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Applying clinical pharmacology in practice

  • Michael D. Apley College of Veterinary Medicine, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506
Keywords: clinical pharmacology, drug effect, clinical efficacy


The term “clinical pharmacology” strikes fear in the hearts of many a veterinary graduate, bringing back memories of Socratic questioning in rounds as to the pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic interactions leading to a desired drug effect. These were concepts and facts that must have been known only to the reader of an ancient scroll, hand-written in the fading ink of a long-dead language. But take heart! The happy little secret is that all the PK/PD interactions, mechanisms of action, and physiologic reasoning are valuable only if they help to lead us to the promised land of clinical efficacy. As clinical veterinarians, that is what we care about. It turns out that you are the best qualified person to take clinical efficacy data and decide if it applies to your clinical situation. All it takes is a system to evaluate the quality of clinical evidence, an understanding of the concepts involved in a little thing called Number Needed to Treat, and some introspective thinking about our own biases.

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