Medications are classified according to their common effects and operations. Pharmacology is only a part of the classification. There are several fields of study that culminate to a medication’s classification.

Pharmacology
studies the effects that medications have on biological systems.

Pharmacokinetics
studies how medications move throughout the body. When a medication mimics a natural substance produced by the body, it is called a drug agonist. An example of this is the diabetes medication, Byetta. A drug antagonist does as the name implies. It blocks a reaction from occuring. An example of a drug antagonist is Suboxone, a medication that blocks the effects of opiates.

Pharmacodynamics
studies the relationship between the drug concentration and its resulting effects.

  • Mechanism of Action: refers to how a medication produces a pharmacological effect
  • Adverse Reaction: negative side effects from use of medication

Types of Interactions

  • Drug-Drug: occurs when one drug interferes with another drug’s effectiveness. An example is Naproxen, an anti-inflammatory, may prevent Furosemide, a diuretic, from ridding the body of excess fluid.
  • Drug-Food: occurs when a medication is disrupted by a certain food. An example of this is grapefruit juice interfering with Lipitor, a cholesterol medication.
  • Drug-Disease: occurs when a medication exacerbates a pre-exisiting condition. An example is ibuprofen could possibly constrict airways, which could be detrimental to a person with asthma.

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