Fighting Infection

Pharmacology conjures images of the magic pill a prescriber gives you to relieve your runny nose, headache, fever, and other symptoms that make it unbearable to go about daily activities. Sometimes those symptoms are from your body adjusting to irritants like pollen. Other times, symptoms are caused by malfunctioning parts of your body such as the pancreas in the case of diabetes.

There is a third cause of symptoms—invading microbials. You'll remember from your courses on anatomy and physiology and microbiology that a microbial is a tiny organism—such as bacteria and viruses—that can enter the body and make you sick.

The immune system produces antibodies that seek out, attack, and kill microbials. However, this natural defense isn't sufficient for some patients who need to call in the cavalry. The cavalry is medication that kills the invading microbial. You'll learn about antimicrobial medication in this chapter.

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