Categories of Drug Action - Pharmacology

Drugs are categorized by the type of action it causes on the body. There are four types of responses:

  • Stimulation or Depression. These are drugs that either increase or depress cellular activity.
  • Replacement. These are drugs that replace an essential body compound such as insulin or estrogen.
  • Inhibition. These drugs interfere with bacterial cell and limit bacterial growth or eliminate the bacteria, such as penicillin.
  • Irritation. These drugs irritate cells to cause a natural response that has a therapeutic effect such as a laxative that irritates the colon wall to increase movement of the colon resulting in defecation.

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Pharmacology Topics