Pharmacology notes

Apr 15th, 2015
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Arshad Introduction 17/1/02 2:43 PM Page 22INTRODUCTIONBASIC CONCEPTS AND HISTORY OF ALLERGYwhich was a good description ofhayfever. The classic experiments ofCharles Blackley, in his paper of 1873,provided undeniable proof that grasspollen was the cause of hayfever.BASIC CONCEPTS AND HISTORY OF ALLERGYInitial sensitizationsneezing and nasal congestion to extremeshortness of breath and wheezing.BASIC CONCEPTSWHAT IS ALLERGY?Allergy is a word that is as often misusedas it is used correctly. Many people willsay they are allergic to something whenthis is not strictly the case. In scientificterms, allergy is usually caused by proteins called allergens. These allergensenter the body through the airways, thegastrointestinal tract or the skin. Mostcommonly, allergy is due to proteins thatwe inhale such as pollens or faeces of thehouse-dust mite (Fig. 1). These aeroallergens cause diseases such as asthmaand allergic rhino-conjunctivitis. Foodsare also important allergens, particularlyin childhood, causing diseases such asatopic eczema. Other common sourcesof allergens are domestic animals,insects, moulds, medicines and industrialchemicals.Allergy is an inappropriate and harmfulimmune response to a normally harmlesssubstance.Pollens, for example, are quite harmlessunless you are allergic to them, in whichcase they can cause symptoms from mildSENSITIZATION AND SYMPTOMSFor an allergic reaction to occur, a personneeds to become sensit

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