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This chapter provided a brief history of pharmacology and the use of therapeutic drugs throughout the millennia. It discussed the importance of interprofessional collaboration and introduced how pharmacology is used in nursing practice. It also presented some of the responsibilities of the clinical nurse relating to drug administration.

This chapter reviewed the many sources and forms of drugs and explained the approval process for new drugs as they come onto the market. It described the difference between the various names of the drugs (chemical, generic, and brand names) and discussed the difference between generic and brand-name drugs. Traditional drugs, biologics, biosimilars, and complementary and alternative medicine were also discussed, and counterfeit drugs, drug classifications, and drug prototypes were introduced. The various drug schedules as they relate to drugs with the potential for abuse were explained. This chapter also focused on socioeconomic factors as they relate to pharmacology and how drug therapy may impact specific groups of clients (e.g., those who are pregnant, the very young, or the very old). The chapter ended with a discussion of the aging client and the “silver tsunami.”


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© May 15, 2024 OpenStax. Textbook content produced by OpenStax is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License . The OpenStax name, OpenStax logo, OpenStax book covers, OpenStax CNX name, and OpenStax CNX logo are not subject to the Creative Commons license and may not be reproduced without the prior and express written consent of Rice University.