Basics Of Pharmacy: Pharmacology And Its Branches

Friday, November 26, 2021

Pharmacology And Its Branches

The word Pharmacology is derived from the Greek word "Pharmakon" and "logia".The meaning of Pharmakon is drug and the meaning of "logia" is "study of" or "knowledge of" so, in general, the term, Pharmacology means "study of drugs".

Define Cology?

Cology is the brief term or name which is used for pharmacology and most people use this term in their daily routine. One common observation is that students use this term cology in place of pharmacology,so do not confuse, with the word cology, it is the same as pharmacology meaning the study of the action of drugs on living systems is known as cology or pharmacology.

Definition Of Pharmacology

Pharmacology is defined as,

"Pharmacology Is The branch of science which deals with the study of drugs and their action on living systems".

In simple words, pharmacology is defined as

"The branch of science which deals with the study that shows how drugs work".

Why Do We Need Pharmacology?

  • The importance of pharmacology can be understood from the fact that without the knowledge of pharmacology the drug discovery process is useless.

  • In simple words even if we find out the new drug molecule it will remain useless until we do not know its therapeutic effects, meaning how it will affect the living system and this study is carried out by a person known as a pharmacologist.

Role Of Pharmacologist?

A pharmacologist is a person who has complete knowledge regarding drug actions and he studies the effect of new molecules on different living systems to describe their action and mechanism of working.

The basic role of pharmacologist in the process of drug discovery is as follow,

  • Screening of Required Drug Activity.

  • Finding out the mechanism of action

  • Quantify the activity of drugs.

History Of Pharmacology

In the old and early times, cology was not recognised as a separate field, its importance was known when the first university chair of Pharmacology was established in 1847 and Rudolf Buchheim was the professor of pharmacology at the university of Dorpat.

Oswald Schmiedeberg is known as the founder of modern pharmacology. He trained many people in the field of pharmacology in his career. In 1878 he published "outlines of pharmacology".

 Branches Of Pharmacology

Following are important  branches of pharmacology or cology,

  • Pharmacokinetics

  • Pharmacodynamics

  • Clinical Pharmacology

  • Pharmacognosy

  • Toxicology

  • Therapeutics

  • Chemotherapy

  • Posology

  • Comparative Pharmacology

  • Pharmacogenomics

  • Pharmacogenetics

  • Pharmacoepidemiology

  • Pharmacoeconomics

  • Animal Pharmacology

Define Pharmacokinetics

Pharmacokinetics is a very important branch of pharmacology and it consists of two words one is "Pharmacon" and the other is "kinetics".

The words "Pharmacon" means "drug" and "kinetics" mean "in motion".Means motion or circulation of drugs in the body.

Pharmacokinetics deals with what the body does with drugs is known as Pharmacokinetics".


The branch of pharmacology that deals with absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion of drugs is known as Pharmacokinetics.

In simple words when we take any drug its movement inside the body from taking to elimination is known as pharmacokinetics.

What Is Pharmacodynamics?

  • Pharmacodynamics is also another most important branch of Pharmacology and it deals with what the drug does with the body.

Pharmacodynamics is defined as,

  • "It deals with the mechanism of action (MOA) of drugs.

What Is Clinical Pharmacology?

Clinical pharmacology is the branch of pharmacology that deals with the study of drugs in humans. Clinical Pharmacology utilises pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic investigations in healthy and diseased individuals.

 The main objectives of clinical pharmacology are as follow,

  • Enhance the drug effect.

  • Reduce the adverse effects.

  • Promote Prescription Safety.

Define Pharmacognosy?

  • Pharmacognosy is the branch of pharmacology that deals with the study of drugs obtained from natural sources.

Define Toxicology

  • Toxicology is a very important branch of pharmacology that deals with the adverse effects of drugs on the body.

  • It deals with the identification of poisoning effects associated with the use of different chemical substances.

  • In this branch of pharmacology, we also deal with symptoms, mechanisms and treatment of poisoning effects caused by chemical substances.

What Is Therapeutics?

  • Therapeutics is the branch of pharmacology which deals with the art and science of disease treatment. It utilises the information and knowledge of disease and drugs to treat, cure or prevent the disease.

Define Chemotherapy

  • Chemotherapy is the branch of pharmacology which deals with treatment by using chemicals to kill fast-growing cells of the body.

  • Usually, chemotherapy is used to treat cancer.

What Is Posology

  • Posology  deals with the doses of drugs.

  •  It is derived from the Greek word "Posos" meaning "how much" and "logos" mean "study".

Define Comparative Pharmacology

  • Comparative pharmacology is the branch of pharmacology which deals with the comparison of one drug with another.

  • This may include a comparison of drugs of the same group or a comparison of drugs from one group to the drugs of another group.

What Is Pharmacogenomics

  • It is the branch of pharmacology which deals with the use of genomic techniques in the discovery of new drug molecules. It is also used to explore new properties of old drugs as well.

Define Pharmacogenetics

  • It is the branch of pharmacology which deals with genetic changes which result in different drug responses.

What Is Pharmacoepidemiology

  • It is the branch of Pharmacology which deals with the study of the good or bad effects of drugs on a large population.

Describe Pharmacoeconomics

  • It is the branch of pharmacology which deals with the cost or price of the drugs. In this branch the cost of one drug is compared with other drugs having the same uses and the cheap one is selected.

What Is Animal Pharmacology

  • It is the branch of pharmacology that deals with the study of the effects of drugs in animals.

  • For checking the activity of a new drug molecule it is first tested in lab animals like rats, rabbits and mice etc.

  • The animals are kept under observation after drug administration and different activities and vital signs are noted.

  • If no harmful effects are observed in animals then these are used for human testing.


  • In summary pharmacology plays a vital role in health care studies and it is the important subject which is taught to the students of pharmacy.

Also Read:

Introduction Of Hospital Pharmacy

No comments:

Post a Comment