Pharmacology Report The field of medicine has been developing since the first Greeks started treating the humors of the body. As the enlightened movement progressed and more advanced techniques in science were discovered, greater techniques were developed in the synthesis of chemicals that became known as pharmaceuticals…
There are many different types of medications that are given for a wide variety of conditions, but one common factor is that they are made to affect the nervous system in some form. One drug that is commonly prescribed as an analgesic for pain relief is Pethidine, an opiate. Opiates originate in Asia that is extracted from the poppy plant. This is what gives it its psychoactive properties. The principle effect of the drug is it’s sedative effect, which makes it an effective central nervous system depressant as well as an analgesic. It has multiple chemical properties that can allow it to be converted into morphine, heroin, etc. This is what gives opiate-based medications the variability required for their many uses in the medical field. Pethidine is a narcotic analgesic designed to relieve moderate to severe pain. This type of drug is responsible for changing the pain receptors in the brain so that they can be less susceptible to the painful stimuli. It is available in many different forms such as in tablets, syrup, and through intravenous injection. Each method of consumption has a different rate of absorption and thus will have different rates of effect with intravenous being the fastest and most efficient. There are a wide range of side effects that can be encountered with the drug that range from lightheadness to vomiting as well as but not limited to headaches, fatigue, moodiness, etc. (Abadinsky, 2011). Pethidine is an opiate. Due to this, it has a specific mechanism of action. Opiods have specific receptors in the body that they interact with. There are three different types of receptors called mu, kappa, and sigma receptors. The mu receptors are located in the cerebral cortex, thalamus, the intestinal tract and along the spinal column. When opiates interact with these receptors, it causes a release of the GABA neurotransmitter which functions in alleviating any pain felt. The kappa receptors are located in the hypothalamus and along the spinal cord. When an opiate interacts with these receptors, it increases the dopaminergic reward system, which leads to an increase in dopamine, which creates euphoria as well as functions in causing hallucinations. The last type of receptor, the delta receptor, is located in the amygdale and deep within the cerebral cortex. It functions as relieving pain when these receptors are activated and can lead to respiratory stress if consumed in large quantities (Stahl, 2005). Since Pethidine is a narcotic, it is extremely addictive. This is due to the fact that it interacts with the dopaminergic reward system increasing levels of dopamine, which is a pleasure producing molecule. This leads into the patterns of tolerance and addiction. The more often that the drug is taken, the higher the threshold is in order for the user to reach the desired affect. Therefore, they must take more and more of the drug in order to satisfy the euphoria. As a result, they develop a biochemical tolerance in which they require the opiate in order to function at the same level. This is why narcotics and opiates are a Schedule I drug due to their high abuse potential and low medicinal value. An important part of prescribing medication is being aware of the drug interactions among different substances. Pharmacists are only able to predict the combined effects of two drugs, but nothing past that. In the case of Pethidine, it is dangerous to ...
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