Use and abuse of drugs Part 1 - Biology - GCSE

Use and abuse of drugs Part 1 - Biology - GCSE

Publicated on Nov 10, 2015 - Give your opinion

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During clinical trials, healthy volunteers are given very low doses of the drug. If this proves to be safe then further trials will be held to find the optimum dosage for the new drug. Some clinical trials include blind trials and double blind trials.

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Content of this document of Sciences > Biology

What is a drug?

The body cannot work properly without the drug. Due to this, if the person does not take the drug they may suffer withdrawal symptoms.

How are medical drugs made, tested and trialled?

Blind Trials – the volunteers do not know if they are in the experimental drug group or the control group (with the placebo), but researchers do. This can sometimes be a problem because researchers may give away clues to which group the volunteer is in. this is called ‘observer bias’ and can affect the results.


Whilst pregnant women were being prescribed this drug, it became very obvious that Thalidomide was having effects on the growing foetus. The drug caused arm and leg disfigurement in foetuses, babies were being born with either very short or incomplete limbs. More than 10,000 babies were affected around the world. Thalidomide was then banned.


There is some controversy about whether statins have too many side effects to be an effective drug, and whether a healthy diet with exercise would actually be more effective.

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