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December 9, 1968

Principles of Drug Action: The Basis of Pharmacology

Author Affiliations


JAMA. 1968;206(11):2527. doi:10.1001/jama.1968.03150110075031

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The appearance of a text which is almost completely devoted to the theory of drug action, and in fact covers no particular drug in a systematic fashion, emphasizes the remarkable growth of pharmacology as a science. At a molecular level and in an orderly manner it dissects and demonstrates the logic by which man has attained the ability to control living processes of all types by the use of chemicals.

About a third of the text is devoted to drug-receptor interaction, absorption, distribution and elimination of drugs, and drug metabolism. Another large section is directed toward more general principles such as the time course of drug action, idiosyncrasy and pharmacogenetics, drug resistance and tolerance, and physical dependence. The newer fields of chemical mutagenesis and carcinogenesis as well as teratogenesis are extensively covered. A section which deals with drug development and the theoretical aspects of clinical pharmacology serves to illustrate some