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Departament of Pharmacology Ribeirão Preto Medical School

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Pharmacology, in its broadest sense, is the science that studies drugs (from the Greek, pharmakos, drug, and logos, study) and has a long history. In antiquity diseases were usually regarded as demonic possessions or resulting from the wrath of the gods. Therefore, the use of natural products was usually accompanied by religious rituals.

The best knowledge about the origin of diseases began in the nineteenth century after the development of organic chemistry and drug isolation. Moreover, the increase in the understanding of therapeutic preparations and applications of medicinal compounds has resulted in the evolution of the ancient Medical Matter discipline to what is nowadays considered modern Pharmacology. It is also worth remembering that although Pharmacology has as main purpose the study of the effects of drugs and their mechanisms of action, it also contributes greatly to the knowledge of the normal functioning of living beings.