Pharmacology 101: Relevant Information for the Speech-Language Pathologist in the Acute Care Setting Pharmacology is the study of the relationship between chemical agents and biological systems. It deals with the properties, effects, mechanisms of action, absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion as well as the therapeutic and toxic effects of drugs. The field is divided into four general areas: pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, pharmacotherapeutics, and ... Article
Article  |   June 01, 1999
Pharmacology 101: Relevant Information for the Speech-Language Pathologist in the Acute Care Setting
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Lana Shekim
    The George Washington University Hospital, Washington, DC
Article Information
Articles
Article   |   June 01, 1999
Pharmacology 101: Relevant Information for the Speech-Language Pathologist in the Acute Care Setting
SIG 2 Perspectives on Neurophysiology and Neurogenic Speech and Language Disorders, June 1999, Vol. 9, 15-19. doi:10.1044/nnsld9.2.15
SIG 2 Perspectives on Neurophysiology and Neurogenic Speech and Language Disorders, June 1999, Vol. 9, 15-19. doi:10.1044/nnsld9.2.15
Pharmacology is the study of the relationship between chemical agents and biological systems. It deals with the properties, effects, mechanisms of action, absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion as well as the therapeutic and toxic effects of drugs. The field is divided into four general areas: pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, pharmacotherapeutics, and toxicology.
A drug is the chemical agent that affects living processes regardless of whether the effect is beneficial or harmful. Most drugs are molecular compounds. Currently, there are thousands of drugs in the world, which are arranged into approximately 70 drug groups. The members of a given drug group have similar pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic properties. Drugs have a chemical name, a generic name, and a brand name. For example, Valium is the brand name for the generic diazepam. Drugs may be solid, liquid, or gaseous. The state of a drug often determines the optimal route of administration. Drugs commonly exert their influence by interacting with receptors, which then activate a cellular signaling pathway.
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