What is Drugs: Definition and 67 Discussions

A drug is any substance that causes a change in an organism's physiology or psychology when consumed. Drugs are typically distinguished from food and substances that provide nutritional support. Consumption of drugs can be via inhalation, injection, smoking, ingestion, absorption via a patch on the skin, suppository, or dissolution under the tongue.
In pharmacology, a drug is a chemical substance, typically of known structure, which, when administered to a living organism, produces a biological effect. A pharmaceutical drug, also called a medication or medicine, is a chemical substance used to treat, cure, prevent, or diagnose a disease or to promote well-being. Traditionally drugs were obtained through extraction from medicinal plants, but more recently also by organic synthesis. Pharmaceutical drugs may be used for a limited duration, or on a regular basis for chronic disorders.Pharmaceutical drugs are often classified into drug classes—groups of related drugs that have similar chemical structures, the same mechanism of action (binding to the same biological target), a related mode of action, and that are used to treat the same disease. The Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical Classification System (ATC), the most widely used drug classification system, assigns drugs a unique ATC code, which is an alphanumeric code that assigns it to specific drug classes within the ATC system. Another major classification system is the Biopharmaceutics Classification System. This classifies drugs according to their solubility and permeability or absorption properties.Psychoactive drugs are chemical substances that affect the function of the central nervous system, altering perception, mood or consciousness. These drugs are divided into different groups like: stimulants, depressants, antidepressants, anxiolytics, antipsychotics, and hallucinogens. These psychoactive drugs have been proven useful in treating wide range of medical conditions including mental disorders around the world. The most widely used drugs in the world include caffeine, nicotine and alcohol, which are also considered recreational drugs, since they are used for pleasure rather than medicinal purposes. All drugs can have potential side effects. Abuse of several psychoactive drugs can cause addiction and/or physical dependence. Excessive use of stimulants can promote stimulant psychosis. Many recreational drugs are illicit and international treaties such as the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs exist for the purpose of their prohibition.

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  1. S

    Detecting spiked drinks.... how does it work?

    Hi guys I am doing a graphic design project and I would need to know how this tests to check if your drink is been spiked works. Whats the chemical that react to the most common drugs used? thank you so much!
  2. Algr

    FDA, EMA approval for patentable drugs only?

    A friend of mine is telling me that the FDA (and presumably the EMA in europe) never approves any drug unless a drug company can patent it. This means that the effectiveness of things like Flavonoids, Melatonin, or even special uses of Vitamins, will never be approved by them no matter how...
  3. Andrew Mason

    COVID Various approaches to new anti-viral drugs to treat COVID-19

    There have been a number of approaches taken in developing drugs to combat the SARS-CoV-2 virus: 1. Interfering with the viral RdRP polymerase so the virus cannot replicate its RNA (Remdesivir, EIDD-2801, Galidesivir) (see: this thread) 2. Preventing the virus from attaching to the ACE2...
  4. TytoAlba95

    Medical What are the top 4 commonly prescribed T2DM drugs?

    Hi. I'm planning research on Diabetes(T2DM) and for that, I'm looking for the top 4 antidiabetic medicines. [Moderator Note -- OP has edited their post and thread title to clarify which type of diabetes the question applies to] I've thoroughly googled but couldn't find any authentic article...
  5. jim mcnamara

    Attempt to fast track some potential antiviral drugs from known drugs

    Article being reviewed here: https://theconversation.com/we-found-and-tested-47-old-drugs-that-might-treat-the-coronavirus-results-show-promising-leads-and-a-whole-new-way-to-fight-covid-19-136789 Journal article: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-020-2286-9 This is not anything we can use...
  6. jedishrfu

    Why We Pay So Much for Medical Drugs

    In this Vox video, the pharmaceutical industry is investigated in how they package and distribute medical drugs. Eyedrops are too big for the eyes resulting in using too much. Other drugs are distributed in single use containers where 50% of the drug is thrown away but someone still pays for...
  7. C

    Why are prescription drugs mostly white in colour?

    Am I imagining it? Is there something in common about the structure of substances that interact with human biology which means they tend to be white? Do medication manufacturers just somehow artificially whiten them to meet consumer expectations? Thanks for any input.
  8. P

    Medical Estimating drug dose based on pharmacokinetic data

    How do clinicians determine the appropriate drug dose based on pharmacokinetic data? I was reading up on a Phase 1 clinical trial study for a chemo drug and was wondering how do clinicians and doctors come up with the drug dose based on these studies. Do they make use of the pharmacokinetic data...
  9. victorhugo

    Psychoactive drugs for "expansion of consciousness"

    Before anything, I'd just like to say I do not use nor promote the use of any drugs. I've experimented with cannabis a couple of years ago but quickly stopped when my senior years approached. I am now doing very well in my last years of school, especially in sciences. I am however struggling...
  10. TygerRose

    Disassociative drugs and cognitive development

    I'm not sure if this isn't the correct forum; but I recently was experimenting with dextromethorphan; and while on the drug, I had a psychotic break. All of a sudden I have retained positive memories from childhood, lost all depression, have incredible amount of excessive energy, and have the...
  11. C

    Medical Bacteriostatic Drugs: Effects & Metabolism on Bacteria

    What really happens when the bacteria get exposed to a bacteriostatic drug? Bactericidal drugs cause cellular destruction but the static drugs, as per description are said to prevent the bacteria from replicating. But apart from this what happens to the bacteria, is it able to exist and function...
  12. R

    Drugs for blocking human host cells

    Homework Statement The activity of drugs 1 to 5 is given as follows: Drug #1: blocks RNA-dependent RNA polymerases Drug #2: blocks DNA-dependent RNA polymerases Drug #3: blocks RNA-dependent DNA polymerases Drug #4: blocks DNA-dependent DNA polymerases Drug #5: blocks ribosomes Using this...
  13. X

    Chemistry What to take after BS Chemistry?

    Previously, I am taking Double Major: Chemistry and Chemical Engineering. I have 60 units before but removed the engineering course so now i have 20 units left. This is because of financial reasons and personally I think in my college, most of the professors in chem engineering department...
  14. T

    Should injuries be treated with anti-inflammatory drugs?

    Should an injury from overuse, such as a tendonitis, be treated with anti-inflammatory drugs, such as Ibuprofen, or do they retard the healing process and would it be better to just let the injury heal naturally? I found some papers supporting they harm the recovering process of the injury...
  15. Greg Bernhardt

    Portugal and the war on drugs

    In the city I live it was just reported that in 2014 there were more heroin overdoses than traffic deaths. I have a family member addicted to heroin and it's a nightmare for the family. The US needs a radical change. Portugal could be the case study to look at. In 2001 Portugal decriminalized...
  16. A

    Medical Telling the Doctor you Smoke Weed

    If you tell your doctor that you smoke weed or other drugs, will he tell the police? What charges can you face? I tried to do some research, but I could not find a reliable source. If you are a specialist on this subject, please state so and indicate where you live.
  17. F

    Medical How do medical professionals figure out the lethal dose of drugs?

    How do medical professionals, scientists or whoever studies this stuff figure out the lethal dose of a particular drug? It's not like they can perform experiments on humans. Do they just test them on animals and then extrapolate that to humans? Do they find some kind of pattern from people...
  18. O

    'Worst drugs' - trying to find a page

    'Worst drugs' -- trying to find a page I remember reading a web page (maybe several pages on wikipedia) that talked about horrible drugs that were used only in extreme circumstances. These drugs had horrible side effects and perhaps low efficacy. They were rarely used. I remember an...
  19. T

    Why do acidic drugs remain unionized in acidic environement?

    Why do acidic drugs remain unionized in acidic environement, and become ionized in basic environment? Similarly, why do basic drugs become ionized in acidic environment and remain unionized in basic environment?
  20. Greg Bernhardt

    News War on drugs failing, research suggests

    http://edition.cnn.com/2013/10/01/world/war-on-drugs-failing/index.html?hpt=hp_t3 Can anyone find the original study article? [edit: linked on post 3]
  21. R

    Do Professionals Do Drugs?

    Hey guys, I'm sure the thread title sparked an interest in some of you and may seem bizarre to others. I began to smoke marijuana at the age of 17 (I'm 19 now), and I must say that I do enjoy smoking and the camaraderie that accompanies it. Now I've never done any other drugs but the use of...
  22. C

    What long term changes do SSRI and SARI drugs cause?

    I read about long term use of these kinda antidepressants causing hippocampal neurogenesis and stuff like that but I'm focusing more on what long term use does to the various monoamine neurotransmitter pathways. I'll start with SSRIs because they are the simplest. Their main mechanism of action...
  23. G

    Medical Advances in F19 MRI: Imaging Drugs in Living Organisms

    What kind of advances have been made in this field (since I don't stay on top of it)? If I wanted to image, say, where my fluorinated drug is going within a rat, is it possible? NMR is inherently not a sensitive modality. Hydrogen is vastly more abundant in a living organism than fluorine...
  24. B

    Cancer drugs and Alzheimer's, Oh my

    Alerted to this from a friend who is an alumni of Case Very excited to read the article in Science, when it comes out--Granted this is of course a press-release and prone to a certain kind of hype. That said still looks promising, I'm not aware of any potential treatments yet that have had...
  25. Evo

    Medical Colonoscopy - which drugs are better?

    My last colonoscopy I had demerol and versed, no pain during or after, PLUS I felt the best I've ever felt for the rest of the day (thank you Demerol). But my new doctor prefers propofol. It puts you to sleep, unlike the demerol/versed, where you are conscious, but feel no pain. You are...
  26. O

    Medical Medicinal benefit of psychoactive drugs

    This thread has https://www.physicsforums.com/showpost.php?p=3591985&postcount=5" that must be complied with. All posters must familiarise themselves before posting. Ryan_m_b Browsing this forum I haven't found a single discussion about psychedelic drugs... Which I consider a sad fact because...
  27. J

    So what are you physicists' opinions on psychedelic drugs?

    I think many people would expect that a physicist is more inclined than the average guy in the street to be able to see through the propaganda/fear-mongering of the government & mainstream media. Also it's reasonable to think that someone well versed in physics is going to have an curious mind...
  28. H

    Lipstick as a Defense Weapon: What Drugs Are Used?

    Some people use drugs combined in lipstick as a defense weapon in the streets. One of the drugs used is chloral hydrate. Does anyone else know what the other drugs are that are used in the lipstick for defense ? They may be some of the sedative-hypnotic nonbarbituates but I am not sure...
  29. B

    My Journey from Drugs to Physics Major

    Hey PF, just thought I'd post a story. Kind of long, sorry. I'm 19 next week, and a freshman at a community college. Long story short, up until this semester my school effort has been hit and miss. I'd do great sometimes, then terrible at others. Until senior year, I just stopped caring...
  30. B

    So can you add elements to illegal drugs to make them technically different?

    First off I am nothing of a scientist or chemist. can you add a oxygen molecule to say marijuana without screwing it up? or if i add one of the inert gases to it? haha, I'm just thinking out loud what you scientists say?
  31. B

    Drugs And Toxins Thats Affect Neural Pathways

    As the title indicates, this post is directed towards the subject of Drugs and Toxins that affect the nervous system. I'll be writing a report on this and it is up to me to pick a specific drug or toxin to write about. I was just wondering what you all have to say about the subject. Maybe there...
  32. T

    Medical What is your opinion on taking brain-boosting drugs?

    One of my college professors was talking about brain-boosting drugs and their use in the science world. He seemed to support the idea with a belief that no one in the scientific world will criticize you for making a breakthrough if you used drugs to boost your performance. Unlike the sports...
  33. K

    Differential Equations and drugs

    Let x mg be the amount of drug in the patient at time t. Drug is injected into the patient at a rate of P mg per min The kidneys of the patient remove the drug at a rate proportional to the amount of drug at time t. At a particular point in time, the drug concentration in the patient...
  34. G

    Medical Effects of LSD, Marijuana & MDMA on Learning & Problem Solving

    I was wondering what people here think about the effects LSD, Marijuana and MDMA have on the brain. In its ability to learn, develop and problem solve after the drugs have completely worn off. Especially in learning physics and mathematics.
  35. rhody

    Use of drugs to enhance academic performance

    Dear twofish-quant, I found this thread interesting especially since I have a daughter in college, and have friend's whose kids are in the same situation. During a discussion with one of them about achievement, grades, stress, time management, cramming, all nighters, etc... I asked him...
  36. M

    UK health secretary sacks drugs adviser

    For those who haven't come across this: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8334774.stm My facebook status sums up my feelings on the subject: Predictably, the shadow home secretary wallowed in the typical Tory self-image of the last bastion of law and order in a broken society, but the Lib...
  37. JaredJames

    Drugs vs Alcohol: What's Better for You?

    Right, I'm putting this here first to get some general opinions and if it eventually gets moved to a biology/medical section, that would be good. Basically there has been a lot of debate between my housemates about whether or not cannabis and marijuana are better for you to consume than...
  38. E

    Organic Chem Drugs and Med Experiments

    Hi, I am supposed to design 2 experiments for my senior year Chem class. Right now I cannot think of anything that is interesting, relatively advanced but at the same time at a high school level (its only a design lab so I can include advanced equipments). Topics that interest me the...
  39. Math Is Hard

    Effects of drugs on spiders

    Fascinating. I love Canadian nature films.
  40. A

    News Sex, Drugs & Oil: Government Ties to Industry

    Government quite literally in bed with the oil industry. . . http://www.forbes.com/business/2008/09/10/sex-drugs-oil-biz-beltway-cx_jz_0909rik.html [Broken]
  41. M

    Medical Intelligent drugs (MOdaphinil)

    has anyone from the US or England tried Modaphinil or similar to improve intelligence ?? does it really works or is just another Hoax. this topic was treated in the tv show "The Simpsons" when Bart takes Focusin ( a parody on ritalin ) and becomes a genius but extremely maniatic
  42. Evo

    Spiders on Drugs: Mildly Bad Words?

    Ok, a couple of mildly bad words, just cover your ears. :rofl:
  43. Ivan Seeking

    Turtle rescued from life of drugs

    http://www.practicalfishkeeping.co.uk/pfk/pages/item.php?news=1669 [Broken] Now that the turtle is living in a safe environment, he is really coming out of his shell.
  44. D

    Intelligence enhancing drugs?

    First of all, I know the rules about discussions of drugs, but I am not talking about illegal drugs here. I've read some articles about intelligence enhancing drugs, and it got me thinking. I had very strong opinions on either side of this case, and that surprised me. Let's say that the...
  45. C

    Drug Use: How Common Is It?

    I thought of this a few days ago, and just thought that it would be interesting to get some statistics about it, and see how much the statistics here vary with those for the rest of the average population. Feel free to tell as much or as little as you please.
  46. Saladsamurai

    Projectile motion (am I on drugs?)

    [SOLVED] Projectile motion (am I on drugs?) Homework Statement I can't believe how much time I have spent on this. Homework Equations Constant acceleration The Attempt at a Solution Here is the data I am using to solve for V_a x_0=0, x_f=30, y_0=7, y_f=10...
  47. E

    Medical Immunity to Drugs: Is Complete Resistance Possible?

    Hi yall, just had a question that got me thinking. Say you do a drug that builds tolerance, eg alcohol or opiates. If you took an extreme amount chronically is there any way to become completely immune to it to the point no amount of the drug will affect you at all?
  48. S

    Medical Anti-Viral Drugs for healthy people

    I am thinking mostly about STDs for this matter. Is is possbile for a non-infected person to regularly take anti-viral drugs to prevent contracting HPV or HSV, even HIV?
  49. W

    Drugs and Medecine - where can I study from?

    I'm in IB Chemistry HL and I have a test on drugs and medicine tomorrow. Is there any website where I can study this from? The notes that the teacher gave us are kind of incomplete...
  50. ShawnD

    Ever wonder why drugs are so expensive? Blame the government

    This came to me when I was doing some routine work yesterday; I work in the QC lab for a drug company which makes drugs for HIV and hepatitis. The lab is under GMP which means everything is tested multiple times and the amount of paperwork involved is staggering. When a bulk truck of acetone...