Clinical pharmacologists are doctors who have completed basic and clinical pharmacology therapeutics (CPT), which is the science of medications and how they are used in clinical settings. Their primary goal is to improve patient care by ensuring that pharmaceuticals are used in a safe, cost-efficient, and effective manner.
There are a number of ways of estimating children’s doses from preclinical (adult) data – often depends on the therapeutic index of the drug in question (the wider the therapeutic window the less accurate the child’s dose needs to be). Sometimes straight weight-basis i.e. 7kg child gets 1/10 dose of 70kg adult. More accurate (so they say) is a dose based on body surface area (child’s surface area is greater in proportion to its body weight than an adult is).
There are normograms to calculate surface area from weight and height of child. All of these may be wrong if clearance of drug in child is significantly different from adult e.g. different metabolism or different route of clearance.
All medications can have adverse, or unpleasant, effects. These can include side effects of the drug, interactions with other medications or food, and allergic reactions. You can ask your pharmacist or healthcare provider about the side effects of any medication you may be taking. In addition, known side effects are listed on the drug label or the package insert.
- Read the medicine label carefully.
- Take the medication as prescribed by your healthcare provider or as the drug label instructs. Do not take a higher dose than the label says, and continue taking the medication as long as directed.
- Take the medication exactly as the label says. For example, some labels say to take the drug with food or plenty of water.
- Tell your healthcare provider about any over-the-counter or prescription medicine you may be taking, including herbal or dietary supplements.
Because some medications can harm a developing fetus, it is important to tell your healthcare provider about all of the medications you are taking, including herbal and dietary supplements. Even ibuprofen or aspirin can cause problems in pregnancy, particularly during the last 3 months.
Many women take medications to treat health problems that first appeared during pregnancy, like diabetes, asthma, heartburn, or morning sickness. Other women take medications to treat conditions they had before they became pregnant. Often, your healthcare provider will encourage you to continue taking your medication. However, in some cases, a safer alternative may be available.
A pharmacogenetic (PG) test can be done before or after a medicine is given.
Before a medicine is given: A PG test may help your doctor choose the medicine and dose that will work best for you.
After a medicine is given: A PG test may help the doctor understand why you are having problems with a medicine. The test may also help the doctor decide if a different dose or different medicine should be tried.
A: Clinical trials are designed to test and study the safety and effectiveness of investigational medications or treatments.
This is a critical question to get clear in your mind, because Pharmacology and Pharmacy lead to quite different careers. Pharmacology is the scientific study of drugs and how they work in the body. It can be subdivided into pharmacodynamics (i.e. what drugs do to the body) and pharmacokinetics (i.e. what the body does to the drugs – including absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion). Pharmacy is a quite different area of study involving the scientific, legal and managerial aspects of dispensing medicines. The main responsibility of the pharmacist is to provide safe and effective use of medication for the patient. Pharmacists require a license in order to practice. A degree in pharmacology does not qualify you to practise pharmacy.