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Syllabus of Unit 3 :-

Autacoids and related drugs
  1. Introduction to autacoids and classification
  2. Histamine, 5-HT and their antagonists
  3. Prostaglandins, Thromboxanes and Leukotrienes
  4. Angiotensin, Bradykinin and Substance P
  5. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents
  6. Anti-gout drugs g. Antirheumatic drugs

1. Autacoids

Autacoids or "autocoids" are biological factors (molecules) which act like local hormones, have a quick duration, and act near their site of synthesis.[1] The word autacoid comes from the Greek words "autos" (self) and "acos" (relief; i.e., drug). the results of autacoids are primarily local, though large quantities may be produced and moved into circulation.[citation needed] Autacoids may thus have systemic effects by being transported via the circulation. These regulating molecules also are metabolized locally. In sum, these compounds typically are produced locally,[citation needed] act locally and are metabolized locally. Autacoids can have a range of various biological actions, including modulating the activities of smooth muscles, glands, nerves, platelets and other tissues.

Some autacoids are chiefly characterized by the effect they need on specific tissues, like smooth muscle. With regard to vascular smooth muscle, there exist both vasoconstrictor and vasodilator autacoids. Vasodilator autacoids are released during times of exercise. Their main effect is seen within the skin, where they facilitate heat loss.

These are local hormones; they therefore have a paracrine effect. Some notable autacoids are: eicosanoids, angiotensin, neurotensin, NO (nitric oxide), kinins, histamine, serotonin, endothelins and palmitoylethanolamide.

2. Histamine

Histamine - a chemical found in a number of the body's cells - causes many of the symptoms of allergies, like a runny nose or sneezing. When someone is allergic to a specific substance, like a food or dust, the system mistakenly believes that this usually harmless substance is really harmful to the body. In a trial to shield the body, the system starts a sequence reaction that prompts a number of the body's cells to release histamine and other chemicals into the bloodstream. The histamine then acts on a personality's eyes, nose, throat, lungs, skin, or alimentary tract, causing allergy symptoms. You've probably heard of antihistamine medications - these help to fight symptoms caused by the discharge of histamine during an allergy.