created by Robert King


The term 'drug' is commonly used to describe a substance used as a medicine to treat a disease. Drugs are incredibly important components of health care, with almost 20% of health care costs going to drugs (ref).











Drugs can be classified according to many different factors. Pharmacotherapeutic classes refer to the clinical condition, while pharmacologic classes are based on a drug's molecular mechanism of action and the body system affected. A hybrid approach has been taken with the above list.


Individual Drugs





The term 'drug' can also refer to any biologically active compound that is taken with the intent to produce a change in the body. This more inclusive definition also allows a) substances such as caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol, b) biomolecules such as vitamins, amino acids, and minerals; c) 'natural health products' such as ecinacea and St John's Wort; and even d) cosmetics. In some sense, the distinctions between a product sold by a pharmaceutical company and a vitamin fall to regulation and patents.


However, they can also be incredibly dangerous. Drug-drug interactions are common, and adverse drug reactions are the 4th-6th cause of death.









To Sort Still

routes of administration

How to choose drugs?

rationale for prescribing drugs is determined by risk vs benefit considerations

compliance can be quite low sometimes for a number of reasons








Free 7 day sleeping pill offer!

thoughts on drug companies


Resources and References

Healthy Ontario.com - http://www.healthyontario.com/
College of family Physicians (not much drug stuff) -
Medline plus - http://medlineplus.gov/
Family doctor.org - http://familydoctor.org/online/famdocen/home.html
TRIP database (insert drug name in SEARCH bar) -
CMA - http://www.cma.ca/public/Drugs/Index.asp?lc=2
BC Health guide (uses same database as Healthy Ontario I think):
SK Healthline (uses same database as Healthy Ontario I think):
ER=Medications> &FILTER=Medications


See also, OLDANI in Halifax, NS January 2010 (two video sessions recorded by a CCA student) [to be added]