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  • B1.3
    • Developing Medicines
      • The first tests are in scientific laboratories on cells, tissues or organs.
      • If the drug seems to work it is then tested on animals, healthy human volunteers and finally on patients.
      • In some trials, with patients, placebos are used.
        • This is to check that the drug being tested really does have an effect on the patient.
      • In a double-blind trial, neither the doctor nor patient knows who is given the drug.
      • Thalidomide was developed as a sleeping pill
        • Doctors realised it controlled morning sickness in pregnant women.
          • Some babies were born with limb abnormalities as a result of their mothers taking the drug.
        • Thalidomide is now used to treat leprosy, but never given to pregnant women.
    • Legal and Illegal Drugs
      • Recreational drugs are used only for pleasure.
        • They affect the brain and nervous system. They also have adverse affects on the heart and circulatory system.
        • Include cannabis and heroin, which are illegal.
      • Nicotine and caffeine are legal drugs which are used recreational.
        • Addiction to nicotine leading to lung cancer from smoke.
        • Alcohol poisoning
      • Some drugs used for medical purposes can be used illegally, e.g stimulants used by sports people.
      • If you try to stop taking addictive drugs you will suffer withdrawal symptoms
        • Headaches
        • Difficulty breathing
        • Racing heart
        • Anxiety
        • Poor concentration
    • Drugs in Sport
      • Steroids are drugs which are used to build up muscle mass. Other drugs may be used to increase stamina.
      • Strong pain killers are banned because the athlete might ignore injury and suffer further damage.
      • Expensive. Unfair advantage to those who can afford them.


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