Saturday, December 8, 2012

History of pharmacology

Pharmacology is both an ancient science and a relatively new science. For centuries, humans have used plants and has been a search for way to alleviate the pain and suffering associated with life.

In Asia, the earliest recorded compilation of drugs, the Pen Tiao, consisted of a list of herbal remedies compiled in the reign of Chinese Emperor Shennung in 2700 BC.

The Papyrus Ebers of 1500 BC was an Egyptian document that listed more than 700 medical compounds and more than 800 prescription.

The first true de material medica, a compilation of therapeutic substance and their uses, was compiled in 77 AD by Aristotle’s student Dioscorides, while serving as a surgeon in Nero’s Roman Legion throughout the Mediterranean. It listed more than 600 medicinal plants including some still in use today.

Claudius Galen (AD 129-200) was the first attempted to consider the theoretical background of pharmacology.

Though the first western pharmacological treatise was compile in the first century AD, scientific pharmacology was possible only from the eighteenth century in, when drugs could be purified and standardized.

Theophrastus von Hohenheim (1493-1541), called Paracelsus, began to question doctrines handed down from antiquity, demanding knowledge of the active ingredient in prescribed remedies, while rejecting the irrational concoctions and mixtures of medicine.

Until the end of the 19th century, medicines were natural organic or inorganic products, mostly dried but also fresh, plants or plant parts.

The term Pharmakologie was applied to the study of material medica by Dale in London as early as 1692.

In 1847, biochemist Rudolph Buchheim was appointed professor of pharmacology at the University of Dorpat and he established the first true experimental laboratory dedicated to pharmacology.

Experimental pharmacology to emerge as a separate discipline in the 19th century, as an offshoot of physiology.

At first it found its academic home in schools of medicine, the 20th century has seen the science of pharmacology established in schools of pharmacy as well.
History of pharmacology

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