Biology 1.3 – The Use and Abuse of Drugs
| Learning Focus, Outcomes and ideas
| Syllabus content (Summary)
| Activities (Including HWS focus)
| SEAL / PLTS ETC/Extension
| FFL: New Drugs Outcomes: All pupils should be able to define the term ‘drug’ and give examples of medical drugs.Most pupils should be able to explain why drugs need to be tested before they can be prescribed. Describe the uses and problems associated with thalidomide.Some pupils will be able to explain how the drug testing procedure for thalidomide was inappropriate and describe the main steps in testing a new drug.Explain the terms placebo and double-blind trial.Ideas:Testing of new drugs and clinical trials. Thalidomide.Misconceptions:
| Scientists are continually developing new drugs.When new medical drugs are devised, they have to be extensively tested and trialled before being used.Drugs are tested in a series of stages to find out if they are safe and effective.New drugs are extensively tested for toxicity, efficacy and dose:■ in the laboratory, using cells, tissues and live animals■ in clinical trials involving healthy volunteers and patients. Very low doses of the drug are given at the start of the clinical trial. If the drug is found to be safe, further clinical trials are carried out to find the optimum dose for the drug. In some double blind trials, some patients are given a placebo, which does not contain the drug. Neither the doctors nor the patients know who has received a placebo and who has received the drug until the trial is complete.Thalidomide is a drug that was developed as a sleeping pill. It was also found to be effective in relieving morning sickness in pregnant women.Thalidomide had not been tested for use in pregnant women. Unfortunately, many babies born to mothers who took the drug were born with severe limb abnormalities. The drug was then banned. As a result, drug testing has become much more rigorous. More recently, thalidomide...
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