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GCSE Biology B1 > Drugs > Flashcards

Flashcards in Drugs Deck (24):
1

What is a drug?

A chemical that affects the way the body works in some way, or the body's chemistry

2

When a new drug is devised, how do scientists make sure that they are safe for humans to use?

Laboratory trials, using cells, tissues and live animals
Clinical trials involving volunteers and patients

3

What are new drugs tested for?

Toxicity (whether or not they are harmful to humans), efficacy (effectiveness, how well/quickly they work) and dose (what amount/concentration is safest/works best)

4

Describe the process of a clinical trial

Very low doses are given at the start, and some are given a placebo. If found to be safe, further trials conclude what dose is best

5

What is a placebo?
What is the "placebo effect"?

A pill or other that appears to contain a certain drug, but actually just contains sugar
When somebody takes a placebo, thinking it is a drug, and they begin to exhibit symptoms/experience effects associated with that drugs, even though they didn't take it.

6

How and why are placebos used in clinical trials?
What is a double blind trial?

They are given to some patients without them knowing because it provides a control variable, i.e. whether the effects produced by the real drugs are actually a result of the placebo effect
Neither the doctors nor the patients know who receives what until the end of the trial

7

What are statins used for?

Lowering the risk of heart and circulatory diseases by inhibiting cholesterol production

8

What is thalidomide?

A drug, originally developed as a sleeping pill that was found to relieve morning sickness in pregnant women

9

What happened to many mothers who used thalidomide to relieve their morning sickness?
Why could this have happened?

Their babies were born with severe limb abnormalities
The drug was not tested for use in pregnant women

10

What has happened after thalidomide was found to have such adverse side-effects?

It was banned
Drug testing has become more rigorous
Recently used to treat leprosy and other diseases

11

What are the legal recreational drugs?

Alcohol and nicotine

12

Why are illegal recreational drugs such as ecstasy, (cannabis) and heroin dangerous?

They may have adverse effects on the heart and circulatory system

13

Why is cannabis thought to be dangerous enough to be illegal (in some countries)?

It contains chemicals which may possibly cause mental illness in some people

14

Comparison of the overall impact of legal drugs (prescribed and non-prescribed) and illegal drugs on health

Legal drugs have a much greater impact because a) many more people use them, and b) they often have medical benefits
Illegal drugs are often a lot more dangerous to use, however

15

What is addiction/dependence?
Three examples of very addictive drugs

When a drug changes the chemical processes in a body so that they may suffer withdrawal symptoms without using it regularly
Heroin, nicotine and cocaine

16

How might athletes use drugs to enhance their performance?
How are they stopped from using them?

Stimulants to boost bodily functions such as heart rate; or anabolic steroids to stimulate muscle growth
Many are illegal (such as anabolic steroids), some are legally available only by prescription, and all of them are totally banned by sporting regulations because it is unfair

17

What must medical drugs be tested for, before they can be given to patients?

Toxicity (whether it damages the body), efficacy (how well/quickly it works, it's effectiveness as a drug), and dose (what amount of the drug is safe/recommended)

18

What are the two steps of drug trials?

Laboratory trials, using cells, tissues and live animals
Clinical trials involving healthy volunteers and patients

19

Describe the process of a clinical trial

Very low doses of the drug are given to each volunteer/patient, and some people are given a placebo. If found to be safe, the drug is given in higher quantities/concentrations, in order to find the optimum dosage

20

What is a placebo, and why is it used?

A pill that appears to contain the drug in trial, that is used as a control variable, and also to make sure that the reported effects of the actual drugs are not just people feeling the effects because they think they ought to (psychosomatic). Neither the doctors nor the patients know who has the placebo until the end

21

What are statins used for?

Lowering the risk of heart and circulatory diseases (by slowing cholesterol production)

22

What is thalidomide?

A drug, originally developed as a sleeping pill, that helped to relieve morning sickness in pregnant women

23

What problems did women who took thalidomide to ease morning sickness encounter, and why was this allowed to happen?

Many of their babies were born with severe limb abnormalities
The drug had not been tested for use in pregnant women

24

What happened after thalidomide was found to be dangerous?

It was banned, and drug testing became more rigorous. It has recently been used to treat leprosy and other diseases