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Pharmacology is the branch of medicine concerned with the study of how a drug's actions affect living tissue (Table 19-1). It is important for the physical therapist to have a working knowledge of pharmacology because of the number of drugs currently on the market and the number of physical therapy patients that are likely to have been prescribed medications.

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Table 19-1. Pharmacology Terms and Definitions
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Some of the beneficial effects of drugs may be enhanced by physical therapy interventions, but in other cases the interventions may have negative consequences.

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The Food and Drug Administration (FDA):

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  • Directs the drug development process
  • Gives approval for marketing a new drug
  • Approves a new use for an older drug

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Drug regulation is essential to ensure a safe and effective product. The purposes of drug regulation include

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  • Balancing the need of the pharmaceutical companies to show a profit with the need for patients to have easy access to effective medications
  • To ensure safety and efficacy of the drugs and review product labeling
  • To regulate the manufacturing process to ensure stability in the product
  • To control public access to drugs that have the potential for abuse

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Controlled Substances

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Controlled substances are drugs classified according to their potential for abuse. These drugs are regulated under the Controlled Substances Act, which classifies these compounds into schedules from I to V.

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  • Schedule I: ...

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