Academy of Orthopaedic Physical Therapy

American Physical Therapy Association (APTA)

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28.43, Principles of Pharmacotherapeutics & Pharmacology for Pain


This monograph covers the principles of pharmacotherapeutics that includes pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics. Dr. Tinsley first describes various aspects of pharmacodynamics including the following: mechanism of action and drug effects, drug receptors, agonists versus antagonists, the relationship between drug concentration or dose and clinical responses, dose-response curves, and adverse drug reactions. In the second part of the monograph, Dr. Tinsley discusses general considerations of pharmacokinetics including absorption, distribution, metabolism, biotransformation, half-life, and elimination. In addition, pertinent clinical implications are reviewed for pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics. Dr. Tinsley applies each topic by presenting case studies to enforce reader knowledge. This monograph is a wonderful introduction for those participants who may not be familiar with pharmacotherapeutics and also can serve as a comprehensive review for those who have previous education on the topic.

Dr. Tinsley brings with her a wealth of knowledge in the area of Pharmacotherapeutics. Her expertise is unique and she has wonderful insight on the topic. This monograph provides readers with the basic knowledge required to understand the role pharmacology plays in patient care. The content sets the stage for understanding her media presentation in this series as well.


Melissa Bednarek, PT, DPT, PhD, CCS

Learning Objectives: Principles of Pharmacotherapeutics

Upon completion of this monograph, the course participant will be able to:

  1. Understand the general principles of pharmacology as they relate to clinical decision making in the physical therapy management of a patient.
  2. Be able to identify the important components of pharmacodynamic principles and how they may impact clinical outcomes in patients receiving physical therapy.
  3. Be able to identify the important components of pharmacotherapeutic principles as they relate to all populations and their impact on the physical therapy management of a patient.
Learning Objectives: Pharmacology for Pain

Upon completion of this monograph, the course participant will be able to:

  1. Review the primary pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic factors involved in drug therapy and understand important factors as they relate to classes of drugs used to control pain.
  2. Identify the general drugs classes, mechanisms of action, risk-benefit ratio, and implications on rehabilitative interventions for the pharmacological agents routinely prescribed for pain control.
  3. Through case studies identify the possible effects of drug therapy and various drug-drug interactions on the effectiveness of rehabilitative interventions and functional outcomes in the physical therapy client/patient.
Copyright Statement:

Materials in this course—unless otherwise indicated—are protected by the United States Copyright Law [Title 17, U.S. Code]. Materials are presented in educational context for personal use and study and should not be shared, distributed, or sold in print—or digitally—outside the scope of this course without AOPT permission. Copyright 2020, Academy of Orthopaedic Physical Therapy, APTA, Inc. All rights reserved.

Registrant Price (USD):
Online Only
Academy of Orthopaedic Physical Therapy Member $35
Non-Academy Member $50

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