drug action


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drug action

The function of a drug in various body systems.

Local: When the drug is applied locally or directly to a tissue or organ, it may combine with the cell's membrane or penetrate the cell. Its action may be (1) astringent when the drug causes the cell or tissue to contract, (2) corrosive when the drug is strong enough to destroy cells, or (3) irritating when too much of the drug combines with cells and impairs them.

General, or systemic: This type of action occurs when the drug enters the bloodstream by absorption or direct injection, affecting tissues and organs not near the site of entry. Systemic action may be (1) specific, when it cures a certain disease; (2) substitutive or replenishing, when it supplies substances deficient in the body; (3) physical, when some cell constituents are dissolved by the action of the drug in the bloodstream; (4) chemical, when the drug or some of its principles combine with the constituents of cells or organs to form a new chemical combination; (5) active by osmosis, caused by dilution of salt (also acids, sugars, and alkalis) in the stomach or intestines by fluid withdrawn from the blood and tissues; or by diffusion, when water is absorbed by cells from the lymph; (6) selective, when action is produced by drugs that affect only certain tissues or organs; (7) synergistic, when one drug increases the action of another; (8) antagonistic, when one drug counteracts another; (9) physiological, when the drug exerts a potentially beneficial effect similar to that which the body normally produces; (10) therapeutic, when the effect is to treat or repair diseased organs or tissues; (11) side active, creating an undesired effect; (12) empirical, producing results not proved by clinical or laboratory tests to be effective; or (13) toxicological, having a toxic or undesired effect, generally the result of overdose or long-term usage.

Cumulative: Some drugs are slowly excreted or absorbed so that with repeated doses an accumulation in the body produces a toxic effect. Such drugs should not be administered continuously.

Incompatible: Undesired side effects occur when some drugs are administered together. This may be due to the antagonistic action of one drug on others or to a physical interaction of the drugs that inactivates one of them (e.g., precipitation of some drugs mixed in intravenous fluids).

See also: action
References in periodicals archive ?
Kirklees Drug Action Team's work - reflecting the government's National Drugs Strategy - includes commissioning services that help young people resist substance misuse and assist communities to become more confident in dealing with it.
Cleveland Police have been working alongside licensing officers and drug actions teams for more than a year to produce the MUSIC policy - Management of Unlawful Substances In Clubs.
Julie Shemsan, of Birmingham Drug Action Team, said: "It is important that young people are engaged in the communication process when it comes to delivering information about drugs, and that we do this in an innovative way.
Khalid Azam, from Stockton Drug Action Team, said: "Drugs are still a problem.
Drug action team development officer Sharon McInnes, 42, said: "One of our clients came to open up the allotment and discovered this.
Grantley Haynes, of Birmingham Drug Action Team, said: "Holding an event of this nature is an innovative and powerful way of getting the right messages across to young people.
Pete Hoey, Kirklees Drug Action Team Inclusion and Diversity Development Officer, said: "Those caring for family, friends and relatives of drug users face some of the most harrowing and challenging situations.
It also has the support of Liverpool drug and alcohol action team, Sefton drug action team and Liverpool Citysafe.
Birmingham Drug Action Team has launched new leaflets aimed at expectant mums addicted to everything from cocaine to heroin in a battle to save unborn tots' lives.
Alan Kennedy, of the North East road safety group LARSOA, said: "All the partners, including drug action teams and the police are proud to be at the forefront of raising awareness of this problem and this award will help to get the message over."
Kirklees Drug Action Team organised the new one-year part-time courses for people who train professionals and community organisations in recognising and dealing with substance misuse issues.
But now the entire city will be get more cash, roughly pounds 35,000 per scheme, for drug action teams targeting crack.

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