sartans, are a group of pharmaceuticals which modulate the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system...

    , α blockers
    Alpha blocker
    Alpha-1 blockers constitute a variety of drugs which block α1-adrenergic receptors in arteries and smooth muscles.-Pharmacology:...

    , calcium channel blocker
    Calcium channel blocker
    A calcium channel blocker is a chemical that disrupts the movement of calcium through calcium channels.CCB drugs devised to target neurons are used as antiepileptics. However, the most widespread clinical usage of calcium channel blockers is to decrease blood pressure in patients with...

    s
  • Coagulation
    Coagulation
    Coagulation is a complex process by which blood forms clots. It is an important part of hemostasis, the cessation of blood loss from a damaged vessel, wherein a damaged blood vessel wall is covered by a platelet and fibrin-containing clot to stop bleeding and begin repair of the damaged vessel...

    : anticoagulant
    Anticoagulant
    An anticoagulant is a substance that prevents coagulation of blood. A group of pharmaceuticals called anticoagulants can be used in vivo as a medication for thrombotic disorders. Some anticoagulants are used in medical equipment, such as test tubes, blood transfusion bags, and renal dialysis...

    s, heparin
    Heparin
    Heparin , also known as unfractionated heparin, a highly sulfated glycosaminoglycan, is widely used as an injectable anticoagulant, and has the highest negative charge density of any known biological molecule...

    , antiplatelet drug
    Antiplatelet drug
    An antiplatelet drug is a member of a class of pharmaceuticals that decrease platelet aggregation and inhibit thrombus formation...

    s, fibrinolytics
    Fibrinolysis
    Fibrinolysis is a process that prevents blood clots from growing and becoming problematic. This process has two types: primary fibrinolysis and secondary fibrinolysis...

    , anti-hemophilic factor
    Factor VIII
    Factor VIII is an essential blood clotting factor also known as anti-hemophilic factor . In humans, Factor VIII is encoded by the F8 gene...

    s, haemostatic drugs
  • Atherosclerosis
    Atherosclerosis
    Atherosclerosis is a condition in which an artery wall thickens as a result of the accumulation of fatty materials such as cholesterol...

    /cholesterol
    Cholesterol
    Cholesterol is a complex isoprenoid. Specifically, it is a waxy steroid of fat that is produced in the liver or intestines. It is used to produce hormones and cell membranes and is transported in the blood plasma of all mammals. It is an essential structural component of mammalian cell membranes...

     inhibitors: hypolipidaemic agents, statin
    Statin
    Statins are a class of drugs used to lower cholesterol levels by inhibiting the enzyme HMG-CoA reductase, which plays a central role in the production of cholesterol in the liver. Increased cholesterol levels have been associated with cardiovascular diseases, and statins are therefore used in the...

    s.

For the central nervous system

Drugs affecting the central nervous system
Central nervous system
The central nervous system is the part of the nervous system that integrates the information that it receives from, and coordinates the activity of, all parts of the bodies of bilaterian animals—that is, all multicellular animals except sponges and radially symmetric animals such as jellyfish...

 include: hypnotic
Hypnotic
Hypnotic drugs are a class of psychoactives whose primary function is to induce sleep and to be used in the treatment of insomnia and in surgical anesthesia...

s, anaesthetics, antipsychotic
Antipsychotic
An antipsychotic is a tranquilizing psychiatric medication primarily used to manage psychosis , particularly in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. A first generation of antipsychotics, known as typical antipsychotics, was discovered in the 1950s...

s, antidepressant
Antidepressant
An antidepressant is a psychiatric medication used to alleviate mood disorders, such as major depression and dysthymia and anxiety disorders such as social anxiety disorder. According to Gelder, Mayou &*Geddes people with a depressive illness will experience a therapeutic effect to their mood;...

s (including tricyclic antidepressant
Tricyclic antidepressant
Tricyclic antidepressants are heterocyclic chemical compounds used primarily as antidepressants. The TCAs were first discovered in the early 1950s and were subsequently introduced later in the decade; they are named after their chemical structure, which contains three rings of atoms...

s, monoamine oxidase inhibitor
Monoamine oxidase inhibitor
Monoamine oxidase inhibitors are a class of antidepressant drugs prescribed for the treatment of depression. They are particularly effective in treating atypical depression....

s, lithium salts
Lithium pharmacology
Lithium pharmacology refers to use of the lithium ion, Li+, as a drug. A number of chemical salts of lithium are used medically as a mood stabilizing drug, primarily in the treatment of bipolar disorder, where they have a role in the treatment of depression and particularly of mania, both acutely...

, and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor
Selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors or serotonin-specific reuptake inhibitor are a class of compounds typically used as antidepressants in the treatment of depression, anxiety disorders, and some personality disorders. The efficacy of SSRIs is disputed...

s (SSRIs)), antiemetic
Antiemetic
An antiemetic is a drug that is effective against vomiting and nausea. Antiemetics are typically used to treat motion sickness and the side effects of opioid analgesics, general anaesthetics, and chemotherapy directed against cancer....

s, anticonvulsants/antiepileptics
Anticonvulsant
The anticonvulsants are a diverse group of pharmaceuticals used in the treatment of epileptic seizures. Anticonvulsants are also increasingly being used in the treatment of bipolar disorder, since many seem to act as mood stabilizers, and in the treatment of neuropathic pain. The goal of an...

, anxiolytic
Anxiolytic
An anxiolytic is a drug used for the treatment of anxiety, and its related psychological and physical symptoms...

s, barbiturate
Barbiturate
Barbiturates are drugs that act as central nervous system depressants, and can therefore produce a wide spectrum of effects, from mild sedation to total anesthesia. They are also effective as anxiolytics, as hypnotics, and as anticonvulsants...

s, movement disorder (e.g., Parkinson's disease
Parkinson's disease
Parkinson's disease is a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system...

) drugs, stimulant
Stimulant
Stimulants are psychoactive drugs which induce temporary improvements in either mental or physical function or both. Examples of these kinds of effects may include enhanced alertness, wakefulness, and locomotion, among others...

s (including amphetamine
Amphetamine
Amphetamine or amfetamine is a psychostimulant drug of the phenethylamine class which produces increased wakefulness and focus in association with decreased fatigue and appetite.Brand names of medications that contain, or metabolize into, amphetamine include Adderall, Dexedrine, Dextrostat,...

s), benzodiazepine
Benzodiazepine
A benzodiazepine is a psychoactive drug whose core chemical structure is the fusion of a benzene ring and a diazepine ring...

s, cyclopyrrolones
Cyclopyrrolones
Cyclopyrrolones are a family of hypnotic and anxiolytic nonbenzodiazepine drugs with similar pharmacological profiles to the benzodiazepine derivatives....

, dopamine antagonist
Dopamine antagonist
A dopamine antagonist is a drug which blocks dopamine receptors by receptor antagonism. There are five known types of dopamine receptors in the human body; they are found in the brain, peripheral nervous system, blood vessels, gastrointestinal tract and the kidney.-Uses and examples:* Used as...

s, antihistamines
Histamine antagonist
A histamine antagonist, commonly referred to as antihistamine, is a pharmaceutical drug that inhibits action of histamine by blocking it from attaching to histamine receptors.- Clinical effects :...

, cholinergic
Cholinergic
The word choline generally refers to the various quaternary ammonium salts containing the N,N,N-trimethylethanolammonium cation. Found in most animal tissues, choline is a primary component of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine and functions with inositol as a basic constituent of lecithin...

s, anticholinergic
Anticholinergic
An anticholinergic agent is a substance that blocks the neurotransmitter acetylcholine in the central and the peripheral nervous system. An example of an anticholinergic is dicycloverine, and the classic example is atropine....

s, emetics, cannabinoids, and 5-HT (serotonin) antagonists
Serotonin antagonist
A serotonin antagonist is a drug used to inhibit the action at serotonin receptors.Many of the most important medications of this class selectively act at the 5-HT3 receptor, and thus are known as 5-HT3 antagonists...

.

For pain & consciousness (analgesic drugs)

The main classes of painkillers are NSAIDs, opioid
Opioid
An opioid is a psychoactive chemical that works by binding to opioid receptors, which are found principally in the central and peripheral nervous system and the gastrointestinal tract...

s and various orphans
Orphan drug
An orphan drug is a pharmaceutical agent that has been developed specifically to treat a rare medical condition, the condition itself being referred to as an orphan disease...

 such as paracetamol
Paracetamol
Paracetamol INN , or acetaminophen USAN , is a widely used over-the-counter analgesic and antipyretic . It is commonly used for the relief of headaches and other minor aches and pains and is a major ingredient in numerous cold and flu remedies...

, tricyclic antidepressant
Tricyclic antidepressant
Tricyclic antidepressants are heterocyclic chemical compounds used primarily as antidepressants. The TCAs were first discovered in the early 1950s and were subsequently introduced later in the decade; they are named after their chemical structure, which contains three rings of atoms...

s and anticonvulsant
Anticonvulsant
The anticonvulsants are a diverse group of pharmaceuticals used in the treatment of epileptic seizures. Anticonvulsants are also increasingly being used in the treatment of bipolar disorder, since many seem to act as mood stabilizers, and in the treatment of neuropathic pain. The goal of an...

s.

For musculo-skeletal disorders

The main categories of drugs for musculoskeletal disorders
Musculoskeletal disorders
Musculoskeletal disorders can affect the body's muscles, joints, tendons, ligaments and nerves. Most work-related MSDs develop over time and are caused either by the work itself or by the employees' working environment...

 are: NSAIDs (including COX-2 selective inhibitors), muscle relaxant
Muscle relaxant
A muscle relaxant is a drug which affects skeletal muscle function and decreases the muscle tone. It may be used to alleviate symptoms such as muscle spasms, pain, and hyperreflexia. The term "muscle relaxant" is used to refer to two major therapeutic groups: neuromuscular blockers and spasmolytics...

s, neuromuscular
Neuromuscular disease
Neuromuscular disease is a very broad term that encompasses many diseases and ailments that either directly, via intrinsic muscle pathology, or indirectly, via nerve pathology, impair the functioning of the muscles....

 drugs, and anticholinesterases
Acetylcholinesterase inhibitor
An acetylcholinesterase inhibitor or anti-cholinesterase is a chemical that inhibits the cholinesterase enzyme from breaking down acetylcholine, increasing both the level and duration of action of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine.- Uses :Acetylcholinesterase inhibitors:* Occur naturally as...

.

For the eye
Human eye
The human eye is an organ which reacts to light for several purposes. As a conscious sense organ, the eye allows vision. Rod and cone cells in the retina allow conscious light perception and vision including color differentiation and the perception of depth...

 

  • General: adrenergic neurone blocker, astringent
    Astringent
    An astringent substance is a chemical compound that tends to shrink or constrict body tissues, usually locally after topical medicinal application. The word "astringent" derives from Latin adstringere, meaning "to bind fast"...

    , ocular lubricant
  • Diagnostic: topical anesthetic
    Topical anesthetic
    A topical anesthetic is a local anesthetic that is used to numb the surface of a body part. They can be used to numb any area of the skin as well as the front of the eyeball, the inside of the nose, ear or throat, the anus and the genital area. Topical anesthetics are available in creams,...

    s, sympathomimetics, parasympatholytic
    Parasympatholytic
    A parasympatholytic agent is a substance or activity that reduces the activity of the parasympathetic nervous system. A parasympatholytic agent is a substance or activity that reduces the activity of the parasympathetic nervous system. A parasympatholytic agent is a substance or activity that...

    s, mydriatics, cycloplegics
  • Anti-bacterial: antibiotic
    Antibiotic
    An antibacterial is a compound or substance that kills or slows down the growth of bacteria.The term is often used synonymously with the term antibiotic; today, however, with increased knowledge of the causative agents of various infectious diseases, antibiotic has come to denote a broader range of...

    s, topical antibiotics, sulfa drugs, aminoglycosides, fluoroquinolones
  • Antiviral drug
    Antiviral drug
    Antiviral drugs are a class of medication used specifically for treating viral infections. Like antibiotics for bacteria, specific antivirals are used for specific viruses...

    :
  • Anti-fungal: imidazole
    Imidazole
    Imidazole is an organic compound with the formula C3H4N2. This aromatic heterocyclic is a diazole and is classified as an alkaloid. Imidazole refers to the parent compound, whereas imidazoles are a class of heterocycles with similar ring structure, but varying substituents...

    s, polyene
    Polyene
    Polyenes are poly-unsaturated organic compounds that contain one or more sequences of alternating double and single carbon-carbon bonds. These double carbon-carbon bonds interact in a process known as conjugation, which results in an overall lower energy state of the molecule.Organic compounds with...

    s
  • Anti-inflammatory
    Anti-inflammatory
    Anti-inflammatory refers to the property of a substance or treatment that reduces inflammation. Anti-inflammatory drugs make up about half of analgesics, remedying pain by reducing inflammation as opposed to opioids, which affect the central nervous system....

    : NSAIDs, corticosteroids
  • Anti-allergy
    Allergy
    An Allergy is a hypersensitivity disorder of the immune system. Allergic reactions occur when a person's immune system reacts to normally harmless substances in the environment. A substance that causes a reaction is called an allergen. These reactions are acquired, predictable, and rapid...

    : mast cell inhibitors
    Mast cell
    A mast cell is a resident cell of several types of tissues and contains many granules rich in histamine and heparin...

  • Anti-glaucoma
    Glaucoma
    Glaucoma is an eye disorder in which the optic nerve suffers damage, permanently damaging vision in the affected eye and progressing to complete blindness if untreated. It is often, but not always, associated with increased pressure of the fluid in the eye...

    : adrenergic agonists, beta-blockers, carbonic anhydrase inhibitors/hyperosmotics, cholinergic
    Cholinergic
    The word choline generally refers to the various quaternary ammonium salts containing the N,N,N-trimethylethanolammonium cation. Found in most animal tissues, choline is a primary component of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine and functions with inositol as a basic constituent of lecithin...

    s, miotics, parasympathomimetics, prostaglandin agonists/prostaglandin inhibitors. nitroglycerin

For the ear
Ear
The ear is the organ that detects sound. It not only receives sound, but also aids in balance and body position. The ear is part of the auditory system....

, nose
Human nose
The visible part of the human nose is the protruding part of the face that bears the nostrils. The shape of the nose is determined by the ethmoid bone and the nasal septum, which consists mostly of cartilage and which separates the nostrils...

 and oropharynx
Oropharynx
The Oropharynx reaches from the Uvula to the level of the hyoid bone.It opens anteriorly, through the isthmus faucium, into the mouth, while in its lateral wall, between the two palatine arches, is the palatine tonsil....

 

sympathomimetics, antihistamine
Antihistamine
An H1 antagonist is a histamine antagonist of the H1 receptor that serves to reduce or eliminate effects mediated by histamine, an endogenous chemical mediator released during allergic reactions...

s, anticholinergic
Anticholinergic
An anticholinergic agent is a substance that blocks the neurotransmitter acetylcholine in the central and the peripheral nervous system. An example of an anticholinergic is dicycloverine, and the classic example is atropine....

s, NSAIDs, steroid
Steroid
A steroid is a type of organic compound that contains a characteristic arrangement of four cycloalkane rings that are joined to each other. Examples of steroids include the dietary fat cholesterol, the sex hormones estradiol and testosterone, and the anti-inflammatory drug dexamethasone.The core...

s, antiseptic
Antiseptic
Antiseptics are antimicrobial substances that are applied to living tissue/skin to reduce the possibility of infection, sepsis, or putrefaction...

s, local anesthetic
Local anesthetic
A local anesthetic is a drug that causes reversible local anesthesia, generally for the aim of having local analgesic effect, that is, inducing absence of pain sensation, although other local senses are often affected as well...

s, antifungals, cerumenolyti

For the respiratory system
Respiratory system
The respiratory system is the anatomical system of an organism that introduces respiratory gases to the interior and performs gas exchange. In humans and other mammals, the anatomical features of the respiratory system include airways, lungs, and the respiratory muscles...

 

bronchodilator
Bronchodilator
A bronchodilator is a substance that dilates the bronchi and bronchioles, decreasing resistance in the respiratory airway and increasing airflow to the lungs. Bronchodilators may be endogenous , or they may be medications administered for the treatment of breathing difficulties...

s, NSAIDs, anti-allergics, antitussives, mucolytics, decongestant
Decongestant
A decongestant or nasal decongestant is a type of drug that is used to relieve nasal congestion.-Pharmacology:The vast majority of decongestants act via enhancing norepinephrine and epinephrine or adrenergic activity by stimulating the α-adrenergic receptors...

s
corticosteroid
Corticosteroid
Corticosteroids are a class of steroid hormones that are produced in the adrenal cortex. Corticosteroids are involved in a wide range of physiologic systems such as stress response, immune response and regulation of inflammation, carbohydrate metabolism, protein catabolism, blood electrolyte...

s, Beta2-adrenergic agonists, anticholinergic
Anticholinergic
An anticholinergic agent is a substance that blocks the neurotransmitter acetylcholine in the central and the peripheral nervous system. An example of an anticholinergic is dicycloverine, and the classic example is atropine....

s, steroid
Steroid
A steroid is a type of organic compound that contains a characteristic arrangement of four cycloalkane rings that are joined to each other. Examples of steroids include the dietary fat cholesterol, the sex hormones estradiol and testosterone, and the anti-inflammatory drug dexamethasone.The core...

s

For endocrine problems

androgen
Androgen
Androgen, also called androgenic hormone or testoid, is the generic term for any natural or synthetic compound, usually a steroid hormone, that stimulates or controls the development and maintenance of male characteristics in vertebrates by binding to androgen receptors...

s, antiandrogen
Antiandrogen
Antiandrogens, or androgen antagonists, first discovered in the 1960s, prevent androgens from expressing their biological effects on responsive tissues. Antiandrogens alter the androgen pathway by blocking the appropriate receptors, competing for binding sites on the cell's surface, or affecting...

s, gonadotropin
Gonadotropin
Gonadotropins are protein hormones secreted by gonadotrope cells of the pituitary gland of vertebrates. This is a family of proteins, which include the mammalian hormones follitropin , lutropin , placental chorionic gonadotropins hCG and eCG and chorionic gonadotropin , as well as at least two...

, corticosteroid
Corticosteroid
Corticosteroids are a class of steroid hormones that are produced in the adrenal cortex. Corticosteroids are involved in a wide range of physiologic systems such as stress response, immune response and regulation of inflammation, carbohydrate metabolism, protein catabolism, blood electrolyte...

s, human growth hormone, insulin
Insulin
Insulin is a hormone central to regulating carbohydrate and fat metabolism in the body. Insulin causes cells in the liver, muscle, and fat tissue to take up glucose from the blood, storing it as glycogen in the liver and muscle....

, antidiabetics (sulfonylurea
Sulfonylurea
Sulfonylurea derivatives are a class of antidiabetic drugs that are used in the management of diabetes mellitus type 2. They act by increasing insulin release from the beta cells in the pancreas.-First generation:* Carbutamide...

s, biguanide
Biguanide
Biguanide can refer to a molecule, or to a class of drugs based upon this molecule. Biguanides can function as oral antihyperglycemic drugs used for diabetes mellitus or prediabetes treatment...

s/metformin
Metformin
Metformin is an oral antidiabetic drug in the biguanide class. It is the first-line drug of choice for the treatment of type 2 diabetes, in particular, in overweight and obese people and those with normal kidney function. Its use in gestational diabetes has been limited by safety concerns...

, thiazolidinedione
Thiazolidinedione
The thiazolidinediones , also known as glitazones, are a class of medications used in the treatment of diabetes mellitus type 2. They were introduced in the late 1990s.- Mechanism of action :...

s, insulin
Insulin
Insulin is a hormone central to regulating carbohydrate and fat metabolism in the body. Insulin causes cells in the liver, muscle, and fat tissue to take up glucose from the blood, storing it as glycogen in the liver and muscle....

), thyroid hormone
Thyroid hormone
The thyroid hormones, thyroxine and triiodothyronine , are tyrosine-based hormones produced by the thyroid gland primarily responsible for regulation of metabolism. An important component in the synthesis of thyroid hormones is iodine. The major form of thyroid hormone in the blood is thyroxine ,...

s, antithyroid drugs, calcitonin
Calcitonin
Calcitonin is a 32-amino acid linear polypeptide hormone that is producedin humans primarily by the parafollicular cells of the thyroid, and in many other animals in the ultimobranchial body. It acts to reduce blood calcium , opposing the effects of parathyroid hormone . Calcitonin has been found...

, diphosponate, vasopressin analogue
Vasopressin analogue
Vasopressin analogues are chemicals similar in function but not necessarily similar in structure to vasopressin , such as desmopressin....

s

For the reproductive system
Reproductive system
The reproductive system or genital system is a system of organs within an organism which work together for the purpose of reproduction. Many non-living substances such as fluids, hormones, and pheromones are also important accessories to the reproductive system. Unlike most organ systems, the sexes...

 or urinary system
Urinary system
The urinary system is the organ system that produces, stores, and eliminates urine. In humans it includes two kidneys, two ureters, the bladder and the urethra.-Kidney:...

 

antifungal, alkalising agents, quinolones, antibiotic
Antibiotic
An antibacterial is a compound or substance that kills or slows down the growth of bacteria.The term is often used synonymously with the term antibiotic; today, however, with increased knowledge of the causative agents of various infectious diseases, antibiotic has come to denote a broader range of...

s, cholinergic
Cholinergic
The word choline generally refers to the various quaternary ammonium salts containing the N,N,N-trimethylethanolammonium cation. Found in most animal tissues, choline is a primary component of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine and functions with inositol as a basic constituent of lecithin...

s, anticholinergic
Anticholinergic
An anticholinergic agent is a substance that blocks the neurotransmitter acetylcholine in the central and the peripheral nervous system. An example of an anticholinergic is dicycloverine, and the classic example is atropine....

s, anticholinesterases, antispasmodic
Antispasmodic
An antispasmodic is a drug or a herb that suppresses muscle spasms.-Smooth muscle spasm:One type of antispasmodics is used for smooth muscle contraction, especially in tubular organs of the gastrointestinal tract...

s, 5-alpha reductase inhibitor, selective alpha-1 blockers, sildenafil
Sildenafil
Sildenafil citrate, sold as Viagra, Revatio and under various other trade names, is a drug used to treat erectile dysfunction and pulmonary arterial hypertension . It was originally developed by British scientists and then brought to market by the US-based pharmaceutical company Pfizer...

s, fertility medication
Fertility medication
Fertility medication are drugs which enhance reproductive fertility. For women, fertility medication is used to stimulate follicle development of the ovary...

s

For obstetrics
Obstetrics
Obstetrics is the medical specialty dealing with the care of all women's reproductive tracts and their children during pregnancy , childbirth and the postnatal period...

 and gynecology 

NSAIDs, anticholinergic
Anticholinergic
An anticholinergic agent is a substance that blocks the neurotransmitter acetylcholine in the central and the peripheral nervous system. An example of an anticholinergic is dicycloverine, and the classic example is atropine....

s, haemostatic drugs, antifibrinolytic
Antifibrinolytic
Antifibrinolytics, such as aminocaproic acid and tranexamic acid are used as inhibitors of fibrinolysis. These lysine-like drugs interfere with the formation of the fibrinolytic enzyme plasmin from its precursor plasminogen by plasminogen activators which takes place mainly in lysine rich areas...

s, Hormone Replacement Therapy
Hormone therapy
Hormone therapy, or hormonal therapy is the use of hormones in medical treatment. Treatment with hormone antagonists may also referred to as hormonal therapy...

 (HRT), bone regulators, beta-receptor agonists, follicle stimulating hormone, luteinising hormone, LHRH
gamolenic acid, gonadotropin release inhibitor, progestogen, dopamine agonist
Dopamine agonist
A dopamine agonist is a compound that activates dopamine receptors in the absence of dopamine. Dopamine agonists activate signaling pathways through the dopamine receptor and trimeric G-proteins, ultimately leading to changes in gene transcription.-Uses:...

s, oestrogen
Estrogen
Estrogens , oestrogens , or œstrogens, are a group of compounds named for their importance in the estrous cycle of humans and other animals. They are the primary female sex hormones. Natural estrogens are steroid hormones, while some synthetic ones are non-steroidal...

, prostaglandin
Prostaglandin
A prostaglandin is any member of a group of lipid compounds that are derived enzymatically from fatty acids and have important functions in the animal body. Every prostaglandin contains 20 carbon atoms, including a 5-carbon ring....

s, gonadorelin, clomiphene, tamoxifen
Tamoxifen
Tamoxifen is an antagonist of the estrogen receptor in breast tissue via its active metabolite, hydroxytamoxifen. In other tissues such as the endometrium, it behaves as an agonist, hence tamoxifen may be characterized as a mixed agonist/antagonist...

, Diethylstilbestrol
Diethylstilbestrol
Diethylstilbestrol is a synthetic nonsteroidal estrogen that was first synthesized in 1938. Human exposure to DES occurred through diverse sources, such as dietary ingestion from supplemented cattle feed and medical treatment for certain conditions, including breast and prostate cancers...


For the skin
Skin
-Dermis:The dermis is the layer of skin beneath the epidermis that consists of connective tissue and cushions the body from stress and strain. The dermis is tightly connected to the epidermis by a basement membrane. It also harbors many Mechanoreceptors that provide the sense of touch and heat...

 

emollients, anti-pruritic
Antipruritic
Antipruritics, also known as anti-itch drugs, are medications that inhibit the itching that is often associated with sunburns, allergic reactions, eczema, psoriasis, chickenpox, fungal infections, insect bites and stings like those from mosquitoes, fleas, and mites, and contact dermatitis and...

s, antifungals, disinfectants, scabicides, pediculicide
Pediculicide
Pediculicides are substances used to treat lice .-Chemical treatments:Today, insecticides used for the treatment of head lice include organochlorines , organophosphates , carbamates , pyrethrins , and pyrethroids .The only agents approved by the FDA for treatment of...

s, tar
Tar
Tar is modified pitch produced primarily from the wood and roots of pine by destructive distillation under pyrolysis. Production and trade in tar was a major contributor in the economies of Northern Europe and Colonial America. Its main use was in preserving wooden vessels against rot. The largest...

 products, vitamin A derivatives, vitamin D analogues, keratolytic
Keratolytic
Keratolytic therapy is treatment to remove warts and other lesions in which the epidermis produces excess skin. In this therapy, acid medicine, such as salicylic acid is put on the lesion. Keratolytic therapy thins the skin on and around the lesion. It causes the outer layer of the skin to loosen...

s, abrasive
Abrasive
An abrasive is a material, often a mineral, that is used to shape or finish a workpiece through rubbing which leads to part of the workpiece being worn away...

s, systemic antibiotics, topical
Topical
In medicine, a topical medication is applied to body surfaces such as the skin or mucous membranes such as the vagina, anus, throat, eyes and ears.Many topical medications are epicutaneous, meaning that they are applied directly to the skin...

 antibiotic
Antibiotic
An antibacterial is a compound or substance that kills or slows down the growth of bacteria.The term is often used synonymously with the term antibiotic; today, however, with increased knowledge of the causative agents of various infectious diseases, antibiotic has come to denote a broader range of...

s, hormone
Hormone
A hormone is a chemical released by a cell or a gland in one part of the body that sends out messages that affect cells in other parts of the organism. Only a small amount of hormone is required to alter cell metabolism. In essence, it is a chemical messenger that transports a signal from one...

s, desloughing agents, exudate absorbents, fibrinolytics, proteolytics, sunscreen
Sunscreen
Sunblock is a lotion, spray, gel or other topical product that absorbs or reflects some of the sun's ultraviolet radiation on the skin exposed to sunlight and thus helps protect against sunburn...

s, antiperspirants, corticosteroid
Corticosteroid
Corticosteroids are a class of steroid hormones that are produced in the adrenal cortex. Corticosteroids are involved in a wide range of physiologic systems such as stress response, immune response and regulation of inflammation, carbohydrate metabolism, protein catabolism, blood electrolyte...

s

For infection
Infection
An infection is the colonization of a host organism by parasite species. Infecting parasites seek to use the host's resources to reproduce, often resulting in disease...

s and infestation
Infestation
Infestation refers to the state of being invaded or overrun by pests or parasites. It can also refer to the actual organisms living on or within a host.-Terminology:...

s

antibiotic
Antibiotic
An antibacterial is a compound or substance that kills or slows down the growth of bacteria.The term is often used synonymously with the term antibiotic; today, however, with increased knowledge of the causative agents of various infectious diseases, antibiotic has come to denote a broader range of...

s, antifungals, antileprotics, antituberculous drugs, antimalarials, anthelmintic
Anthelmintic
Anthelmintics or antihelminthics are drugs that expel parasitic worms from the body, by either stunning or killing them. They may also be called vermifuges or vermicides .-Pharmaceutical classes:...

s, amoebicides, antivirals
Antiviral drug
Antiviral drugs are a class of medication used specifically for treating viral infections. Like antibiotics for bacteria, specific antivirals are used for specific viruses...

, antiprotozoal
Antiprotozoal agent
Antiprotozoal agents is a class of pharmaceuticals used in treatment of protozoan infection.Protozoans have little in common with each other and so agents effective against one pathogen may not be effective against another...

s

For the immune system
Immune system
An immune system is a system of biological structures and processes within an organism that protects against disease by identifying and killing pathogens and tumor cells. It detects a wide variety of agents, from viruses to parasitic worms, and needs to distinguish them from the organism's own...

 

vaccine
Vaccine
A vaccine is a biological preparation that improves immunity to a particular disease. A vaccine typically contains an agent that resembles a disease-causing microorganism, and is often made from weakened or killed forms of the microbe or its toxins...

s, immunoglobulins, immunosuppressant
Immunosuppressant
An immunosuppressant is any substance that performs immunosuppression of the immune system. They may be either exogenous, as immunosuppressive drugs, or endogenous, as ,e. g., testosterone...

s, interferon
Interferon
Interferons are proteins made and released by host cells in response to the presence of pathogens—such as viruses, bacteria, or parasites—or tumor cells. They allow communication between cells to trigger the protective defenses of the immune system that eradicate pathogens or tumors.IFNs belong to...

s, monoclonal antibodies

For nutrition
Nutrition
Nutrition is the provision, to cells and organisms, of the materials necessary to support life. Many common health problems can be prevented or alleviated with a healthy diet....

 

tonics, iron preparations, electrolyte
Electrolyte
In chemistry, an electrolyte is any substance containing free ions that make the substance electrically conductive. The most typical electrolyte is an ionic solution, but molten electrolytes and solid electrolytes are also possible....

s, parenteral nutritional supplements, vitamin
Vitamin
A vitamin is an organic compound required as a nutrient in tiny amounts by an organism. In other words, an organic chemical compound is called a vitamin when it cannot be synthesized in sufficient quantities by an organism, and must be obtained from the diet. Thus, the term is conditional both on...

s, anti-obesity drug
Anti-obesity drug
Anti-obesity medication or weight loss drugs are all pharmacological agents that reduce or control weight. These drugs alter one of the fundamental processes of the human body, weight regulation, by either altering appetite, metabolism, or absorption of calories. It is common for them to be tried...

s, anabolic drugs, haematopoietic drugs, food product drugs

For neoplastic disorders 

cytotoxic drugs, therapeutic antibodies, sex hormones, aromatase inhibitor
Aromatase inhibitor
Aromatase inhibitors are a class of drugs used in the treatment of breast cancer and ovarian cancer in postmenopausal women. AIs may also be used off-label to treat or prevent gynaecomastia in men....

s, somatostatin inhibitors, recombinant interleukin
Interleukin
Interleukins are a group of cytokines that were first seen to be expressed by white blood cells . The term interleukin derives from "as a means of communication", and "deriving from the fact that many of these proteins are produced by leukocytes and act on leukocytes"...

s, G-CSF, erythropoietin
Erythropoietin
Erythropoietin, or its alternatives erythropoetin or erthropoyetin or EPO, is a glycoprotein hormone that controls erythropoiesis, or red blood cell production...


For euthanasia
Euthanasia
Euthanasia refers to the practice of intentionally ending a life in order to relieve pain and suffering....

 

An euthanaticum is used for euthanasia
Euthanasia
Euthanasia refers to the practice of intentionally ending a life in order to relieve pain and suffering....

 and physician-assisted suicide
Assisted suicide
Assisted suicide is the common term for actions by which an individual helps another person voluntarily bring about his or her own death. "Assistance" may mean providing one with the means to end one's own life, but may extend to other actions. It differs to euthanasia where another person ends...

.

Euthanasia is not permitted by law in many countries, and consequently medicines will not be licensed for this use in those countries.

Administration


Administration is the delivery of a pharmaceutical drug to a patient.

It can be performed in various dosage forms such as pill
Pill (pharmacy)
A pill is a small, round, solid pharmaceutical oral dosage form that was in use before the advent of tablets and capsules. Pills were made by mixing the active ingredients with an excipient such as glucose syrup in a mortar and pestle to form a paste, then rolling the mass into a long cylindrical...

s, tablet
Tablet
A tablet is a pharmaceutical dosage form. It comprises a mixture of active substances and excipients, usually in powder form, pressed or compacted from a powder into a solid dose...

s, or capsules.

There are also many variations in the routes of administration, including intravenous
Intravenous therapy
Intravenous therapy or IV therapy is the infusion of liquid substances directly into a vein. The word intravenous simply means "within a vein". Therapies administered intravenously are often called specialty pharmaceuticals...

 (into the blood through a vein) and oral administration
Oral administration
Oral administration is a route of administration where a substance is taken through the mouth.-Terminology:Per os is an adverbial phrase meaning literally from Latin "by mouth" or "by way of the mouth." The expression is used in medicine to describe a treatment that is taken orally. The...

 (through the mouth).

They can be administered all at once as a bolus
Bolus (medicine)
In medicine, a bolus is the administration of a medication, drug or other compound that is given to raise its concentration in blood to an effective level...

, at frequent intervals or continuously. Frequencies are often abbreviated from Latin, such as every 8 hours reading Q8H from Quaque VIII Hora.

Legal considerations

Depending upon the jurisdiction
Jurisdiction
Jurisdiction is the practical authority granted to a formally constituted legal body or to a political leader to deal with and make pronouncements on legal matters and, by implication, to administer justice within a defined area of responsibility...

, medications may be divided into over-the-counter drug
Over-the-counter drug
Over-the-counter drugs are medicines that may be sold directly to a consumer without a prescription from a healthcare professional, as compared to prescription drugs, which may be sold only to consumers possessing a valid prescription...

s (OTC) which may be available without special restrictions, and prescription only medicine (POM), which must be prescribed by a licensed medical practitioner. The precise distinction between OTC and prescription depends on the legal jurisdiction
Jurisdiction
Jurisdiction is the practical authority granted to a formally constituted legal body or to a political leader to deal with and make pronouncements on legal matters and, by implication, to administer justice within a defined area of responsibility...

. A third category, behind-the-counter medications (BTMs), is implemented in some jurisdictions. BTMs do not require a prescription, but must be kept in the dispensary
Dispensary
A dispensary is an office in a school, hospital or other organization that dispenses medications and medical supplies. In a traditional dispensary set-up a pharmacist dispenses medication as per prescription or order form....

, not visible to the public, and only be sold by a pharmacist
Pharmacist
Pharmacists are allied health professionals who practice in pharmacy, the field of health sciences focusing on safe and effective medication use...

 or pharmacy technician
Pharmacy technician
A pharmacy technician, also sometimes known as a pharmaceutical technician, is a health care worker who performs pharmacy related functions, generally working under the direct supervision of a licensed pharmacist or other health professional...

. Doctors may also prescribe prescription drugs for off-label use
Off-label use
Off-label use is the practice of prescribing pharmaceuticals for an unapproved indication or in an unapproved age group, unapproved dose or unapproved form of administration...

 - purposes which the drugs were not originally approved for by the regulatory agency. The Classification of Pharmaco-Therapeutic Referrals
Classification of Pharmaco-Therapeutic Referrals
The Classification of Pharmaco-Therapeutic Referrals is a taxonomy focused to define and group together situations requiring a referral from pharmacists to physicians regarding the pharmacotherapy used by the patients. It has been published in 2008...

 helps guide the referral process between pharmacists and doctors.

The International Narcotics Control Board
International Narcotics Control Board
The International Narcotics Control Board is the independent and quasi-judicial control organ for the implementation of the United Nations drug conventions...

 of the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 imposes a world law of prohibition
Prohibition
Prohibition of alcohol, often referred to simply as prohibition, is the practice of prohibiting the manufacture, transportation, import, export, sale, and consumption of alcohol and alcoholic beverages. The term can also apply to the periods in the histories of the countries during which the...

 of certain medications. They publish a lengthy list of chemicals and plants whose trade and consumption (where applicable) is forbidden. OTC medications are sold without restriction as they are considered safe enough that most people will not hurt themselves accidentally by taking it as instructed. Many countries, such as the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 have a third category of pharmacy medicines which can only be sold in registered pharmacies, by or under the supervision of a pharmacist
Pharmacist
Pharmacists are allied health professionals who practice in pharmacy, the field of health sciences focusing on safe and effective medication use...

.

For patented medications, countries may have certain mandatory licensing
Compulsory license
A compulsory license, also known as statutory license or mandatory collective management, provides that the owner of a patent or copyright licenses the use of their rights against payment either set by law or determined through some form of arbitration.- Copyright law :In a number of countries...

 programs which compel, in certain situations, a medication's owner to contract with other agents to manufacture the drug. Such programs may deal with the contingency of a lack of medication in the event of a serious epidemic of disease, or may be part of efforts to ensure that disease treating drugs, such as AIDS drugs, are available to countries which cannot afford the drug owner's price.

Prescription practice

Drugs which are prescription only are regulated as such because they can impose adverse effect
Adverse effect
In medicine, an adverse effect is a harmful and undesired effect resulting from a medication or other intervention such as surgery.An adverse effect may be termed a "side effect", when judged to be secondary to a main or therapeutic effect. If it results from an unsuitable or incorrect dosage or...

s and should not be used unless necessary. Medical guidelines and clinical trial
Clinical trial
Clinical trials are a set of procedures in medical research and drug development that are conducted to allow safety and efficacy data to be collected for health interventions...

s required for approval are used to help inform doctors' prescription of these drugs, but errors can happen. Reasons to not prescribe drugs such as interactions or side effects are called contraindication
Contraindication
In medicine, a contraindication is a condition or factor that serves as a reason to withhold a certain medical treatment.Some contraindications are absolute, meaning that there are no reasonable circumstances for undertaking a course of action...

s.

Errors include overprescription and polypharmacy
Polypharmacy
Polypharmacy is the use of multiple medications by a patient, especially when too many forms of medication are used by a patient, when more drugs are prescribed than is clinically warranted, or even when all prescribed medications are clinically indicated but there are too many pills to take ....

, misprescription, contraindication and lack of detail in dosage and administrations instructions. In 2000 the definition of a prescription error was studied using a Delphi method
Delphi method
The Delphi method is a structured communication technique, originally developed as a systematic, interactive forecasting method which relies on a panel of experts.In the standard version, the experts answer questionnaires in two or more rounds...

 conference; the conference was motivated by ambiguity in the what a prescription error and a need to use a uniform definition in studies.

Development

Drug development is the process by which a drug is created. Drugs can be extracted from natural products (pharmacognosy
Pharmacognosy
Pharmacognosy is the study of medicines derived from natural sources. The American Society of Pharmacognosy defines pharmacognosy as "the study of the physical, chemical, biochemical and biological properties of drugs, drug substances or potential drugs or drug substances of natural origin as well...

) or synthesized through chemical processes. The drug's active ingredient
Active ingredient
An active ingredient is the substance of a pharmaceutical drug or a pharmaceutical ingredient and bulk active in medicine; in pesticide formulations active substance may be used. Some medications and pesticide products may contain more than one active ingredient...

 will be combined with a "vehicle" such as a capsule
Capsule
-Anatomy:* an eggshell* Articular capsules - every diarthrodial joint possesses a fibrous or ligamentous capsule, lined with synovial membrane, attached to the adjacent ends of the articulating bones* the sac that encloses the crystalline lens of the eye...

, cream
Cream
Cream is a dairy product that is composed of the higher-butterfat layer skimmed from the top of milk before homogenization. In un-homogenized milk, over time, the lighter fat rises to the top. In the industrial production of cream this process is accelerated by using centrifuges called "separators"...

, or liquid
Liquid
Liquid is one of the three classical states of matter . Like a gas, a liquid is able to flow and take the shape of a container. Some liquids resist compression, while others can be compressed. Unlike a gas, a liquid does not disperse to fill every space of a container, and maintains a fairly...

 which will be administered through a particular route of administration
Route of administration
A route of administration in pharmacology and toxicology is the path by which a drug, fluid, poison, or other substance is taken into the body.-Classification:Routes of administration are usually classified by application location...

. Child-resistant packaging
Child-resistant packaging
Child-resistant packaging or C-R packaging is special packaging used to reduce the risk of children ingesting dangerous items. This is often accomplished by the use of a special safety cap. It is required by regulation for prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, pesticides, and household...

 will likely be used in the ultimate package sold to the consumer.

Blockbuster drug


A blockbuster drug is a drug generating more than $1 billion of revenue for its owner each year.

A report from URCH Publishing estimated that about one third of the pharma market by value is accounted for by blockbusters. About 125 products are blockbusters. The top seller was Lipitor, a cholesterol
Cholesterol
Cholesterol is a complex isoprenoid. Specifically, it is a waxy steroid of fat that is produced in the liver or intestines. It is used to produce hormones and cell membranes and is transported in the blood plasma of all mammals. It is an essential structural component of mammalian cell membranes...

-lowering medication marketed by Pfizer
Pfizer
Pfizer, Inc. is an American multinational pharmaceutical corporation. The company is based in New York City, New York with its research headquarters in Groton, Connecticut, United States...

 with sales of $12.5 billion
Annual pharmaceutical drug sales
-Annual Sales :...

.

In 2009 there were a total of seven new blockbuster drugs, with combined sales of $9.8 billion.

Beyond this purely arbitrary financial consideration,
"In the pharmaceutical industry, a blockbuster drug is one that achieves acceptance by prescribing physicians as a therapeutic standard for, most commonly, a highly prevalent chronic (rather than acute) condition. Patients often take the medicines for long periods."

Leading blockbuster drugs

Drug Trade name Company Sales (billion $), year
Atorvastatin
Atorvastatin
Atorvastatin , sold by Pfizer under the trade name Lipitor, is a member of the drug class known as statins, used for lowering blood cholesterol. It also stabilizes plaque and prevents strokes through anti-inflammatory and other mechanisms...

Lipitor Pfizer
Pfizer
Pfizer, Inc. is an American multinational pharmaceutical corporation. The company is based in New York City, New York with its research headquarters in Groton, Connecticut, United States...

12 (2007) >
Clopidogrel
Clopidogrel
Clopidogrel is an oral, thienopyridine class antiplatelet agent used to inhibit blood clots in coronary artery disease, peripheral vascular disease, and cerebrovascular disease. It is marketed by Bristol-Myers Squibb and Sanofi-Aventis under the trade name Plavix. The drug works by irreversibly...

Plavix Bristol-Myers Squibb
Bristol-Myers Squibb
Bristol-Myers Squibb , often referred to as BMS, is a pharmaceutical company, headquartered in New York City. The company was formed in 1989, following the merger of its predecessors Bristol-Myers and the Squibb Corporation...

 and Sanofi-Aventis
Sanofi-Aventis
Sanofi S.A. is a multinational pharmaceutical company headquartered in Paris, France, the world's fourth-largest by prescription sales. Sanofi engages in the research and development, manufacturing and marketing of pharmaceutical products for sale principally in the prescription market, but the...

5.9 (2005)
Enoxaparin
Enoxaparin
Enoxaparin is a low molecular weight heparin marketed under the trade names Lovenox and Clexane, among others. It is an anticoagulant used to prevent and treat deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism, and is given as a subcutaneous injection...

Lovenox or Clexane Sanofi-Aventis
Sanofi-Aventis
Sanofi S.A. is a multinational pharmaceutical company headquartered in Paris, France, the world's fourth-largest by prescription sales. Sanofi engages in the research and development, manufacturing and marketing of pharmaceutical products for sale principally in the prescription market, but the...

Celecoxib
Celecoxib
Celecoxib INN is a sulfa non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug and selective COX-2 inhibitor used in the treatment of osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, acute pain, painful menstruation and menstrual symptoms, and to reduce numbers of colon and rectum polyps in patients with familial...

Celebrex Pfizer
Pfizer
Pfizer, Inc. is an American multinational pharmaceutical corporation. The company is based in New York City, New York with its research headquarters in Groton, Connecticut, United States...

2.3 (2007)
Omeprazole
Omeprazole
Omeprazole is a proton pump inhibitor used in the treatment of dyspepsia, peptic ulcer disease , gastroesophageal reflux disease , laryngopharyngeal reflux and Zollinger–Ellison syndrome...

Losec/Prilosec AstraZeneca
AstraZeneca
AstraZeneca plc is a global pharmaceutical and biologics company headquartered in London, United Kingdom. It is the world's seventh-largest pharmaceutical company measured by revenues and has operations in over 100 countries...

2.6 (2004)
Esomeprazole
Esomeprazole
Esomeprazole is a proton pump inhibitor developed and marketed by AstraZeneca which is used in the treatment of dyspepsia, peptic ulcer disease , gastroesophageal reflux disease and Zollinger-Ellison syndrome...

Nexium AstraZeneca
AstraZeneca
AstraZeneca plc is a global pharmaceutical and biologics company headquartered in London, United Kingdom. It is the world's seventh-largest pharmaceutical company measured by revenues and has operations in over 100 countries...

3.3 (2003)
Fexofenadine
Fexofenadine
Fexofenadine is an antihistamine drug used in the treatment of hayfever and similar allergy symptoms...

Telfast/Allegra Aventis
Aventis
Aventis was a pharmaceutical and lab assay testing company. It was formed in 1999 when Rhône-Poulenc S.A. merged with Hoechst AG. The merged company was based in Strasbourg, France. With its headquarters in Strasbourg, Aventis was the product of the first transnational merger to combine large...

1.87 (2004)
Quetiapine
Quetiapine
Quetiapine , is an atypical antipsychotic approved for the treatment of schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder....

Seroquel AstraZeneca
AstraZeneca
AstraZeneca plc is a global pharmaceutical and biologics company headquartered in London, United Kingdom. It is the world's seventh-largest pharmaceutical company measured by revenues and has operations in over 100 countries...

1.5 (2003)
Metoprolol
Metoprolol
Metoprolol is a selective β1 receptor blocker used in treatment of several diseases of the cardiovascular system, especially hypertension. The active substance metoprolol is employed either as metoprolol succinate or metoprolol tartrate...

Seloken/Toprol AstraZeneca
AstraZeneca
AstraZeneca plc is a global pharmaceutical and biologics company headquartered in London, United Kingdom. It is the world's seventh-largest pharmaceutical company measured by revenues and has operations in over 100 countries...

1.3 (2003)
Budesonide
Budesonide
Budesonide is a glucocorticoid steroid for the treatment of asthma and non-infectious rhinitis , and for treatment and prevention of nasal polyposis...

Pulmicort/Rhinocort AstraZeneca
AstraZeneca
AstraZeneca plc is a global pharmaceutical and biologics company headquartered in London, United Kingdom. It is the world's seventh-largest pharmaceutical company measured by revenues and has operations in over 100 countries...

1.3 (2003) (plus some fraction of the $0.6bn sales of Symbicort)

Environmental impact

Since the 1990s water contamination by pharmaceuticals has been an environmental issue of concern. Most pharmaceuticals are deposited in the environment through human consumption and excretion, and are often filtered ineffectively by wastewater treatment plant
Sewage treatment
Sewage treatment, or domestic wastewater treatment, is the process of removing contaminants from wastewater and household sewage, both runoff and domestic. It includes physical, chemical, and biological processes to remove physical, chemical and biological contaminants...

s which are not designed to manage them. Once in the water they can have diverse, subtle effects on organisms, although research is limited. Pharmaceuticals may also be deposited in the environment through improper disposal, runoff from sludge
Sludge
Sludge refers to the residual, semi-solid material left from industrial wastewater, or sewage treatment processes. It can also refer to the settled suspension obtained from conventional drinking water treatment, and numerous other industrial processes...

 fertilizer and reclaimed wastewater irrigation, and leaky sewage. In 2009 an investigative report by Associated Press
Associated Press
The Associated Press is an American news agency. The AP is a cooperative owned by its contributing newspapers, radio and television stations in the United States, which both contribute stories to the AP and use material written by its staff journalists...

 concluded that U.S. manufacturers had legally released 271 million pounds of drugs into the environment, 92% of which was the antiseptics phenol
Phenol
Phenol, also known as carbolic acid, phenic acid, is an organic compound with the chemical formula C6H5OH. It is a white crystalline solid. The molecule consists of a phenyl , bonded to a hydroxyl group. It is produced on a large scale as a precursor to many materials and useful compounds...

 and hydrogen peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide is the simplest peroxide and an oxidizer. Hydrogen peroxide is a clear liquid, slightly more viscous than water. In dilute solution, it appears colorless. With its oxidizing properties, hydrogen peroxide is often used as a bleach or cleaning agent...

. It could not distinguish between drugs released by manufacturers as opposed to the pharmaceutical industry. It also found that an estimated 250 million pounds of pharmaceuticals and contaminated packaging were discarded by hospitals and long-term care facilities.

Pharmacoenvironmentology is a branch of pharmacology
Pharmacology
Pharmacology is the branch of medicine and biology concerned with the study of drug action. More specifically, it is the study of the interactions that occur between a living organism and chemicals that affect normal or abnormal biochemical function...

 and a form of pharmacovigilance
Pharmacovigilance
Pharmacovigilance is the pharmacological science relating to the detection, assessment, understanding and prevention of adverse effects, particularly long term and short term side effects of medicines...

 which deals entry of chemicals or drugs
DRUGS
Destroy Rebuild Until God Shows are an American post-hardcore band formed in 2010. They released their debut self-titled album on February 22, 2011.- Formation :...

 into the environment
Natural environment
The natural environment encompasses all living and non-living things occurring naturally on Earth or some region thereof. It is an environment that encompasses the interaction of all living species....

 after elimination from humans and animals post-therapy. It deals specifically with those pharmacological agents that have impact on the environment via elimination through living organisms subsequent to pharmacotherapy, while Ecopharmacology is concerned with the entry of chemicals or drugs into the environment through any route and at any concentration disturbing the balance of ecology (ecosystem), as a consequence. Ecopharmacology is a broad term that includes studies of “PPCPs” irrespective of doses and route of entry into environment.

Ecopharmacovigilance is the science and activities associated with the detection, evaluation, understanding and prevention of adverse effects of pharmaceuticals in the environment. This is close to the WHO definition of pharmacovigilance, the science aiming to capture any adverse effects of pharmaceuticals in humans after use.

The term Environmental Persistent Pharmaceutical Pollutant
Environmental persistent pharmaceutical pollutant
The term Environmental Pharmaceutical Persistent Pollutant , was suggested in the nomination 2010 of pharmaceuticals and environment as an emerging issue to Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management by the International Society of Doctors for the Environment .Pharmaceuticals are...

s (EPPP) was suggested in the 2010 nomination of pharmaceuticals and environment as an emerging issue to Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM) by the International Society of Doctors for the Environment
International Society of Doctors for the Environment
The International Society of Doctors for the Environment is an NGO, founded at Cortona on 25 November 1990, by doctors of various nationalities, in order to gather all doctors interested in medical problems related to ecological problems, spread awareness of the connection between environmental...

 (ISDE).

Ancient pharmacology

Using plants and plant substances to treat all kinds of diseases and medical conditions is believed to date back to prehistoric medicine
Prehistoric medicine
Prehistoric medicine is a term used to describe the use of medicine before the invention of writing. As the timing of the invention of writing varies per culture and region, the term "prehistoric medicine" encompasses a wide range of time periods and dates....

.

The Kahun Gynaecological Papyrus, the oldest known medical text of any kind, dates to about 1800 BCE and represents the first documented use of any kind of medication. It and other medical papyri
Medical papyri
Egyptian medical papyri are ancient Egyptian texts written on papyrus which permit a glimpse at medical procedures and practices in ancient Egypt. The papyri give details on disease, diagnosis, and remedies of disease, which include herbal remedies, surgery, and magical spells. It is thought there...

 describe Ancient Egyptian medical practices
Ancient Egyptian medicine
The medicine of the ancient Egyptians is some of the oldest documented. From the beginnings of the civilization in the until the Persian invasion of 525 BC, Egyptian medical practice went largely unchanged and was highly advanced for its time, including simple non-invasive surgery, setting of...

, such as using honey
Honey
Honey is a sweet food made by bees using nectar from flowers. The variety produced by honey bees is the one most commonly referred to and is the type of honey collected by beekeepers and consumed by humans...

 to treat infections.

Ancient Babylonian medicine demonstrate the use of prescriptions
Prescription drug
A prescription medication is a licensed medicine that is regulated by legislation to require a medical prescription before it can be obtained. The term is used to distinguish it from over-the-counter drugs which can be obtained without a prescription...

 in the first half of the 2nd millennium BC
2nd millennium BC
The 2nd millennium BC marks the transition from the Middle to the Late Bronze Age.Its first half is dominated by the Middle Kingdom of Egypt and Babylonia. The alphabet develops. Indo-Iranian migration onto the Iranian plateau and onto the Indian subcontinent propagates the use of the chariot...

. Medicinal cream
Cream (pharmaceutical)
A cream is a topical preparation usually for application to the skin. Creams for application to mucus membranes such as those of the rectum or vagina are also used. Creams may be considered pharmaceutical products as even cosmetic creams are based on techniques developed by pharmacy and...

s and pill
Pill
Pill or The Pill may refer to:* Pill , referring to anything small and round for a specific dose of medicine. The term is used colloquially in several ways:** A tablet or capsule which replaced dosing via pill...

s were employed as treatments.

On the Indian subcontinent, the Atharvaveda
Atharvaveda
The Atharvaveda is a sacred text of Hinduism and one of the four Vedas, often called the "fourth Veda"....

, a sacred text of Hinduism
Hinduism
Hinduism is the predominant and indigenous religious tradition of the Indian Subcontinent. Hinduism is known to its followers as , amongst many other expressions...

 whose core dates from the 2nd millennium BCE, although the hymns recorded in it are believed to be older, is the first Indic
Indic
Indic can refer to:* Indo-Aryan languages* Indic scripts* Related to the Indian Subcontinent* of or related to India ; see Indica...

 text dealing with medicine
Medicine
Medicine is the science and art of healing. It encompasses a variety of health care practices evolved to maintain and restore health by the prevention and treatment of illness....

. It describes plant-based medications to counter diseases. The earliest foundations of ayurveda
Ayurveda
Ayurveda or ayurvedic medicine is a system of traditional medicine native to India and a form of alternative medicine. In Sanskrit, words , meaning "longevity", and , meaning "knowledge" or "science". The earliest literature on Indian medical practice appeared during the Vedic period in India,...

 were built on a synthesis of selected ancient herbal practices, together with a massive addition of theoretical conceptualizations, new nosologies and new therapies dating from about 400 BCE onwards. The student of Āyurveda was expected to know ten arts that were indispensable in the preparation and application of his medicines: distillation, operative skills, cooking, horticulture, metallurgy, sugar manufacture, pharmacy, analysis and separation of minerals, compounding of metals, and preparation of alkalis.

The Hippocratic Oath
Hippocratic Oath
The Hippocratic Oath is an oath historically taken by physicians and other healthcare professionals swearing to practice medicine ethically. It is widely believed to have been written by Hippocrates, often regarded as the father of western medicine, or by one of his students. The oath is written in...

 for physicians, attributed to 5th century BCE Greece, refers to the existence of "deadly drugs", and ancient Greek physicians
Medicine in Ancient Greece
The first known Greek medical school opened in Cnidus in 700 BC. Alcmaeon, author of the first anatomical work, worked at this school, and it was here that the practice of observing patients was established. Ancient Greek medicine revolved around the theory of humours...

 imported medications from Egypt and elsewhere.

The first drugstore
Pharmacy
Pharmacy is the health profession that links the health sciences with the chemical sciences and it is charged with ensuring the safe and effective use of pharmaceutical drugs...

s were created in Baghdad
Baghdad
Baghdad is the capital of Iraq, as well as the coterminous Baghdad Governorate. The population of Baghdad in 2011 is approximately 7,216,040...

 in the 8th century CE. The injection
Injection (medicine)
An injection is an infusion method of putting fluid into the body, usually with a hollow needle and a syringe which is pierced through the skin to a sufficient depth for the material to be forced into the body...

 syringe
Syringe
A syringe is a simple pump consisting of a plunger that fits tightly in a tube. The plunger can be pulled and pushed along inside a cylindrical tube , allowing the syringe to take in and expel a liquid or gas through an orifice at the open end of the tube...

 was invented by Ammar ibn Ali al-Mawsili in 9th century Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

. Al-Kindi
Al-Kindi
' , known as "the Philosopher of the Arabs", was a Muslim Arab philosopher, mathematician, physician, and musician. Al-Kindi was the first of the Muslim peripatetic philosophers, and is unanimously hailed as the "father of Islamic or Arabic philosophy" for his synthesis, adaptation and promotion...

's 9th century CE book, De Gradibus
De Gradibus
De Gradibus was an Arabic book published by the Arab physician Al-Kindi . De gradibus is the Latinized name of the book. An alternative name for the book was Quia Primos....

, developed a mathematical scale to quantify the strength of drug
Drug
A drug, broadly speaking, is any substance that, when absorbed into the body of a living organism, alters normal bodily function. There is no single, precise definition, as there are different meanings in drug control law, government regulations, medicine, and colloquial usage.In pharmacology, a...

s.

The Canon of Medicine
The Canon of Medicine
The Canon of Medicine is an encyclopedia of Galenic medicine in five books compiled by Ibn Sīnā and completed in 1025. It presents a clear and organized summary of all the medical knowledge of the time...

by Ibn Sina (Avicenna), who is considered the father of modern medicine, reported 800 tested drugs at the time of its completion in 1025 CE. Ibn Sina's contributions include the separation of medicine
Medicine
Medicine is the science and art of healing. It encompasses a variety of health care practices evolved to maintain and restore health by the prevention and treatment of illness....

 from pharmacology
Pharmacology
Pharmacology is the branch of medicine and biology concerned with the study of drug action. More specifically, it is the study of the interactions that occur between a living organism and chemicals that affect normal or abnormal biochemical function...

, which was important to the development of the pharmaceutical sciences
Pharmaceutical sciences
The pharmaceutical sciences are a group of interdisciplinary areas of study involved with the design, action, delivery, disposition, and use of drugs...

. Islamic medicine
Islamic medicine
In the history of medicine, Islamic medicine, Arabic medicine or Arabian medicine refers to medicine developed in the Islamic Golden Age, and written in Arabic, the lingua franca of Islamic civilization....

 knew of at least 2,000 medicinal and chemical substance
Chemical substance
In chemistry, a chemical substance is a form of matter that has constant chemical composition and characteristic properties. It cannot be separated into components by physical separation methods, i.e. without breaking chemical bonds. They can be solids, liquids or gases.Chemical substances are...

s.

Medieval pharmacology

Medieval medicine
Medieval medicine
Medieval medicine in Western Europe was composed of a mixture of existing ideas from antiquity, spiritual influences and what Claude Lévi-Strauss identifies as the "shamanistic complex" and "social consensus." In this era, there was no tradition of scientific medicine, and observations went...

 saw advances in surgery, but few truly effective drugs existed, beyond opium
Opium
Opium is the dried latex obtained from the opium poppy . Opium contains up to 12% morphine, an alkaloid, which is frequently processed chemically to produce heroin for the illegal drug trade. The latex also includes codeine and non-narcotic alkaloids such as papaverine, thebaine and noscapine...

 and quinine
Quinine
Quinine is a natural white crystalline alkaloid having antipyretic , antimalarial, analgesic , anti-inflammatory properties and a bitter taste. It is a stereoisomer of quinidine which, unlike quinine, is an anti-arrhythmic...

. Folklore cures and potentially poisonous metal-based compounds were popular treatments. Theodoric Borgognoni
Theodoric Borgognoni
Theodoric Borgognoni , also known as Teodorico de'Borgognoni, and Theodoric of Lucca, was an Italian who became one of the most significant surgeons of the medieval period...

, (1205–1296), one of the most significant surgeons of the medieval period, responsible for introducing and promoting important surgical advances including basic antiseptic
Antiseptic
Antiseptics are antimicrobial substances that are applied to living tissue/skin to reduce the possibility of infection, sepsis, or putrefaction...

 practice and the use of anaesthetics. Garcia de Orta
Garcia de Orta
Garcia de Orta was a Portuguese Renaissance Sephardi Jewish physician and naturalist. He was a pioneer of tropical medicine.- Life :...

 described some herbal treatments that were used.

Modern pharmacology

For most of the 19th century, drugs were not highly effective, leading Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. was an American physician, professor, lecturer, and author. Regarded by his peers as one of the best writers of the 19th century, he is considered a member of the Fireside Poets. His most famous prose works are the "Breakfast-Table" series, which began with The Autocrat...

 to famously comment in 1842 that "if all medicines in the world were thrown into the sea, it would be all the better for mankind and all the worse for the fishes".

During the First World War, Alexis Carrel
Alexis Carrel
Alexis Carrel was a French surgeon and biologist who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1912 for pioneering vascular suturing techniques. He invented the first perfusion pump with Charles A. Lindbergh opening the way to organ transplantation...

 and Henry Dakin
Henry Drysdale Dakin
Henry Drysdale Dakin FRS was an English chemist.He was born in London as the youngest of 8 children to a family of steel merchants from Leeds. As a school boy he did water analysis with the Leeds City Analyst. He studied chemistry at the University of Leeds with Julius B...

 developed the Carrel-Dakin method of treating wounds with an irrigation, Dakin's solution, a germicide which helped prevent gangrene.

In the inter-war period, the first anti-bacterial agents such as the sulpha antibiotics were developed. The Second World War saw the introduction of widespread and effective antimicrobial therapy with the development and mass production of penicillin
Penicillin
Penicillin is a group of antibiotics derived from Penicillium fungi. They include penicillin G, procaine penicillin, benzathine penicillin, and penicillin V....

 antibiotics, made possible by the pressures of the war and the collaboration of British scientists with the American pharmaceutical industry.

Medicines commonly used by the late 1920s included aspirin
Aspirin
Aspirin , also known as acetylsalicylic acid , is a salicylate drug, often used as an analgesic to relieve minor aches and pains, as an antipyretic to reduce fever, and as an anti-inflammatory medication. It was discovered by Arthur Eichengrun, a chemist with the German company Bayer...

, codeine
Codeine
Codeine or 3-methylmorphine is an opiate used for its analgesic, antitussive, and antidiarrheal properties...

, and morphine
Morphine
Morphine is a potent opiate analgesic medication and is considered to be the prototypical opioid. It was first isolated in 1804 by Friedrich Sertürner, first distributed by same in 1817, and first commercially sold by Merck in 1827, which at the time was a single small chemists' shop. It was more...

 for pain; digitalis
Digoxin
Digoxin INN , also known as digitalis, is a purified cardiac glycoside and extracted from the foxglove plant, Digitalis lanata. Its corresponding aglycone is digoxigenin, and its acetyl derivative is acetyldigoxin...

, nitroglycerin, and quinine
Quinine
Quinine is a natural white crystalline alkaloid having antipyretic , antimalarial, analgesic , anti-inflammatory properties and a bitter taste. It is a stereoisomer of quinidine which, unlike quinine, is an anti-arrhythmic...

 for heart disorders, and insulin
Insulin
Insulin is a hormone central to regulating carbohydrate and fat metabolism in the body. Insulin causes cells in the liver, muscle, and fat tissue to take up glucose from the blood, storing it as glycogen in the liver and muscle....

 for diabetes. Other drugs included antitoxin
Antitoxin
An antitoxin is an antibody with the ability to neutralize a specific toxin. Antitoxins are produced by certain animals, plants, and bacteria. Although they are most effective in neutralizing toxins, they can kill bacteria and other microorganisms. Antitoxins are made within organisms, but can be...

s, a few biological vaccines, and a few synthetic drugs. In the 1930s antibiotics emerged: first sulfa drugs, then penicillin
Penicillin
Penicillin is a group of antibiotics derived from Penicillium fungi. They include penicillin G, procaine penicillin, benzathine penicillin, and penicillin V....

 and other antibiotics. Drugs increasingly became "the center of medical practice". In the 1950s other drugs emerged including corticosteroids for inflammation
Inflammation
Inflammation is part of the complex biological response of vascular tissues to harmful stimuli, such as pathogens, damaged cells, or irritants. Inflammation is a protective attempt by the organism to remove the injurious stimuli and to initiate the healing process...

, rauwolfia alkloids as tranqulizers and antihypertensives, antihistamine
Antihistamine
An H1 antagonist is a histamine antagonist of the H1 receptor that serves to reduce or eliminate effects mediated by histamine, an endogenous chemical mediator released during allergic reactions...

s for nasal allergies, xanthine
Xanthine
Xanthine , is a purine base found in most human body tissues and fluids and in other organisms. A number of stimulants are derived from xanthine, including caffeine and theobromine....

s for asthma, and typical antipsychotic
Antipsychotic
An antipsychotic is a tranquilizing psychiatric medication primarily used to manage psychosis , particularly in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. A first generation of antipsychotics, known as typical antipsychotics, was discovered in the 1950s...

s for psychosis. As of 2008, thousands of approved drugs have been developed
Drug development
Drug development is a blanket term used to define the process of bringing a new drug to the market once a lead compound has been identified through the process of drug discovery...

. Increasingly, biotechnology
Biotechnology
Biotechnology is a field of applied biology that involves the use of living organisms and bioprocesses in engineering, technology, medicine and other fields requiring bioproducts. Biotechnology also utilizes these products for manufacturing purpose...

 is used to discover biopharmaceutical
Biopharmaceutical
Biopharmaceuticals are medical drugs produced using biotechnology. They include proteins , nucleic acids and living microorganisms like virus and bacteria where the virulence of viruses and bacteria is reduced by the process of attenuation, they can be used for therapeutic or in vivo diagnostic...

s. Recently, multi-disciplinary approaches have yielded a wealth of new data on the development of novel antibiotics and antibacterials and on the use of biological agents for antibacterial therapy.

In the 1950s new psychiatric drugs, notably the antipsychotic chlorpromazine
Chlorpromazine
Chlorpromazine is a typical antipsychotic...

, were designed in laboratories and slowly came into preferred use. Although often accepted as an advance in some ways, there was some opposition, due to serious adverse effects such as tardive dyskinesia
Tardive dyskinesia
Tardive dyskinesia is a difficult-to-treat form of dyskinesia that can be tardive...

. Patients often opposed psychiatry and refused or stopped taking the drugs when not subject to psychiatric control.

Governments have been heavily involved in the regulation of drug development and drug sales. In the U.S., the Elixir Sulfanilamide disaster
Elixir Sulfanilamide disaster
Elixir sulfanilamide was an improperly prepared sulfanilamide medicine that caused mass poisoning in the United States in 1937. It caused the deaths of more than 100 people...

 led to the establishment of the Food and Drug Administration
Food and Drug Administration
The Food and Drug Administration is an agency of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, one of the United States federal executive departments...

, and the 1938 Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act required manufacturers to file new drugs with the FDA. The 1951 Humphrey-Durham Amendment required certain drugs to be sold by prescription. In 1962 a subsequent amendment required new drugs to be tested for efficacy and safety in clinical trial
Clinical trial
Clinical trials are a set of procedures in medical research and drug development that are conducted to allow safety and efficacy data to be collected for health interventions...

s.

Until the 1970s, drug prices were not a major concern for doctors and patients. As more drugs became prescribed for chronic illnesses, however, costs became burdensome, and by the 1970s nearly every U.S. state required or encouraged the substitution of generic drugs for higher-priced brand names. This also led to the 2006 U.S. law, Medicare Part D
Medicare Part D
Medicare Part D is a federal program to subsidize the costs of prescription drugs for Medicare beneficiaries in the United States. It was enacted as part of the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003 and went into effect on January 1, 2006.- Eligibility and...

, which offers Medicare coverage for drugs.

As of 2008, the United States is the leader in medical research, including pharmaceutical development. U.S. drug prices are among the highest in the world, and drug innovation is correspondingly high. In 2000 U.S. based firms developed 29 of the 75 top-selling drugs; firms from the second-largest market, Japan, developed eight, and the United Kingdom contributed 10. France, which imposes price controls, developed three. Throughout the 1990s outcomes were similar.

See also

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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