Define Drug and Explain Classification of Drugs?

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Today I am going to define drugs and the Types of classification of drugs in detail!

What is a drug?

A drug is defined as, any chemical or natural substance used in the investigation, diagnosis, treatment, cure, or management of different diseases in humans and animals is called drug.

Classification of Drugs On The Basis od Sales

On the basis of sales, there are two types of dugs.

  • Over The Counter Drug (OTC)
  • Prescription Only Medicines (POM)

1. Over The Counter Drug (OTC)

OTC is the group of drugs that does not require any prescription for their dispensing. This group contains the following drugs:

  • Multivitamin
  • NSAIDS (Non Steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drugs)
  • Laxatives
  • Some Nutraceuticals (in some European counties)
  • Oral Contraceptics

2. Prescription Only Medicines (POM)

This group contains the medicine or drugs which must not dispense without prescription. This group contain following drugs:

  • Antibiotics
  • Steroids
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Barbiturates
  • Anti diabetics
  • Antihypertension

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Classification of Drugs On The Basis of Sources

On the basis of sources, there are three types of dugs.

  • Natural Sources
  • Semi Synthetic Sources
  • Synthetic Sources

1. Natural Sources

i. Plant Sources

This is the group of drug that obtained from plants, e.g.

  • Reserpine is obtained from Rauwolfia serpentina.
  • Cinnamon aldehydes is obtained from cinnamon.
  • Digoxin is obtained from digitalis lanata.

ii. Animal Sources

Many animals are involved in the production of many important drugs.

  • Vaccines
  • Insulin
  • Sex hormones
  • Thyroxin

iii. Microbial Sources

This is the group of medicines (drugs) that are synthesized by using different micro-organisms; this group includes the following drugs.

  • Antibiotics
  • Insulin
  • Vaccines

2. Semi Synthetic Sources

Semi synthetic drugs are the group of drugs that are synthesized by using combined sources of natural and synthetic world.

  • Amoxicillin
  • Cefixime
  • Ceftraizone

3. Synthetic Sources

Synthetic drugs are the group of drugs that are totally synthesized in laboratory by using chemicals or substances.

  • Paracetamol
  • Aspirin
  • Ciprofloxacin
  • Sulphonamide group

Generic Name of Drugs

These are the names of drugs that are given to them on scientific basis.

  • Paracetamol
  • Aspirin
  • Ciprofloxacin
  • Levofloxacin

Brand Name of Drugs

These are the names of medicines that are given on the proprietorship basis.

  • Paracetamol
  • Panadol
  • Dicloran
  • Disprin

Chemical Name of Drugs

These are the names which are given to the drugs on the basis of presence of different atoms or molecules and their inter-relationship.

  • Acetylsalicylic Acid (Aspirin)
  • Acetyl Para Aminophenol (Paracetamol)


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