Mechanism of drug action

Wikis > Pharmacology > Pharmacodynamics > Mechanism of drug action

Mechanism of drug action (after Laurence & Bennett , 1992):
Drugs act on:
1) Cell membrane by:
- action on specific receptors (eg acetylcholine receptors)
- interference with selective passage of ions across membranes (eg calcium entry blockers)
- inhibition of membrane bound enzymes and pumps (eg membrane bound ATPase by cardiac glycoside)
- physiochemical interaction (eg local anaesthetic block sodium channels)
2) Metabolic processes within the cell:
- enzyme inhibition (eg xanthine oxidase by allopurinol)
- inhibition of transport processes (eg blockade of anion transport in renal tubule cell by probenecid)
- incorporation into larger molecules (eg 5-fluorouracil in incorporated into m-RNA in place of uracil)
- antimicrobial agents (eg penicillin interferes with formation of cell wall)
3) Outside the cell:
- direct chemical interaction (eg antacids)
- osmosis (eg diuretics)

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