1. Distinguish generic drugs from brand name drugs, what is the major difference?
Generic drugs and brand name drugs have similar pharmacological characteristics
including the same effects, intended use, safety, dosage, and route of administration. However,
the main difference between the two types of drugs is that the brand name drugs are patented,
which makes their costs to the relatively higher compared to the generic drugs. The high price of
the brand name drugs is because of the high cost of researching, testing, and developing the
drugs. However, generic drugs manufacturers do not incur these high costs. Another difference
between generic and brand name drugs is that names of the former are capitalized while the latter
are not. For example, the brand name for diabetes is Glucophage while its generic type is
metformin (Stoppler 1-2).
2. Explain the beneficial use of amphetamines.
Amphetamines are psychoactive drugs that stimulate the central nervous system. The
drugs are used for treating various disorders such as obesity, ADHD (Attention Deficit
Hyperactivity Disorder), narcolepsy, and Parkinson’s disease among others. Amphetamines work
by enhancing alertness, increase reaction time, boost cognitive function, increase euphoria, and
decrease fatigue. However, the beneficial effects of these psychoactive drugs are dependent on
the dosage. Lower doses are more effective for beneficial use while higher doses tend to cause
harmful effects such as uncontrolled agitation, time distortion, and poor coordination among
others (Quinn 1).
3. What are the medical benefits for anxiolytics?
Anxiolytics are types of prescription drugs that are primarily used to manage acute
anxiety. Anxiolytics work by targeting neurotransmitters within the brain with the effect of
reducing abnormal excitability. Most anxiolytics are prescribed for short-term use because of
their tendency to cause addiction if used for long periods (Pietrangelo Parts 1-4).
4. Discuss 3 classifications of psychoactive drugs their physical and psychological
Three types of psychoactive drugs include hallucinogens, stimulants, and depressants.
Hallucinogens alter sensory perception and cognition. Therefore, they alter mood and cause
hallucinations. They also cause erratic behavior, increase blood pressure and body temperature,
as well as pupil dilation. Stimulants cause arousal, improved energy levels, and enhanced feeling
of well-being. The physiological effects of stimulants include perspiration, increased heart rate,
breathing, and blood pressure. Depressants are sedative hypnotics that induce relaxation or cause
sleep. These psychoactive drugs inhibit the normal functioning of the central nervous system.
The physiological effects of depressants include uncontrollable behavior, garbled speech,
staggering, and anxiety relief (Psychoactive drugs n.p.).
5. List 3 routes administration for drugs use. Explain the advantages and
disadvantages for each route.
Three of the drug administration routes include oral route, intravenous, and inhalation.
The advantages and disadvantages of each of the three administration routes are presented in the
Difficulty in swallowing
May be inefficient sometimes
A variety of drugs
Rapid response to drug effect
Administered by trained
Retrieval of drugs is
Can be costly
Rapid and efficient
May be painful
absorption of gases
Drugs by-pass liver
Convenient for unconscious
Requires trained personnel
Avoids first-pass effect
6. The central Nervous system consists of what 2 major components? How does drug
use impact these two components?
The central nervous system comprises of two main components including the brain and
the spinal cord. The brain is performs the function of integrating sensory information as well as
coordination functions of the body. The spinal cord is responsible for transmitting signals
between different parts of the body and the brain. Drugs impact the brain and the spinal cord in
various ways depending on the type of drugs used. With regard to the brain, drugs can affect the
normal functioning of the brain by either causing agitation or relaxation. For example, alcohol
intake causes relaxation because it affects the neurons in the brain disrupting their normal
functioning. At higher concentrations, alcohol can kill brain cells, leading to disruption of brain
functions such as coordination, memory, and integration of sensory information. Since the brain
depends on the spinal cord to transmit sensory information to and from all parts of the body,
when the brain function is altered, the spinal cord cannot transmit the sensory information
effectively. Using the same example of alcohol, the effect of alcohol on the brain may cause the
brain to fail to integrate the feeling of pain when a person hurts himself when drunk. Therefore,
the spinal cord will not transmit the pain sensory response from the brain to the affected part of
the body, which inhibits corrective reaction. However, other drugs also attach themselves to
receptors in the spinal cord, which also inhibits normal functioning of the central nervous
7. Explain the penalty difference for sentencing crack dealing versus powder cocaine
Under the Fair Sentencing Act that was enacted in 2010, the sentencing ration for crack
cocaine to powder cocaine was reduced to 18:1. Before this amendment, the ratio had been
100:1. Initially, there were views that the ratio was justified because crack cocaine had more
severe negative effects that powdered cocaine. However, there has never been any scientific
evidence to support this claim. In fact, some scientific studies have shown that the psychological
effects of the two types of cocaine are the same. This means that the claim that crack cocaine
deserves harsher penalty has not basis. The only plausible claim to support the unbalanced
sentencing for crack cocaine and powder cocaine is the prevalence. Crack cocaine is much
cheaper and easily available than powder cocaine. Therefore, more people are able to afford
crack cocaine especially the poor. As for powder cocaine, only a few people can afford it
especially the rich. In society, discrimination of the poor and minority groups has been a
common theme for centuries. Apparently, the largest population of people using crack cocaine in
the US is the people of color especially the blacks while powder cocaine is mostly used by
Hispanics. Therefore, the difference in sentencing has more to do with societal discrimination
rather than the claim that crack cocaine is more harmful.
8. List 2 medical purposes of stimulants.
Treatment of ADHD.
Treatment of depression.
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