Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Endocrinology, Toxicology & Drug testing

Clinical Chemistry 3 as a subject, it's main focus is on Endocrinology, Toxicology & Drug testing.

Endocrinology from it's root words "endocrine" and "logy", it means it is a branch of science that deals or studies endocrine glands and their secretions, particularly functions and processes and even disease that are involved.

Endocrine glands are unique from other glands in a way that they lack canals or tubes to introduce their secretions and so they are called "ductless glands"

There are about 9 endocrine glands:

  • Hypothalamus
  • Pituitary gland
  • Pineal gland
  • Thyroid gland
  • Parathyroid gland
  • Pancreas
  • Ovaries
  • Testicles

for further reading:

Toxicology is a branch of science that encompass harmful effects of chemicals on living things and antidotes that can negate harmful effects of toxins. 

Therapeutic drugs also have a toxic effect either by accumulation of the drug in the body or by overdose; while abused drugs like Amphetamines, cocaine, opiates, sedatives and etc have an addicting effect and toxic effect. 

Toxic agents have different nature from biological(eg. snake venom), chemical(eg. Cyanide) to physical(eg. radiation).

Toxins are substances or chemicals that are naturally derived and/or exposed. 

Toxicants are  man-made substances or chemicals that may be derived from natural resources.

Poisons are substances or chemicals that when introduced or absorbed by a living thing it instantly kills or produce harm even in small quantities.

Antidotes are medicine given to counteract the influence of poison or an attack of disease

Toxins, Toxicants, Poisons differentiation according to specific effect:
  • Teratogenic substances can cause deleterious effect and/or child malformation on a developing baby.
  • Carcinogenic substances can cause abnormal clonal uncontrolled proliferation of genetically altered cells.
  • Mutagenic substances can induce genetic alteration.
for further reading:

Drug Testing is an chemical test to identify and quantify legal or illegal drugs taken by a person. 

Specimens collected for drug testing can be blood, saliva, fingernail scrapping, hair and commonly on urine.

Drug tests can include all prescription drugs as well as illegal drugs and alcohol. Some of the most commonly tested for chemicals include:
  • Cocaine
  • Amphetamines
  • Alcohol 
  • Morphine
  • Phencyclidine (PCP) 
  • Heroin
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Hydromorphone
  • Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)
  • Propoxyphene
  • Methadone
  • Codeine
  • Barbiturates
  • Antidepressants
Now a days drug testing is commonly done before employment and even check up of employees. An issue that is still on debate, that children are required to take up drug tests before enrollment.  

for further reading:

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