Psychopharmacologic Agents Paper 

Psychopharmacologic Agents Paper 

Psychopharmacologic Agents Paper

Agonists are agents that share a similar effect to that of endogenous receptor activators. On the other hand, the binding of an antagonist to a receptor prevents receptor activation since it has receptor affinity but lacks intrinsic activity (Currie, 2018). Partial agonists designate substances that have a spectrum of agonistic action at a receptor without eliciting complete response of a true agonist. Meanwhile, inverse agonists produce an opposite pharmacological effect through suppression of spontaneous receptor signaling despite binding to the agonist binding site on the receptor(Berg & Clarke, 2018). Consequently, partial agonists and inverse agonists diminish the efficacy of psychopharmacologic agents.

Compare and Contrast the Actions of G-Coupled Proteins and Ion Gated Channels

G-protein coupled receptors are complex membrane receptors that utilize three elements for their function including the receptor, the G-protein, and the effector molecule. The binding of a ligand induces a conformational change to the receptor that activates a G-protein which inturn activates an effector molecule that leads to the synthesis of second messengers and activation of diverse signaling pathways within the cell(Peletier & Gabrielsson, 2018). Ion gated channels encompass ligand-gated, voltage-gated, and mechanically gated ion channels that open or close in response to respective stimuli (Peletier & Gabrielsson, 2018). Their opening causes alteration of membrane potential and signal transduction.

Epigenetics and Pharmacologic Action

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Epigenetics is widely used to establish DNA modifications that are implicated in diseases. This concept is critical and provides a learning experience as well as an opportunity for the development of new pharmacologic agents. Similarly, the pharmacological effects of various drug substances vary based on epigenetic-induced cellular alterations.


Impact of the Information on Prescription

The knowledge of the drug-receptor interactions as well as epigenetics is essential to advanced nurses during the prescription of psychopharmacologic agents. For instance, epigenetics is widely known to play a key role in the development of neurodegenerative diseases such as dementia (Toth, 2021). It has also been discovered that epigenetics increases the adverse effects and alters the efficacy of antipsychotic agents used to treat the behavioral and psychological effects of patients with dementia (Toth, 2021). Finally, drug-receptor interaction enables the nurses to understand the mechanism of action of drugs as well as the indications of the drugs.


Berg, K. A., & Clarke, W. P. (2018). Making sense of pharmacology: Inverse agonism and functional selectivity. The International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology21(10), 962–977.

Currie, G. M. (2018). Pharmacology part 1: Introduction to pharmacology and pharmacodynamics. Journal of Nuclear Medicine Technology46(2), 81–86.

Peletier, L. A., & Gabrielsson, J. (2018). New equilibrium models of drug-receptor interactions derived from target-mediated drug disposition. The AAPS Journal20(4), 69.

Toth, M. (2021). Epigenetic neuropharmacology: Drugs affecting the epigenome in the brain. Annual Review of Pharmacology and Toxicology61(1), 181–201.


 Explain the agonist-to-antagonist spectrum of action of psychopharmacologic agents, including how partial and inverse agonist functionality may impact the efficacy of psychopharmacologic treatments.

Compare and contrast the actions of g couple proteins and ion gated channels.

Explain how the role of epigenetics may contribute to pharmacologic action.

Explain how this information may impact the way you prescribe medications to patients. Include a specific example of a situation or case with a patient in which the psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner must be aware of the medication’s action.

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