The word pharmacology comes from the Greek word for drug, pharmakon. Pharmacology deals with the actions of drugs on the body, development and testing of new drugs, and new uses of existing drugs. It uses the knowledge of chemical properties and biological effects to determine the uses and reactions of the drugs. Although many drugs are made from plants and animals, pharmacologists try to create synthetic versions based on their chemical structure.
Pharmacology combines many sciences together including biology and chemistry. A Bachelor of Science in pharmacology is needed to do technical jobs while a pharmacologist with a Master’s Degree can work as a technologist or do independent research. A pharmamcologist’s salary is determined by their education. With a Master’s degree they can earn, on average, between $30, 000 and $40,000. With a Ph.D. they can earn, on average, between $35,000 and $55,000. An experienced researcher can earn over $60,000.
A drug is a chemical that effects living organisms whether through medicinal purposes (acetylsalicylic acid), everyday substances (caffeine), or illegal substances (marijuana). The active ingredients are usually mixed with nonactive ingredients to make it easier to take in. Acetylsalicylic acid, also known as aspirin, is an everyday drug used to relieve pain. The molecular formula is C9H8O4. The molecular weight is 180.16 newtons. Because we know what the molecular formula is, we can determine what will react and what won’t inside the body. Aspirin is incompatible with strong oxidizing agents, strong bases, strong acids, various other compounds such as iodides, iron salts, quinine salts, etc. With knowledge of this, it makes the job of determining new and safer uses of drugs easier to find.
To help pharmacologists develop drugs they need the assistance of computers to help them determine the molecular modeling of the drugs. The action of the drug is related to it’s chemical structure and small changes in the structure can affect the drug’s action. Many synthetic drugs have been produced after determining it ’s chemical structure. Synthetic drugs are useful because it’s gives the researchers a way to find ways of making a drug with less side effects, including acetaminophen and ibuprofen.
Pharmacology deals with many other sciences and is a very demanding job. There is always room for improvement but a pharmacologist’s work is never complete. There is always another cure or treatment for a disease or virus to be found. Pharmacologists must use their knowledge of chemistry wisely because only small changes in the structure of a drug can alter the effects that the drug has on humans. Even though pharmacologists have been very successful in many of their studies, there are still many questions that have not been answered. There are still no complete cures for aids, cancer, or mental disorders. Even though pharmacologists have not found cures yet, there are new scientific discoveries being found everyday. As long as pharmacologists continue to use the knowledge that they have, someday they will maybe be able to find cures for everything.
Work CitedWasham, C. Pharmacology: Encyclopedia of Life Sciences pgs. 1083- 1086
McClelland & Stewart. Phamacology: Canadian & World Encyclopedia 1997