What Are Drugs

The word ” Drugs refers to medicine is a substance that can cure or arrest disease, relieve symptoms, ease pain and provide a range of other benefits.

 

Where drugs come from. At one time, drugs were substances extracted from plants, or in some cases animals, herbalism,, the study and use was practiced by the Chinese more than 5,000 years ago and thrives in many parts of the world today. Virtually all the drugs in current use in the US today have been develop in the labaratory and are manufactured through various chemical process. Many drugs, however, are very synthetic forms of naturally occurring substances chemical copies indistinguishable from the original. nevertheless, a few important drugs are still obtained from botanical or animal sources. Belladonna, which is used for certain gastrointestinal disorders, is derived from deadly nightshade. the opiate drugs, including morphine, ultimately rely on a certain type of poppy. Many vaccines and thyroid hormones depend on animals sources.

Many hormone and other substances can now be made in the laboratory through genetic engineering, a process bu which the genes( which direct a cell’s function) of certain microorganism are altered, changing the products of cell activity. for example, the hormone insulin, which is produced naturally by humans, can now be manufactured by genetically ” engineered” bacteria. In most cases, laboratory produced drugs are safer and more effective in medical use than drugs produced from plants or animals. Genetic engineering has the potential for largely eliminating the need of animal insulin, commonly obtained from the pancreas glads of cattle and pigs, which sometimes causes adverse reactions in diabetics.

Developing And Marketing New Drugs

Constantly on the lookout for new products, pharmaceutical manufacturers find them in a variety of ways. Sometimes, after drugs developed for one purpose proves ineffective, a variant will be found that will be useful for something entirely different. when a new drug is discovered , the manufacture often undertakes a program of molecular tinkering (called elaboration), varying the substance can be made more effective or more free of side effects. Sometimes that experimental process has serendipitous results. The elaboration process, for example, transformed some sulfa drugs, originally valued for their antibacterial properties, into widely useds diuretics, oral antidiabetcs, and anticonvulsants.

All new drugs undergo a ling, careful test period before they approved for marketing by the US Food And Drug Administration (FDA). once approval has been given, the manufacturer can market the drugs under a brand name or trademark. technically, the manufacturer has exclusive rights for 17 years; but realistically, the period of protection is far shorter.Upon expiration, other manufacturers may produce the drug, though they must use a different brand name.

Testing And Approving New Drugs.

Before a drug is approved by the FDA. It undergoes a cautious step by step period of testing, often lasting six to ten years. ny federal law, a drug must be both safe and medically effective. Safely is established  through various means, including test on animals and humans volunteers. Efficacy is proven through complex test (including double blind trials) on a group of healthy and ill patient. the testing is done in various research institutions under FDA approved procedures.

The approval process also involves weighing anew drug’s risk against it benefits. A dangerous drugs whose only potential might be relief of an ordinary headache undoubtedly  would not win approval. yet an equally toxic drug, effective against cancer, might medical judgement is  a definite part of the approval process

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