Medicine and Drugs

drugs etc

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  • Created by: Phoebe
  • Created on: 12-05-12 15:29

Developing New Medicines

  • Drugs have to be tested and trialled extensively before they are made available for public use
  • A medical drug is tested to establish its effectiveness, its toxicity, the most appropriate dosage and its stability
  • Thalidomide was developed as a sleeping drug, but doctors realised it could control morning sickness 
  • However, the drug had not been tested on pregnant women, and it caused limb abnormalities in some of the foetuses
  • In human trials, placebos are used - placebos do not contain a drug
  • Double-blind tests are used to see how effective the medicine is
  • They reduce the psychological effects of the patient, and the possible vested interest of the doctors, as neither of them know who has taken a placebo or not
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Stages in Drug Testing

  • Test drug on cell cultures (check it is non-toxic)
  • Test drug on animals (look for side effects)
  • Test drug on healthy volunteers
  • Test drug on small group of patients
  • Test drug on large group of patients
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  • Statins are medical drugs
  • They are used to lower cholestrol levels in the blood
  • They reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease
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  • Drugs change the chemical processes in the body, so you may become addicted to them
  • A drug is a substance which alters the way in which your body works
  • Drugs are chemicals which alter the body's chemistry
  • Addiction is when you become physically or mentally dependent on a drug
  • Hard drugs, such as cocaine and heroin, are very addictive
  • If you stop taking addictive drugs, you will suffer from withdrawal symptoms
  • Smoking cannabis may cause mental health problems
  • Recreational drugs are used by people for pleasure
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Legal and Illegal Drugs

  • Many recreational drugs affect the nervous system, particularly the brain
  • It is easy to become addicted to recreational drugs because they affect the nervous system
  • Some recreational drugs are more harmful than others
  • Recreational drugs can be legal or illegal
  • More people use legal drugs, so their impact on health is greater than that of illegal drugs
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Does Cannabis lead to hard drugs?


  • Cannabis can cause mental illness in some people, making them more vulnerable and likely to progress to harder drugs
  • Cannabis is illegal, so obtaining it puts you in contact with drug dealers, who might later try to push harder drugs on you
  • Nearly all heroin users previously used cannabis


  • Only a very small minority of cannabis users progress to harder drugs
  • Cannabis doesn't cause any cravings for harder drugs
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Drugs in Sport

  • Some athletes use drugs to make them perform better
  • Anabolic steroids increase muscle mass, but are banned
  • They help athletes who need to be strong or fast
  • Strong painkilling drugs allow an athlete to train/compete with an injury, cause it further damage
  • Some sports require great stamina - a drug can be taken to stimulate the body into making more red blood cells
  • Illegal performance enhancing drugs can cause great harm/death to athletes
  • Athletes found taking these drugs get disqualifed from the event
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