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Pharmaceutical Therapy  

When pharmaceutical drugs are used to treat or prevent disease, it is known as pharmaceutical therapy. 
Pharmaceutical therapy, also commonly referred to at pharmacotherapy or pharmacological therapy, refers to the treatment of disease through the application of medications (drugs). It can be used to treat or prevent development of a disease, as well as to alleviate the pain and symptoms of the particular condition. This kind of therapy requires the extensive knowledge and training of pharmacists and other experienced medical professionals to be properly administered.  

What Conditions Can Be Treated With Pharmaceutical Therapy? 

Thanks to advancements in medicine over the years, pharmaceutical therapy is now used to treat a wide variety of conditions and/or their symptoms. Some conditions commonly treated with prescribed medications include: 

  • Cold and flu infections 
  • Allergies 
  • Cancer 
  • HIV infection 
  • Diabetes 
  • Psychiatric illnesses 
  • Bronchitis and other pulmonary disorders 
  • Autoimmune diseases 
  • Gastrointestinal conditions 
  • Hypertension and heart disease 
  • Psoriasis and other skin conditions 

Pharmaceutical therapy can also be applied to treat pain or prevent the transmission of a patient’s condition to others. In addition, it is commonly used in combination therapy, which involves the use of pharmaceutical drugs as well as surgical or other medical treatments.  

Understanding the Risks and Side Effects 

The side effects of pharmaceutical therapy will depend on the specific drug that is prescribed, though some common examples of mild adverse effects can include: 

  • Headaches 
  • Drowsiness and fatigue 
  • Nausea and vomiting 
  • Rash or skin reactions 
  • Irregular heartbeat  
  • Diarrhea 
  • Weight loss or gain 

While not all medications will lead to noticeable side effects, it’s important to discuss possible complications and the potential for more severe side effects with your doctor before you begin pharmaceutical therapy. 

Effectiveness of Pharmaceutical Therapy 

Pharmacology is a constantly evolving discipline, leading to regular advancements in the effective treatment of many physical and mental illnesses. Because pharmaceutical therapy includes such a broad range of drugs used to treat and prevent of a vast variety of conditions, the effectiveness can range from curing the disease in question or simply alleviating pain and symptoms to having little to no effect at all. If pharmaceutical therapy is recommended by your doctor, they can discuss the effectiveness of the specific medication(s) with you and recommend potential combined therapies.  

The healthcare professionals at Tampa General Hospital are highly trained in treating many conditions with pharmaceutical therapy and can work to develop a personalized plan on a case-by-case basis.