Essay, 2010

6 Pages



1. Introduction

2. Terminology (Key words)

3. Drug Administration & Absorption (Route)

4. Brief Discussion of Drug Groups, Actions and Effects
- Respiratory System [Mucolytics, Antitussive, Stimulants and Asthma drugs]
- Drugs in Rheumatic diseases
- Drugs in Cancer (Chemo)
- Drugs in Pain Relief (Analgesics)

5. Synopsis

6. Bibliography


Per definition Physical Therapy is referred to, as a health discipline that deals with habilitation and rehabilitation of dysfunctions resulting from injuries, surgical or diseases.

Physical Therapy utilizes: Physical means such as therapeutic exercises, water (hydrotherapy), Ice (Criotherapy), Heat (Thermotherapy), and Electrotherapy (Ultrasound, Short-Wave Diathermy, TENS & Interferential) for pain relief and functional restoration to patients or clients.

Physical Therapy is at times referred as ‘Physical Medicine’ as opposed to Drug and Surgical interventions. Drugs or Medicationsper sefall outside the footprint of physical therapy.

However, it will not be correct to say, that the field of physical therapy stands 100% only on the physical means platform for interventions.

At certain extent, pharmaceutical agents are commonly encountered in the physical therapy practice.

Therefore, this assignment serves the purpose of shading light about these drugs that are commonly encountered in the practice of physical therapy and complementing it, their actions and effects, and the grouping of them.

2. TERMINOLOGY (Keywords):

Drug:broadly can be defined as any chemical agent that affects processes of living.

Pharmacology:is when the effects of drugs or rather chemical agent over the living is studied in relation to prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases.

Therapeutics:Simply means application of Pharmacology in clinical practice


For a drug to perform its intended therapeutic tasks, it must at first place Administered and Absorbed.

From there is carried or transported to the tissues where it is desired to act, but one should note a drug taken orally (mouth) to the gastro-intestine has to go via the liver (at times referred to as ‘body laboratory’) and from there then only to the tissues. These drugs can be in the form of Solution, or Solid (tablets & capsules) or in Suspension.

As I have just mentioned in the above paragraph, most of these drugs that are absorbed from the gastro-intestine tract, (given as solid, suspension or solution), their rate of absorption depends to a big extent on the nature of the drug itself.

A drug that is in a liquid state will absorb relatively faster than tablets or capsule.

Tablets and Capsules are intended for a slow absorption. It takes relatively a longer period for a tablet which it’s hard in form or a capsule that has relatively hard protection cover to disintegrate or rather dissolved in the gastro-intestinal tract; hence therefore the desired slow absorption in this way is acquired.

Another route from where a drug can be absorbed is from the Buccal-Cavity. Via this route the absorption of the drug is very rapid.

To be more exactly, here the sub-lingual (under-the-tongue) advantage is utilized to drugs (tablets) that quickly dissolve beneath the tongue the case in point here is a drug that goes by a generic name;glyceryl trinitratethat is widely prescribed for a fast relief of angina pain.

Another route that drugs can be absorbed is from therectum,drugs that are prescribed by this way are calledsuppositories.

4. Drugs can be absorbed through the lungs. The example here is drugs prescribed to be taken by inhalation such as a bronchodilator salbutamol .

Last but not the least; drugs can be absorbed byinjection.This has been a route of choice for years. When compared to the previous routes are relatively expensive especially when one considers the cost of the syringe, pump and medication.

However, has an advantage of action rapidity, precision to intended site and avoid chances of being altered by gastric acids or functions of the liver.


Pharmaceuticals agents that physical therapists commonly encounter in the practice can be divided into five (5) folds namely;Respiratory, Rheumatic, Epileptic, Cancer and Analgesicsdiseases treatment drugs.



These chemical agents or rather drugs if you like are very useful to a physical therapist especially when executing chest or pulmonary physical therapy.

The aim of chest physio is to facilitatesputumor unwanted secretions from the lungs resulting from hypo dynamism. This secretion if left not attended they can lead to pulmonary complications such as hypo-static pneumonia, atelectasis and poor circulation of oxygen in the lungs and consequently in the entire body.

The action of these drugs or medication breaks down sputum proteins and by so doing reduce the viscosity of sputum and it becomes much easier to expel the secretions by techniques like percussion, vibration or postural drainage.

These drugs can range from menthol a traditional agent to compound drug such as benzoin tincture in hot water.


Antitussives can be in two (2) folds, there are those that suppresses cough and those and those that increase expectoration rate. They are both helpful to a therapist and the patient. Expectoration is an act intended by the physical therapist and is beneficial to the patient. On the other end the suppressants give a relief to the patient as we are aware that productive coughing can be quit painful.

Respiratory Stimulants:

These are drugs that they are intended to act on centers of brain that a responsible for respiratory and their action increase the depth & rate of respiration. This has a positive effect in conditions such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases (COPD) and its symptoms (dyspnea, fatigue, wheezing, and loss of control and lung infections) that significantly impact the quality of life and the ability to perform basic daily tasks.

Asthma Drugs:

These drugs are used to reduce bronchospasm and production of secretions from the bronchial which is a wish of any physical therapist, and positive results to a patient.


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My sincere thanks to the Academic De apartment of AIU and my Academic Advisor Dr. L.G. .
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Marine Kimaro (Author), 2010, Pharmacotherapeutics, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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