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Pharmacy. Michael Lavoie 6/18/12 Middlesex Community College Veterinary Assistant Program. Types of Drugs. Chemical Name Provides scientific and technical information Is a precise description of the substance Geriatric (nonproprietary) name: Official identifying name of the drug

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Michael Lavoie

6/18/12Middlesex Community College

Veterinary Assistant Program

Types of drugs

Types of Drugs

  • Chemical Name

    • Provides scientific and technical information

    • Is a precise description of the substance

  • Geriatric (nonproprietary) name:

    • Official identifying name of the drug

    • Describes the active drug (i.e. famotidine)

    • Written using lowercase letters

Types of drugs1

Types of Drugs

  • Brand (trade, proprietary) name:

    • Establishes legal proprietary recognition for the corporation that developed the drug

    • Is registered with the U.S. patent office and is used only by the company that has registered the drugs

    • Is written in capital letters or begins with a capital letter and has a superscript R by its name

      • Example: Pepcid AC

Sources of drug information

Sources of Drug Information

  • Package insert

    • Provided with drugs to reach regulatory requirements

      • Registered trade name, generic name, controlled substance notation if warranted

      • Description or composition statement

      • Clinical pharmacology, actions or mode of action

      • Contradictions

      • Warnings

      • Adverse reactions or side effects

      • Overdosage information

      • Dosage administration

      • Storage

      • How supplied

Sources of drug information1

Sources of Drug Information

  • Drug References

    • Bound book of information on package inserts

      • Physician’s Desk Reference (PDR): human approved drugs

      • Veterinary Pharmaceuticals and Biologicals (VPB)

      • Compendium of Veterinary Products (CVP)

Expiration dates

Expiration Dates

  • Expiration dates is the date before which a drug meets all specifications and which the drug can no longer be used

  • Expiration dates are assigned based on the stability of or experience with the drug

  • Expiration dates with drugs that are mixed at the clinic may vary depending on the reconstitution and refrigeration status of the drug

Drugs used in the veterinary clinic

Drugs used in the Veterinary Clinic

  • Veterinary drugs are those approved only for use in animals

  • Human drugs are approved by the FDA and guidelines for their use in food-producing animals is provided in the Compliance Policy Guide

  • A veterinary/client/patient relationship must be established before any medication is prescribed for an animal

System of measurement in the veterinary field

System of Measurement in the Veterinary Field

  • House hold system: Lacks stardardization; not accurate for measuring medicine.

  • Metric system: developed in the 18th century to standardize measurement for European countries

    • Prefixes denote increases or decreases in size of unit

  • Apothecary system: system of liquid units of measure used chiefly by pharmacists

Metric system

Metric System

  • Units are based on factors of 10

  • Base units are meter (length), liter (volume), and grams (weight)

  • Prefixes commonly used:

    • Micro= one millionth of a unit= 0.000001

    • Milli-= one thousandth of a unit= 0.001

    • Centi-= one hundredth of unit= 0.01

    • Kilo-= one thousand units= 1,000



  • Move decimal point appropriate direction based on units

  • Examples:

    • -kg to g= move decimal point 3 places to the right

    • - g to kg= move decimal point 3 places to the left

    • l to ml= move decimal point 3 places to the right

    • ml to l= move decimal point 3 places to the left



  • When converting from larger units to smaller units the quantity gets larger

  • When converting from smaller units to larger units the quantity gets smaller

Temperature conversions

Temperature Conversions

  • In the Fahrenheit system, water freezes at 32 degrees: water boils at 212 degrees

  • In the Celsius system, water freezes at 0 degrees; and water boils at 100 degrees

  • Comparison

    • C= F - 32/1.8

    • F=1.8C + 32

Dose calculations

Dose Calculations

  • Must know the correct amount of drug to administer to a patient

  • Must be in a system of measurement

  • Weight conversion factor: 2.2 lbs = 1 kg

  • Remember that drugs can be measured in mcg, mg, g, ml, l, units

  • Remember that drugs can be dispensed or administered in tablets, ml, l and capsules.

Skin anatomy and physiology

Skin anatomy and physiology

  • The skin is made up of three layers:

    • Epidermis: (the most superficial layer that contains cells but not blood vessels

    • Dermis: middle layer that is composed of blood and lymph tissues, nerve tissues, and accessory organs of skin such as glands and hair follicles

    • Subcutaneous: deepest layer that is composed of connective tissue

Drugs used for treating skin disorders

Drugs Used for Treating Skin Disorders

  • Topical treatments consist of agents applied to the surface; they affect the area in which they are applied

  • Systematic treatments consist of drugs that are given systematically that affect many areas of the body

Drugs used in treating pruritus

Drugs Used in Treating Pruritus

  • Topical antipruritics provide moderate relief of itching (may be used with systemic medication)

    • Topical nonsteroidal antipruritics

      • Local anesthetics such as lidocaine, tetracaine, benzocaine, and pramoxine

    • Soothing agents

      • Oatmeal has soothing and anti-inflammatory effects

    • Antihistamines

      • Products containing diphenhydramine calm pain and itching due to allergic reactions and sensitive skin

    • Topical corticosteroids

      • Variety of products such as hydrocortisone

Drugs used in treating seborrhea

Drugs Used in Treating Seborrhea

  • Seborrhea is characterized by abnormal flaking or scaling of the epidermis and may be accompanied by increased oil production (seborrhea oleasa) or not (seborrhea sicca)

  • Keratolytics are an important group of antiseborrheics

    • Keratolytics remove excess keratin and promote loosening of the outer layers of the epidermis

    • Keratolytics break down the protein structure of the keratin layer, permitting easier removal of this material

Other agents used to treat skin disorders

Other Agents Used toTreat Skin Disorders

  • Astringents are agents that constrict tissues

  • Antiseptics are substances that kill or inhibit the growth of microbes on living tissue

  • Soaks and dressings are substances applied to areas to draw out fluid or relieve itching

Ophthalmic drugs

Ophthalmic Drugs

  • Things to consider when using topical ophthalmic drugs

    • They must be absorbed into the anterior chamber

    • They may be administered at different frequencies depending on whether they are in ointment or solution form

    • They must be relatively easy to administer so that client compliance occurs

Otic medications

Otic Medications

  • Many drug combinations are used in veterinary medicine to treat ear disease, including:

    • Antibiotics

    • Antiparasitics

    • Antifungals

    • Corticosteroids (in combination with anti-infectives)

    • Otic drying agents

    • Otic cleansing agents

    • Otic dewaxing agents

Inflammatory drugs

Inflammatory drugs

  • Inflammation is a useful and normal process that consists of a series of events, including vascular changes and release of chemicals that help destroy harmful agents at the injury site and repair damaged tissue

    • Vasodilation increases permeability of blood vessels in the early phase

    • Accumulation of leukocytes, reduced blood flow, chemical release (histamine, prostaglandin, and bradykinin) and tissue damage in cellular phase

  • Severe inflammation must be reduced to avoid additional damage to the body



  • An antimicrobial is a chemical substance that has the capacity, in diluted solutions, to kill (biocidal activity) or inhibit the growth (biostatic activity) of microbes

  • The goal of antimicrobial treatment is to render the microbe helpless (either by killing them or inhibiting their replication) and not to hurt the animal being treated

  • Antimicrobials can be classified as:

    • Antibiotics

    • Antifungals

    • Antivirals

    • Antiprotozoals

    • Antiparasitics



  • Antibiotics work only on bacteria and are described by their spectrum of action (range of bacteria for which the agent is effective)

    • Narrow-spectrum antibiotics work only on either gram-positive or gram-negative bacteria (not both)

    • Broad-spectrum antibiotics work on both gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria (but not necessarily all)

  • Antibiotics can be classified as bactericidal or bacteriostatic

    • Bactericidals kill the bacteria

    • Bacteriostatics inhibit the growth or replication of bacteria

Considerations when using antibiotics

Considerations When Using Antibiotics

  • Antibiotic resistance

    • Means that the bacteria survive and continue to multiply after administration of the antibiotic

    • Occurs when bacteria change in some way that reduces or eliminates the effectiveness of the agent used to cure or prevent the infection

    • Can develop through bacterial mutation, bacteria acquiring genes that code for resistance, or other means

Behavior modification drugs

Behavior Modification Drugs

  • The use of drugs to treat problem behaviors is only a small part of treating animal behavior problems

    • Must correctly diagnose the condition, examine the social conditions, and alter external stimuli

  • Potential side effects of long-term use

    • Liver, kidney, and cardiovascular problems

  • Used extra-label

    • Must have veterinarian/client/patient relationship

Classes of behavior modifying drugs

Classes of Behavior-Modifying Drugs

  • Anti-anxiety drugs: Attempt to decrease anxiety

    • Examples include diphenhydramine and hydroxzine

  • Antidepressants: are used to treat various mood changing disorders (such as aggression), and cognitive dysfunction in animals

    • Prozac, etc.

  • Hormones: Progestrins and estrogens have calming effects due to their suppression of male-like behaviors

Herbal medicines

Herbal Medicines

  • Alternative medicine refers to treatments or therapies that are outside accepted conventional medicine

  • Complementary medicine refers to the use of alternative therapies with or in addition to conventional treatment

Types of alternative and complementary medicine

Types of Alternative and Complementary Medicine

  • Veterinary acupuncture and acutherapy

    • Examination and stimulation of body points by use of acupuncture needles, injections, and other techniques for the diagnosis and treatment of conditions

  • Veterinary chiropractic

    • Examination, diagnosis, and treatment of animals through manipulation and adjustments

  • Veterinary physical therapy

    • Use of noninvasive techniques for rehabilitation

  • Veterinary homeopathy

    • Treatment by administration of substances that are capable of producing clinical signs in healthy animals

Types of alternative and complementary medicine1

Types of Alternative and Complementary Medicine

  • Veterinary botanical medicine

    • Uses plants and plant derivatives as therapeutic agents

  • Nutraceutical medicine

    • Uses micronutrients, macronutrients, and other nutritional supplements as therapeutic agents

  • Holistic veterinary medicine

    • Comprehensive approach to health care using both alternative and conventional diagnostic techniques and therapeutic approaches

General guidelines for herbs

General Guidelines for Herbs

  • Ask all clients whether they give herbs or other supplements to their animals

  • Inform clients that herb-drug interactions exist

  • Encourage the use of standardized products from respected manufacturers

  • Use herbal therapies in recommended doses

  • Avoid herbs with known toxicities

  • Do not use herbs in pregnant or nursing animals, the very young, or the very old

  • Accurate diagnosis of the animal’s condition is essential to evaluate all therapeutic options

  • Document all herb or supplement use in the animal’s medical record

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