Service of medical and clinical pharmacology, faculty of medicine, university hospital center, 31000 Toulouse, France; UMR 1027 pharmacoepidemiology, assessment of drug utilization and drug safety, Inserm, university Paul-Sabatier Toulouse III, 31000 Toulouse, France. Electronic address: [Email]
Pharmacology is often divided in separate branches, such as molecular and cellular pharmacology, pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, experimental and/or preclinical pharmacology, clinical pharmacology (and therapeutics), pharmacogenetics, pharmacogenomics, pharmacovigilance, pharmacoepidemiology, pharmacoeconomics… This enumeration gives a global picture of different scientific areas, which are however dealing with the same question. Another mindset should be a global interactive and continuous approach, which could be designed as "human pharmacology". An original and attractive way to illustrate this continuous approach is to combine pharmacodynamics and pharmacovigilance and/or pharmacoepidemiologic data. Coupling disproportionality analyses in pharmacovigilance databases or computerized health databases, with pharmacological characteristics of drugs (receptor affinity, for example) allows investigating in humans, the mechanism of adverse drug reactions. Examples of such analyses investigating the risk of movement disorders, diabetes related to psychoactive drugs, or the risk of adverse cardiac outcomes with different drugs (classical drugs or protein kinase inhibitors) are given. The increasing number of research works investigating this topic underlines the importance of this relatively new approach, which gives significant inputs for the better knowledge of drug safety.