Dr. Chemda Chayen
Pharmacological Consultation and Personalized Medical Regimens
Clinical pharmacology is the science of using medicine, including medicinal research and the medical practices of prescribing and combining medicines. The specialty and importance of clinical pharmacology is that it enables the personal customization of the medical treatments to the individual patient.
The pharmacological consultation starts with learning the patient. Every patient is different, and just because one patient might have the same disease as another patient does not mean that automatically he or she must receive the same medicinal treatment. There are many criteria that influence the absorption of active ingredients in the body and the body’s reaction to them. That is why the most important step in giving pharmacological advice is understanding the patient’s condition, and that is what eventually paves the way for prescribing an individually catered medicinal regimen.
Understanding the patient’s background includes, among other things, gender, age, medical history, and current state. Does the patient suffer from any chronic illnesses? Is the patient allergic or sensitive to anything? Following a general and particular survey of the patient, the next step is the current medicinal treatment – what is the patient currently taking?
The expertise of clinical pharmacology is exemplified in the deep understanding of various medications, their effects, consequences, and interactions. It should be stressed that this is absolutely a medical expertise that is acquired through intense study (a doctorate in clinical pharmacology) and is fundamentally different from the basic, standard studies of a family doctor or any other medical professional. Furthermore, in many instances, despite doctors’ good intentions and best efforts to learn the patient and fit them with the best treatment, within the overworked public healthcare system and limited time slots most doctors simply do not have the time or resources to properly deal with developing a proper medicinal regimen. Under the current work environment, most doctors choose to really on the most broad, standard guidelines for treatment, and do not spend time considering the individual circumstances of each patient and their unique situation.
Within the framework of the pharmacological consultation and in cooperation with the family doctor, the medicinal treatment regimen is analyzed. Even at this early stage, through understanding the condition of the patient and the current medicines, it is possible to diagnose if the current medicinal regimen is the best treatment for the patient or not.
Some patients come to pharmacological consultation because they are experiencing adverse side effects caused by the combination of various medications or by sensitivities to specific ingredients in individual medicines. However, even without the onset of any negative side effects, it is still important to ensure that the treatment is suited for the individual patient. Furthermore, it’s important to receive pharmacological consulting just in case the regimen, even if it is not causing any negative side effects, it may not be the optimal combination of medications or may not be the best treatment for the specific patient. Sometimes, the ramifications of the medical treatment aren’t detectable within a short period of time, but in the long run can be damaging, at which point it’s too late.
This brings us to the most important part – the personal treatment regimen. The most advanced understanding within modern medicine is that the treatment needs to be tailored to the individual. Today, we have a deeper understanding of the complexity of each patient, so quite frankly, it’s impossible to treat all patients identically. All people are different and unique; all treatments regimens must be likewise unique from patient to patient. Thus the main focus of clinical pharmacology is the customized personal medicinal treatment regimen based on a fundamental understanding of the individual qualities of each patient coupled with a deep knowledge of the various medications and how to combine them.
Creating a personalized treatment regimen is the greatest way to ensure that the patient is receiving the best possible medications, that we avoid introducing elements to the body that can actually hinder the absorption of the important active ingredients in the other medicines, and that negative interactions that can cause damaging side effects are avoided. Additionally, sometimes entire medications can be avoided altogether, because their entire purpose within the regimen was only to treat symptoms that were caused by the improper mixing of multiple medications. This saves the patient pain, time, and money.