When studying the science of drug interactions, we see that both Pharmacology and Pharmacokinetics have their roots in the study of chemical and biological responses of cells towards specific drugs. However, the study of drug kinetics proceeds in two different but connected areas of study: one is that of drug effects on the activity of the cells and the other, the concentration and solubility of drug substances at rest. However, some confusion may occur when students first begin their studies, as the two concepts are often confused with each other. Let’s take a closer look at the differences between the two concepts to better understand how they interrelate.
The primary difference between Pharmacology and Pharmacokinetics is actually one of process rather than substance. In general terms, pharmacology describes how medications are absorbed, distributed and disposed of during the body’s normal functions; while pharmacokinetics is related to how the substances are managed once inside the body. As mentioned earlier, the concepts of the two are closely related but not identical. Below is a quick discussion of how the two theories fit together and what you can expect from a traditional pharmacist.
Pharmacology focuses on the processes by which a drug affects the functioning of the entire body. This includes everything from heart rate and blood pressure to the production and disposal of hormones. The key focus of pharmacology is the identification of the role that a drug plays in the regulation of these critical biological processes.
Pharmacokinetics, on the other hand, is focused on the relationship between concentrations of substances and their effect on vital organs and tissues. Pharmacokinetics studies the relationships between how well a drug works to stimulate cell growth and the concentration levels at which it is absorbed, digested and used by the body. The concentration level of a drug has a profound impact on its ability to work. Pharmacokinetics also studies how the concentration of a drug changes as a function of time. This is important because the levels of many substances decrease over time, leading to a reduction in their effect.
The absorption of a drug or its components is important to drug development and discovery. The absorption rates of drugs to determine how quickly a drug is able to enter the body and how much it takes to leave. Pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics both study the absorption of drugs and how they affect the various cell cultures and organs in which they are studied. Many diseases and conditions affect the absorption of drugs and understand how they affect the various cells in the body can help researchers treat those conditions. For example, a study published in Nature recently showed that green tea can reduce the prevalence and severity of depression in mice and rats.
Pharmacodynamics studies the effects of drugs on cells and organ systems in the body. It is concerned with how a drug affects the functions of cells and how those effects change as a function of the drug’s concentration in the bloodstream. Pharmacokinetics, on the other hand, studies how drugs affect cells in the blood. It is an area of study that is more focused on how drugs get into the body, rather than how they leave the body once they have entered it. In this way, it is more closely tied to the absorption rate and concentration of a drug.
Pharmacodynamics uses biological, physical and ecological data to study how drugs affect the different parts of the body. It can be used to investigate how drugs affect tissues, organs, cells, and the blood stream of the human body. Pharmacokinetics studies drugs’ interactions with cells and the metabolic processes they undergo. The study also compares and contrasts two different drug compounds to help researchers better understand how they work together.
In addition to these studies, Pharmacology attempts to describe the various ways that drugs affect the body, allowing researchers to determine which properties or actions of a drug are important. There is even some evidence that the effects of some chemical substances are dependent on their location in the body. When that happens, Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics are studying to see how and why that kind of relationship exists. While there are similarities between the two areas of study, there are also key differences as well. Knowing which area to focus your studies is key to developing the best drug for a specific condition.