Chapter 43: Toxicology

Overview Toxicology seeks to characterize the potentially adverse effects of foreign chemicals and their dose–response relationships to protect public health. Toxicology is defined as the study of the adverse effects of chemicals on living organisms. The term “toxicity” is defined as the inherent capacity of a chemical to cause injury (which is related to dose […]

Chapter 42: Autacoids and Autacoid Antagonists

Overview Prostaglandins, histamine, and serotonin belong to a group of endogenous compounds called autacoids. These heterogeneous substances have widely differing structures and pharmacologic activities. They all have the common feature of being formed by the tissues on which they act and, therefore, function as local hormones. [Note: The word “autacoid” comes from the Greek: autos […]

Chapter 41: Anti-inflammatory Drugs

Overview Inflammation is a normal, protective response to tissue injury caused by physical trauma, noxious chemicals, or microbiologic agents. Inflammation is the body’s effort to inactivate or destroy invading organisms, remove irritants, and set the stage for tissue repair. When healing is complete, the inflammatory process usually subsides. However, inappropriate activation of our immune system […]

Chapter 40: Immunosuppressants

Overview The importance of the immune system in protecting the body against harmful foreign molecules is well recognized. However, in some instances, this protection can result in serious problems. For example, the introduction of an allograft (that is, the graft of an organ or tissue from one individual to another who is not genetically identical) […]

Chapter 39: Anticancer Drugs

Overview It is estimated that 25 percent of the population of the United States will face a diagnosis of cancer during their lifetime, with 1.3 million new cancer patients diagnosed each year. Less than a quarter of these patients will be cured solely by surgery and/or local radiation. Most of the remainder will receive systemic […]

Chapter 38: Antiviral Drugs

Overview Viruses are obligate intracellular parasites. They lack both a cell wall and a cell membrane, and they do not carry out metabolic processes. Viral reproduction uses much of the host’s metabolic machinery, and few drugs are selective enough to prevent viral replication without injury to the host. Therapy for viral diseases is further complicated […]

Chapter 37: Anthelmintic Drugs

Overview Three major groups of helminths (worms), nematodes, trematod, and cestodes, infect humans. As in all antibiotic regimens, the anthelmintic drugs (Figure 37.1) are aimed at metabolic targets that are present in the parasite but are either absent from or have different characteristics than those of the host. Figure 37.2 illustrates the high incidence of […]

Chapter 36: Antiprotozoal Drugs

 Overview Protozoal infections are common among people in underdeveloped tropical and subtropical countries, where sanitary conditions, hygienic practices, and control of the vectors of transmission are inadequate. However, with increased world travel, protozoal diseases, such as malaria, amebiasis, leishmaniasis, trypanosomiasis, trichomoniasis, and giardiasis, are no longer confined to specific geographic locales. Because they are eukaryotes, […]

Chapter 35: Antifungal Drugs

Overview Infectious diseases caused by fungi are called mycoses, and they are often chronic in nature.1 Some mycotic infections are superficial and some involve the skin (cutaneous mycoses extending into the epidermis), but fungi may also penetrate the skin, causing subcutaneous infections. The fungal infections that are most difficult to treat are the systemic mycoses, […]

Chapter 34: Antimycobacterials

Overview Mycobacteria are slender, rod-shaped bacteria with lipid-rich cell walls that stain poorly with the Gram stain, but once stained, the walls cannot be easily decolorized by treatment with acidified organic solvents. Hence, they are termed “acid-fast.” The most widely encountered mycobacterial infection is tuberculosis—the leading cause worldwide of death from infection. Members of the […]