Almost all individuals within a clinical caseload will be taking prescribed and/or non-prescribed medication, the aim being to bring about physiological change at a cellular level and improve function.
However, all drugs have the potential to bring about change that is not beneficial, the so-called side-effects, and it is by having an understanding of how drugs bring about change at the cellular level that the practitioner can understand how both the positive and negative effects are brought about.
This is also important for those practitioners who hold a qualification to prescribe drugs, whether as a POM certificate, or a Supplementary or Independent prescriber. Where there is the possibility of polypharmacy, it is essential to have a good understanding of potential interactions so that negative events can be avoided.
Briefly, course content includes:
- Pharmacodynamics & pharmacokinetics (what the drug does to the body, what the body does to the drug
- Factors that affect drug action
- Commonly-encountered drug groups (e.g. diabetes, hypertension, anticoagulation, anti-microbials, NSAIDS/corticosteroids
- Local analgesic agents
- Non-medical prescribing