General Principles Of Pharmacology

1. Progress in Therapeutics 3

Robert E. Stitzel and Joseph J. McPhillips

2. Mechanisms of Drug Action 10 William W. Fleming

3. Drug Absorption and Distribution Timothy S. Tracy

4. Metabolism and Excretion of Drugs Timothy S. Tracy

6. Drug Metabolism and Disposition in Pediatric and Gerontological Stages of Life ••

Jeane McCarthy 20 7. Principles of Toxicology ••

Mary E. Davis and Mark J. Reasor • • 8. Contemporary Bioethical Issues in Pharmacology & Pharmaceutical Research •• Janet Fleetwood

Early in human history a natural bond formed between religion and the use of drugs. Those who became most proficient in the use of drugs to treat disease were the "mediators" between this world and the spirit world, namely, the priests, shamans, holy persons, witches, and soothsayers. Much of their power within the community was derived from the cures that they could effect with drugs. It was believed that the sick were possessed by demons and that health could be restored by identifying the demon and finding a way to cast it out.

Originally, religion dominated its partnership with therapeutics, and divine intervention was called upon for every treatment. However, the use of drugs to effect cures led to a profound change in both religious thought and structure. As more became known about the effects of drugs, the importance of divine intervention began to recede, and the treatment of patients effectively became a province of the priest rather than the gods whom the priest served. This process lead to a growing understanding of the curative powers of natural products and a decreasing reliance on supernatural intervention and forever altered the relationship between humanity and its gods. Furthermore, when the priests began to apply the information learned from treating one patient to the treatment of other patients, there was a recognition that a regularity prevailed in the natural world independent of supernatural whim or will. Therapeutics thus evolved from its roots in magic to a foundation in experience. This was the cornerstone for the formation of a science-based practice of medicine.

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