INTRODUCTION TO PHARMACOLOGY
Section I. TERMS AND DEFINITIONS IMPORTANT IN PHARMACOLOGY
a. It is important for you to be familiar with some terms and definitions frequently
used in the study of drugs. Although the terms and definitions presented here are
basic, they will provide you with a sound background for gaining additional knowledge,
and understanding as you read the text of this subcourse.
b. The terms and definitions provided in this section do not include all the
medical terms used in this subcourse. Whenever possible, the meaning of a fairly
difficult and unfamiliar term will be written in parentheses ( ) after that term. In the event
you encounter a term you do not understand, you should use a quality medical
dictionary (that is, Dorland's Illustrated Medical Dictionary) to learn the meaning of that
c. No attempt is made in this subcourse to address the pronunciation of terms
and drug names. If you desire assistance in this area, you should seek the services of
someone who works with drugs on a frequent basis. "Pharmacists, pharmacy
technicians, nurses, physicians, and other medical personnel are well-qualified to help
you to learn the pronunciation of drug names."
3-2. TERMS AND DEFINITIONS
a. Drug. A drug may be broadly defined as any substance or group of
substances, which affects living tissue. However, the term may be specifically defined
as any substance used to prevent, diagnose, or treat disease or to prevent pregnancy.
b. Pharmacology. Pharmacology is the study of the actions and effects of
drugs on living systems and their therapeutic uses.
c. Bioavailability. Bioavailability refers to the amount of drug that is available
to the target tissue after the drug has been administered. In other words, it is the
amount of the drug available to produce the desired effect.
d. Pharmacognosy. Pharmacognosy is the study of the characteristics of