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THE PHARMACY and PHARMACOLOGY PORTAL

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Welcome to the Pharmacy and Pharmacology Portal! The purpose of this page is to organize many of the pharmacology and drug-related articles on Wikipedia, to highlight some of the best articles, and to point out some of the recent activities and developments of WikiProject Pharmacology.

Pharmacology (in Greek: pharmacon (φάρμακον) meaning drug, and logos (λόγος) meaning science) is the study of how substances interact with living organisms to produce a change in function. If substances have medicinal properties, they are considered pharmaceuticals. The field encompasses drug composition and properties, interactions, toxicology, therapies, medical applications, and antipathogenic capabilities.

Pharmacy (from the Greek φάρμακον = drug) is a transitional field between the health sciences and the chemical sciences, as well as the profession charged with ensuring the safe use of medications. Traditionally, pharmacists have compounded and dispensed medications based on prescriptions from physicians. More recently, pharmacy has come to include other services related to patient care, including clinical practice, medication review, and drug information. Some of these new pharmaceutical roles are now mandated by law in various legislatures. Pharmacists, therefore, are drug therapy experts, and the primary health professionals who optimize medication management to produce positive health outcomes.

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The field of pharmacy can generally be divided into three main disciplines:

  • Pharmaceutics concerns on how to convert medication and drugs to suitable drug dosage forms.

Inside every branch of pharmacy are many specialized branches related to many scientific disciplines. This makes pharmaceuticals related to the majority of pure and applied sciences. For example, medicinal chemistry can be divided into: ADME, bioavailability, chemogenomics, drug design, drug discovery, enzyme inhibition, mechanism of action, pharmacodynamics, pharmacokinetics, pharmacology, pharmacophore perception, Quantitative Structure-Activity Relationships, and Structure-Activity Relationships.

Biology (including molecular biology and biochemistry), physiology, organic chemistry, microbiology, parasitology, and also botany are all related in some way to the pharmaceutical sciences. Recently, the field of drug discovery and drug design has developed with new technologies invented in other fields, such as bioinformatics, cheminformatics, computational chemistry, genetics, pharmacogenomics, and proteomics.

Featured article

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Anabolic steroids are a class of steroid hormones related to the hormone testosterone. They increase protein synthesis within cells, resulting in the buildup of cellular tissue (anabolism), especially in muscles. Anabolic steroids also have androgenic and virilizing properties, including the development and maintenance of masculine characteristics such as the growth of the vocal cords and body hair. The word anabolic comes from the Greek: anabole, "to build up", and the word androgenic comes from the Greek: andros, "man" + genein, "to produce".

Anabolic steroids were first isolated, identified and synthesized in the 1930s, and are now used therapeutically in medicine to stimulate bone growth and appetite, induce male puberty, and treat chronic wasting conditions, such as cancer and AIDS. Anabolic steroids also produce increases in muscle mass and physical strength, and are consequently used in sport and bodybuilding to enhance strength or physique. Serious health risks can be produced by long-term use or excessive doses of anabolic steroids. These effects include harmful changes in cholesterol levels (increased low-density lipoprotein and decreased high-density lipoprotein), acne, high blood pressure, liver damage, abnormal increases in hematocrit and blood viscosity, as well as dangerous changes in the structure of the left ventricle of the heart. Some of these effects can be mitigated by exercise, or by taking supplemental drugs.

Non-medical uses for anabolic steroids are controversial, because of their adverse effects and their use to gain weight and potential advantage in competitive sports. The use of anabolic steroids is banned by all major sporting bodies, including the International Olympic Committee, Major League Baseball, the National Football League, the National Basketball Association, the National Hockey League, WWE, ICC, ITF, FIFA, FINA, UEFA, the European Athletic Association, and the Brazilian Football Confederation. Anabolic steroids are controlled substances in many countries, including Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, the United Kingdom (UK) and the United States (U.S.), while in other countries, such as Mexico and Thailand, they are readily available over-the-counter. In countries where the drugs are controlled, there is often a black market in which smuggled or counterfeit drugs are sold to users. The quality of such illegal drugs may be low, and contaminants may cause additional health risks. In countries where anabolic steroids are strictly regulated some have called for less regulation.


Featured Pharmacology Articles:

Anabolic steroidAntioxidantBupropionCaffeineParacetamolSertralineTreatment of multiple sclerosis

Good Pharmacology Articles:

AspirinBenzylpiperazineCS gasClindamycinDoxorubicinEthanolFrances Oldham KelseyHeparinHistory of aspirinMetforminOpiumOrlistatPercy Lavon JulianPsychoactive drugReceptor antagonistResveratrolSerpinVitamin C

Recent Developments and News

  • Trials of a potential new anti-Alzheimer's drug, trademarked as rember, show marked improvement in the rate of mental decline in 321 patients in the UK. The new drug contains methylthioninium chloride, a form of the compound methylene blue, used as a dye in laboratory experiments and available as a prescription since the 1930s for chronic bladder infections. BBC News, AZCentral. Dr. Cash (talk) 14:43, 30 July 2008 (UTC)
  • A recent study involving 98 premenopausal women found that Viagra may help with orgasms, and may especially help women taking antidepressants. CNN article. Dr. Cash (talk) 20:24, 23 July 2008 (UTC)
  • Abiraterone is a new drug currently under development for the treatment of prostate cancer. news article. Dr. Cash (talk) 20:30, 23 July 2008 (UTC)
  • Everolimus may significantly improve the survival of patients with advanced kidney cancer. It is currently approved by the US FDA for preventing organ rejection, and is undergoing clinical trials for approval as a cancer drug. Reuters article. Dr. Cash (talk) 20:34, 23 July 2008 (UTC)
  • Bapineuzumab is a new drug that may slow the progression of Alzheimer's Disease. WTOL article. Dr. Cash (talk) 20:36, 23 July 2008 (UTC)

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Collaboration of the Month

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The purpose of the Pharmacology Collaboration of the Month program is to combine the resources of the various members of WikiProject Pharmacology towards improving a designated article. The ultimate goal is to raise the article to meet the standards of featured or good article status.

The current Pharmacology Collaboration of the Month is: Sildenafil.

To nominate an article for the next collaboration, or to see a current list of nominees, go here.

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