Ancient Times A series of scattered facts exists that speak of the early history of humankind's efforts to harness the healing properties of natural compounds. However, what we know for certain is that ancient peoples made extensive use of plant, animal and mineral sources for this purpose.
The Ebers papyrus, written in Egypt in the 16 th century B.C., lists the extensive pharmacopia of that civilization. Included in this are: beer, turpentine, myrrh, , junipe r
berries., poppy, lead, salt and crushed precious stones. Also included were products derived from animals, including lizard's blood, swine teeth, goose grease, ass hooves and the excreta from various animals. The effects of many of these drugs on patients of antiquity can only be imagined. www.freelivedoctor.com
From ancient China comes evidence of that culture's extensive efforts to heal through the use of natural products. The Pen Tsao , or Great Herbal, comprised forty volumes describing several thousands of prescriptions .
Interestingly, the eastern herb Artemisia annua L. (wormwood), used in China since antiquity to treat fevers, is the source of the modern drug qinghaosu , which shows great promise as a modern anti-malarial compound.
Antiquity to the modern era The ancients considered disease a consequence of demonic possession, or the wrath of god. Thus, in ancient times, the treatment of illness with natural products was invariably accompanied by religious rituals deemed essential to the healing process.
With time, the thoughts returned to the appreciation that the natural products themselves held the power to cure.
Although, traditional remedies still generally consisted of complex mixtures of distinct herbs and minerals, perhaps only one of which possessed any activity. Many poisonous mixtures were made. www.freelivedoctor.com
For example, the purple foxglove, Digitalis purpurea , was one of twenty herbs used in a folk remedy to treat dropsy in 18 th century England. From the leaves of this plant was isolated the cardiac glycoside digitalis , a drug still used today to treat heart failure.
In 1897, Felix Hoffman, a research chemist employed by the "Farbenfabrikin vorm. Freidr. Bayer and Co." synthesized acetylsalicylic acid. On February 1, 1899, Aspirin® was registered as a trademark. On March 6 th of the same year, this drug was registered with the Imperial Patent Office in Berlin. Aspirin quickly become popular
worldwide, and remains an important drug today. (Interestingly, it was not until 1971 that Sir John Vane discovered the mechanism of action of aspirin, a feat that earned him the 1981 Nobel Prize for Medicine.) www.freelivedoctor.com
History of Pharmacology Paul Ehrlich described drug-receptor binding: “ Corpora non agunt nisi fixate”. P. Ehrlich (1908) ( “ Agents do not act unless they are bound”) In the United States, transformation was marked by the creation of the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET) in 1908. www.freelivedoctor.com
The modern era These, and additional advances in the fields of chemistry and physiology, lead to the birth of modern pharmacology in the latter half of the 19 th century. Thus, Materia Medica evolved into the
experimental science of pharmacology, which is devoted to understanding the physiological action of these molecules. www.freelivedoctor.com
Area of pharmacology concerned with unusual responses to drugs caused by genetic differences between individuals.
Responses that are not found in the general population, such as general toxic effects, allergies, or side effects, but due to an inherited trait that produces a diminished or enhanced response to a drug.
Drugs interact with biological systems in ways that mimic, resemble or otherwise affect the natural chemicals of the body.
Drugs can produce effects by virtue of their acidic or basic properties (e.g. antacids, protamine), surfactant properties (amphotericin), ability to denature proteins (astringents), osmotic properties (laxatives, diuretics), or physicochemical interactions with membrane lipids (general and local anesthetics).
Drug-receptor interactions serve as signals to trigger a cascade of events. This cascade or signaling pathway, is a collection of many cellular responses which serve to amplify the signal and produce a final effect.
Effectors are thus the molecules that translate the drug-receptor interaction into changes in cellular activity.
DRUG DRUG + RECEPTOR DRUG + RECEPTOR EFFECTOR EFFECTOR