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Chemistry LibreTexts

9: Pharmaceuticals

  • Page ID
    85186
  • A pharmaceuticals are drugs used to diagnose, cure, treat, or prevent disease. Drug therapy is an important part of the medical field and relies on the science of pharmacology for continual advancement and on pharmacy for appropriate management.A very broad definition of a drug would include "all chemicals other than food that affect living processes." If the affect helps the body, the drug is a medicine. However, if a drug causes a harmful effect on the body, the drug is a poison. The same chemical can be a medicine and a poison depending on conditions of use and the person using it. Another definition would be "medicinal agents used for diagnosis, prevention, treatment of symptoms, and cure of diseases."

    • 8.1: Chemotherapy
    • 8.2: Side Effects and Warnings
    • 8.3: Analgesics
      When employed as analgesics, these drugs are usually effective only against pain of low-to-moderate intensity, particularly that associated with inflammation. Aspirin drugs do not change the perception of sensory modalities other than pain. The type of pain is important; chronic postoperative pain or pain arising from inflammation is particularly well controlled by aspirin-like drugs, whereas pain arising from the hollow viscera is usually not relieved.
    • 8.4: Allergy and Cold Meds
    • 8.5: Combination Medications
    • 8.6: Stomach Medicine
    • 8.7: DEA and Controlled Substances
    • 8.8: Narcotics
      Narcotic agents are potent analgesics which are effective for the relief of severe pain. Analgesics are selective central nervous system depressants used to relieve pain. The term analgesic means "without pain". Even in therapeutic doses, narcotic analgesics can cause respiratory depression, nausea, and drowsiness. Long term administration produces tolerance, psychic, and physical dependence called addiction.
    • 8.9: Narcotic Analgesics
      Narcotic agents are potent analgesics which are effective for the relief of severe pain. Analgesics are selective central nervous system depressants used to relieve pain. The term analgesic means "without pain". Even in therapeutic doses, narcotic analgesics can cause respiratory depression, nausea, and drowsiness. Long term administration produces tolerance, psychic, and physical dependence called addiction.
    • 8.10: Basics of Neurotransmitters
    • 8.11: Antianxiety Medications
    • 8.12: Amphetamines
      Amphetamine (contracted from ) is a potent central nervous system (CNS) stimulant that is used in the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), narcolepsy, and obesity. Amphetamine was discovered in 1887 and exists as two enantiomers: levoamphetamine and dextroamphetamine. Amphetamine properly refers to a specific chemical, the racemic free base, which is equal parts of the two enantiomers, levoamphetamine and dextroamphetamine, in their pure amine forms.
    • 8.13: Antidepressant medications
      Antidepressant drugs are used to restore mentally depressed patients to an improved mental status. Depression results from a deficiency of norepinephrine at receptors in the brain. Mechanisms that increase their effective concentration at the receptor sites should alleviate depression.
    • 8.14: Antipsychotic medication

    Thumbnail: Ritalin SR 20 mg, a brand-name sustained-release formulation of methylphenidate. Image used with permission (CC SA-BY 3.0;  Sponge).​​​