A Pharmacology Primer

 Terrence P. Kenakin
Published in: Elsevier Academic Press
Release Year: 2009
ISBN: 978-0-12-374585-9
Pages: 376
Edition: 3rd
File Size: 6 MB
File Type: pdf
Language: English

Description of A Pharmacology Primer

It has been an interesting experience as an author and pharmacologist to see the changes that the discipline has experienced through the drug discovery process. While the definition of the human genome has undoubtedly marked pharmacology forever (and advanced it immeasurably), the more we learn, the more we are humbled by nature’s complexity. With the genome, knowing the road map is still a long way from completing the journey and recent experience seems to reinforce the idea that pharmacology must be used to understand integrated systems, not just the pieces they are made of.
This edition incorporates a new trend in drug discovery; namely the consideration of pharmaco-kinetics and ADME properties of drugs (absorption, distribution, metabolism, excretion) early in the process. As prospective new drugs are tested in more complex systems (with concomitantly more complex dependent variable values), the trend in screening is to test fewer compounds of higher (“drug like”) quality. Finally, this edition also hopefully fills a previous void whereby the ideas and concepts discussed can be applied to actual problems in pharmacological drug discovery in the form of questions with accompanying answers. The expanded version now spans pharmacology from consideration of the independent variable (drug concentration in the form of pharmacokinetics) to the dependent variable (system-independent measurement of drug activity). As with previous editions, the emphasis of A Pharmacology Primer book is still on the chemist–biologist interface with special reference to the use of pharmacology by non-pharmacologists.
Essentially this is a book about the methods and tools used in pharmacology to quantify drug activity. Receptor pharmacology is based on the comparison of experimental data to simple mathematical models with a resulting inference of drug behavior to the molecular properties of drugs. From this standpoint, a certain understanding of the mathematics involved in the models is useful but not imperative. A Pharmacology Primer book is structured such that each chapter begins with the basic concepts and then moves on to the techniques used to estimate drug parameters, and, finally, for those so inclined, the mathematical derivations of the models used. 
Understanding the derivation is not a prerequisite to understanding the application of the methods or the resulting conclusion; these are included for completeness and are for readers who wish to pursue exploration of the models. In general, facility with mathematical equations is definitely not required for pharmacology; the derivations can be ignored to no detriment to the use of A Pharmacology Primer book.
Second, the symbols used in the models and derivations, on occasion, duplicate each other (i.e., a is an extremely popular symbol). However, the use of these multiple symbols has been retained since this preserves the context of where these models were first described and utilized. Also, changing these to make them unique would cause confusion if these methods were to be used beyond the frame-work of A Pharmacology Primer book. Therefore, care should be taken to consider the actual nomenclature of each chapter. Third, an effort has been made to minimize the need to cross-reference different parts of the book (i.e., when a particular model is described the basics are reiterated somewhat to minimize the need to read the relevant but different part of the book where the model is initially described). While this leads to a small amount of repeated description, it is felt that this will allow for a more uninterrupted flow of reading and use of the book.
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