biology ( medicine and drugs)

medicin and drugs chaper of biology

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medicine and drugs part 1

developing new medicines;

  • they are first tested in labs on cells, tissue or organs. if the drug seems to work it is then tested on animals, healthy human voulenteers and finally on patients
  • placebos:  placebos do not conatin a drug. half the patients are given placebos and half are given the drug. this is to check that he drug being tested really does have an effect on the patient.
  • in a double-blind trial neither the doctor nr the patient know who has the placebo and who ahs the drug
  • thalidomide was developed as a sleeping pill but doctors realised it  could aslo control morning sickness in women. unfortunatly it had not been tesed for use during pregnncy, it caused abnormailites in the babies.
  • the drug was banned and testing laws improved. more recently it has been used to treat this such as leprosy but never given to pregnant women.
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medicine and drugs part 2

how effective are medicines?

  • statins are drugs which lower the amount of bad cholesterol in the blood.
  • they are taken daily by older people.
  • heart and strokes have gone down by 40%
  • some people prefer herbal remedies. st johns wort is taken to treat depression instead of Prozac. the only way too see which one is better is to conduct a double-blind trial.


  • useful drugs made from natural substances have been used for ages.
  • recreational drugs are used by people for pleasure (heroin and cocaine).

legal and illegal drugs

  • nicotine and caffeine are legal drugs which are used in a recreational way.
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medicine and drugs part 3

does cannabis lead to harder drugs?

  • there is evidence that cannabis can cause mental illness in people.
  • teens who smoke cannabis increase their risk of depression.
  • buying cannabis from dealers puts you into contact with harder drugs that are being sold.
  • nearly all heroin users previously smoked cannabis.

drugs in sports

  • some athletes are tempted to use drugs to improve their performance.
  • steroids are drugs which build up muscle mass. other drugs may increase stamina.
  • strong pain killers are banned because the athlete may ignore injury and cause further damage.
  • most think it is unethical to use drugs in sport.

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