Pharmacology

Pharmacology is the scientific study of drug action on biological systems. It is the study of the interactions between a living organism and drugs. If substances have medicinal properties, they are considered pharmaceuticals. Pharmacological studies range from the effects of chemical agents upon subcellular mechanisms, to those that deal with the potential hazards of pesticides and herbicides, to those that focus on the treatment of major diseases by drug therapy. It involves examining the interactions between chemical substances and living systems, with a view to determining the properties of drugs and drug actions, including the drug molecules and drug receptors interactions and how these interactions elicit an effect. The study of chemicals requires good knowledge of the biological system affected. With the knowledge of biochemistry and cell biology increasing, the field of pharmacology has also changed significantly. It is now possible to design chemicals that act on specific cellular signaling or metabolic pathways by affecting sites directly on cell-surface receptors, through molecular analysis of receptors.

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