Courses for Kids
Free study material
Offline Centres
Store Icon


share icon
share icon

What is Pharmacology?

Pharmacology is a discipline of medicine and pharmaceutical sciences that studies the effects of drugs and medications. Any artificial, natural, or endogenous (from within the body) substance that has a biochemical or physiological effect on a cell, tissue, organ, or organism is referred to as a drug (sometimes the word pharmacon is used as a term to encompass these endogenous and exogenous bioactive species). It is the study of how chemicals interact with living organisms to impact normal or pathological biochemical function. Pharmaceuticals are defined as chemicals that have therapeutic effects.

[Image will be uploaded soon]

The field includes drug composition and properties, synthesis and drug design, molecular and cellular mechanisms, organ/systems mechanisms, signal transduction/cellular communication, molecular diagnostics, interactions, chemical biology, therapy, and medical applications and antipathogenic capabilities, as well as molecular diagnostics, interactions, chemical biology, therapy, and medical applications and antipathogenic capabilities. Pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics are the two primary branches of pharmacology. Pharmacodynamics is the study of a drug's impacts on biological systems, while pharmacokinetics is the study of a drug's effects on biological systems. Pharmacodynamics is concerned with the interactions of chemicals with biological receptors, while pharmacokinetics is concerned with the absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion (ADME) of chemicals from biological systems. Lippincott pharmacology is an easily understandable pharmacology book that consists of clear and conceptually illustrated text related to drug pharmacology.

Clinical Pharmacology

Clinical pharmacology is defined as "the discipline that teaches, conducts research, makes policy, provides information and advice on the effects and proper use of medications in humans, and applies that knowledge in clinical practice." Clinical pharmacology is a translational discipline that is founded on the basic science of pharmacology and is concerned with the experimental and observational investigation of drug disposition and effects in people, as well as the translation of science into evidence-based therapies. Its scope is extensive, ranging from the identification of new target molecules to the impacts of drug use on entire communities. Clinical pharmacology's fundamental goal is to generate data for optimal drug usage and the practice of "evidence-based medicine."

Clinical pharmacologists must have enough outpatients to provide clinical treatment, teach and educate, and conduct research, as well as being overseen by medical professionals. They are responsible for studying adverse medication effects, therapies, and toxicology, including reproductive toxicology, cardiovascular hazards, perioperative drug management, and psychopharmacology, among other things.


Clinical Pharmacology consists of multiple branches listed below:

  • Pharmacodynamics - What medications do to the body and how they affect it. This encompasses not just cellular and molecular aspects, but also more clinically relevant assessments. Not just the biology of salbutamol, a beta2-adrenergic receptor agonist, but also the peak flow rate of healthy volunteers and genuine patients, for example.

  • Pharmacokinetics - what happens to the drug once it enters the body This refers to the body's drug-handling systems, which are usually classified as follows:

  • Absorption - The procedure for a medication to enter the bloodstream.

  • Distribution - The drug's reversed passage from one region in the human body to another.

  • Metabolism - The process by which medication is digested in the human body's liver.

  • Excretion - The liver and kidneys are involved in the drug's elimination process.

  • Rational Prescribing - administering the proper medication, at the proper dose, using the proper route and frequency of administration for the patient, and appropriately terminating the medicine.

  • Adverse Drug Effects - determining the medicine's side effects.

  • Toxicology - focuses on the harmful impacts of chemicals on living systems.

  • Drug interactions - Drug interaction research is the study of how medications interact with one another. Two medications may have a detrimental or beneficial impact on each other's effects.

  • Drug development - Clinical studies and marketing authorisation applications to country-specific drug authorities, such as the US FDA, are usually the end result. changed words structural Changes thesaurus

  • Molecular Pharmacology - Drug activity at the molecular level is being researched. This is likewise a branch of pharmacology in general, but the system in question is inhuman.

  • Pharmacogenomics - Analysing the human genome to learn about drug interactions with genetics, and so on.

General Pharmacology 

General pharmacology is the study of the nature of medications and how they interact with the human body. After multiple investigations and clinical trials, the final medications will be available on the market and recommended by general practitioners for a variety of ailments. There are several prescription medications that should only be administered under the care of a general practitioner.

Pallor, jaundice, central cyanosis, peripheral cyanosis, pyrexia, dry, pitting oedema, scratch marks, bruises, spider naevi, and other common disorders necessitate knowledge of general pharmacology. Immediate preventative medications are general pharmacology after knowing the patient's state following a broad diagnosis. The majority of general pharmacology medications will be widely available and accessible to the general people.

Medical Pharmacology 

Medical pharmacology is the study of the impact of drugs and medicines on a living organism, especially humans and how they work at the cellular and molecular level. A medical pharmacologist studies the impact of drugs and medicines at the cellular and molecular level. Students can refer to the essentials of medical pharmacology to gain in-depth knowledge of the topic. 

Clinical Practise and Drug Discovery 

Clinical sciences can benefit from pharmacology. Clinical pharmacology is a branch of pharmacology that focuses on applying pharmacological principles and procedures to patient care and outcomes in the medical clinic. Posology, which is the study of how medications are dosed, is an example of this.

Toxicology and applied pharmacology are inextricably linked. The scientific disciplines of pharmacology and toxicology are both concerned with the properties and actions of chemicals. Toxicology, on the other hand, is the study of chemical adverse effects and risk assessment, whereas pharmacology focuses on the therapeutic effects of chemicals, which are usually medications or substances that potentially become medications.

In medicine and pharmacy, pharmacological knowledge is utilised to recommend medication.


With pharmacognosy and Avicenna's The Canon of Medicine, Peter of Spain's Commentary on Isaac, and John of St Amand's Commentary on the Antedotary of Nicholas, clinical pharmacology has its roots in the Middle Ages. Herbalism and natural drugs, primarily plant extracts, were the focus of early pharmacology. Pharmacopoeias were books that contained lists of medicines. Since prehistory, crude medications have been utilised to prepare medicines derived from natural sources. The active ingredient in crude medications, on the other hand, is not refined, and the substance is contaminated with other compounds.

Traditional Chinese, Mongolian, Tibetan, and Korean medicine, for example, differ from culture to culture and maybe distinctive to a particular culture. Much of this, however, has now been dismissed as pseudoscience. Entheogens are pharmacological compounds that have spiritual and religious applications as well as historical significance.

Nicholas Culpeper, an English physician, translated and employed pharmacological materials in the 17th century. Culpeper described plants and the ailments they could help with. William Withering's work founded most clinical pharmacology in the 18th century. Pharmacology as a scientific study did not grow further until the mid-nineteenth century, during which time there was a significant biomedical renaissance. The great potency and specificity of the activities of medications like morphine, quinine, and digitalis were explained hazily before the second half of the nineteenth century, with references to unusual chemical abilities and affinities to certain organs or tissues. Rudolf Buchheim established the first pharmacology department in 1847, seeing the need to learn how medicinal medications and poisons worked. In 1905, University College London established the first pharmacology department in England.

Pharmacology emerged in the nineteenth century as a biomedical science that applied scientific research ideas to therapeutic situations. The growth of research procedures aided in the growth of pharmacological research and knowledge. The advent of the organ bath preparation, in which tissue samples are attached to recording equipment, such as a myograph, and physiological responses are recorded following drug application, allowed pharmacological effects on tissues to be studied. In 1945, the ligand-binding test was developed, allowing for the measurement of drug binding affinity to chemical targets. Modern pharmacologists use genetics, molecular biology, biochemistry, and other advanced tools to turn information about molecular mechanisms and targets into therapies for diseases, defects, and pathogens, as well as methods for preventative care, diagnostics, and, ultimately, personalised medicine.

Do You Know?

What is the origin of the word “pharmacology”? The name comes from the Greek word ‘pharmakon’, which means "poison" in ancient Greek and "drug" in contemporary Greek. It is the study of how chemicals interact with a live organism to impact normal or aberrant biochemical activities. The prehistoric Sushruta Samhita, our own Ayurvedic book from the 6th century BC, is the first documented documentation of medical ingredients. The many papyri from ancient Egypt, which date back to the 16th century BC, are also examples of ancient pharmaceutical records. The alchemists offered medicines made up of intricate combinations of various herbs and minerals, with varying degrees of potency and toxicity.

Want to read offline? download full PDF here
Download full PDF
Is this page helpful?

FAQs on Pharmacology

1. What is the Feature of Lippincott Pharmacology?

Answer. The latest and most up-to-date chapters are included in Lippincott's pharmacology. Medications for dermatological diseases, medicines for obesity, antihistamines, drugs for urological disorders, drugs of abuse, medications for haematological disorders, and drugs for bone disorders are among the chapters in the newest version that have been updated. There are up to 380 high-yield, result-oriented, and targeted questions in the book. There are almost 600 high-quality graphics to assist you in memorising information rapidly. There are images of the harmful effects of each drug covered next to it.

2. Is a Pharmacologist a Doctor?

Answer. Clinical pharmacologists are doctors who have completed basic and clinical pharmacology therapeutics (CPT), which is the science of medications and how they are used in clinical settings. Their primary goal is to improve patient care by ensuring that pharmaceuticals are used in a safe, cost-efficient, and effective manner.

Competitive Exams after 12th Science