How drugs work- for dummies

How drugs work once you engulf them?

Drugs are the most valuable tool to treat or prevent diseases. Restrict yourself from the thought that tobacco, cocaine etc are a valuable tool, because illegal traders and users named these particularly as drugs. The use of drugs has helped millions of people live longer, healthier lives than would otherwise have been possible.

But ever wondered how do these drugs act after going inside our body? or why is it that there are different forms and designs of drugs used?? Well, then here we will walk you through to get you an answer.

Types of Drugs

Different drugs are administered to the body in different ways. You must have seen doctors prescribing syrups for children whereas tablets for adults. This is done on the basis of convenience and also according to the formulation(ingredients) of the drug.

Some drugs act very well orally but some causes problems and hence administered in different ways like ointments, creams, inhalants etc.

Reaction from Drug inside our body

What happens inside the body after taking that single tablet or after applying that single drop of ointment over acne or that cream for complexion, its all the game of receptors which are like the gateway into cells.

Initially, the way these drugs reach inside the body depends on the type of dosage form (tablet, capsule, nasal spray etc). As said above these actions are mediated through receptors. Confusing???

Okay! For instance, if you want to withdraw cash from a bank what would you do? Firstly, get ready- make yourself look perfect with some makeover and then get into your car and travel through road to the bank.Follow the procedure for withdrawal of cash through cheque or ATM.

Same thing happens with the drug. Drug (you) prepares to get into the bloodstream (road) and travels to the target tissue or organ(bank). Where it shows its action (withdrawal of cash).

Practical example

Now, when we hope your concept is clear, let us explain you this process with an example. So, Suppose its winter, which is a door to cold, flu, fever. Paracetamol is the basic n most common drug used for these conditions.

When this drug is taken orally with water it passes through the gut (digestive tract) to the bloodstream and finally to the target organ. To show its effects on the target organ or tissue, the drug has to attach to receptors which will control and allow it to produce some chemical changes within the cells and show its action i.e decrease in fever. Its like when you want to get married (action) to a girl (cell) you need to take permission from her dad (receptor).

Well as all the organs, tissues, cells are connected to nerve endings, the information is passed to the brain and hence the brain sends the signals of chemical changes and thus the functions are maintained.

Every drug given for different diseases acts differently in its own way. They are unique as we are! But the basic receptor theory explained above is mostly taken into consideration. This was just about the action of a drug.

Releasing pattern of drugs

The releasing patterns of drugs differ from each other like oral drug release by dissolution or breaking into smaller molecules to transfer to the bloodstream. Ointments pass through skin, nasal sprays and inhalants through nasal passage into lungs or target etc. However, this can go Huge. So, in the future keep, yourself prepared to impress receptor to get treated on time.


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