Fundamentals of Pharmacology is primarily a text for undergraduate and postgraduate students in the health science disciplines, particularly those in nursing. It is designed to establish a foundational knowledge of pharmacology - the study of drug and medication actions and interactions. Students of other health disciplines whose roles involve pharmacological therapy (such as pharmacy, podiatry, optometry, paramedic and physiotherapy), as well as those studying basic science, should find much of the material relevant to their studies. Qualified health professionals may also find this textbook useful as a part of their continuing professional education and postgraduate studies. Philosophically, our goal is to empower health professionals through an understanding of the fundamental scientific principles of pharmacology that inform clinical practice. To promote understanding, we believe that the effects of medicines on physiological and pathophysiological processes have to be clearly explained. We have included a small amount of chemistry and biochemistry where appropriate to facilitate this understanding. With a greater appreciation of the action of medicines and their target tissues, the reader should be able to deduce what therapeutic and adverse effects to expect, as well as the precautions and contraindications to consider. We have sought to balance the pharmacology content with considerations associated with clinical practice in the most readable way. Where possible, we have tended to describe the important characteristics of medicine groupings rather than focus on individual agents. We have used prototypes and common generics as examples. The rationale for this approach is that new medicines are regularly entering the market while older agents are removed. The average practitioner cannot possibly keep up with all these changes. However, if a student knows which grouping a new agent belongs to, the principal characteristics of the medicine can be easily deduced.