Recently toxicology has been created, which prompted this question. Originally I wanted to suggest renaming phamacology into phamacology-toxicology as the lines are especially blurry (in terms of chemistry).
Definition of pharmacology (from Merriam-Webster)
- the science of drugs including their origin, composition, pharmacokinetics, therapeutic use, and toxicology
- the properties and reactions of drugs especially with relation to their therapeutic value
Definition of toxicology (from Merriam-Webster)
- a science that deals with poisons and their effect and with the problems involved (such as clinical, industrial, or legal problems)
From the definition I understand, that toxicology is actually a part of pharmacology. Therefore (as the least intrusive action) I would propose merging the tags (or retagging) and create the synonym.
About three years ago, I asked a similar question:
Merging 'drugs', 'pharmaceuticals', 'pharmacology', 'medicinal-chemistry'
At the time we decided to only merge drugs (main) with pharmaceuticals (synonym), but left out pharmacology and medicinal chemistry to revisit later.
As our site has matured quite a bit (we graduated in the meantime) I'd like to revisit this question. I am not en expert on the field and hence I am not sure what to do. Two options were presented at the time:
As far as the interaction of drugs with living organsims is concerned, medicinal-chemistry seems fully sufficient to cover various aspects, such as uses in folk medicine, metabolism, kinetics, etc. Consequently, pharmacology should be merged into it.
In short, the semantic content and organizational utility of the tag [ref: pharmacology] in the context of this site is questionable, I think, but I'm also not sure that it exclusively overlaps strongly enough with any single other tag to make it a synonym.
To add another definition:
Definition of medicinal chemistry (Segen's Medical Dictionary. Retrieved from the free dictionary.)
The discipline involved in discovering and developing new chemical compounds into useful medicines; the analysis, development, preparation, and manufacture of drugs.
Medicinal chemistry begins after biologically validated targets have been screened against a diverse library of compounds and promising initial chemical structures (known as hits) have been identified; the hits are then optimised to improve their therapeutic index—potency vs. toxicity.
Definition of Medicinal chemistry (from nature.com)
Medicinal chemistry deals with the design, optimization and development of chemical compounds for use as drugs. It is inherently a multidisciplinary topic — beginning with the synthesis of potential drugs followed by studies investigating their interactions with biological targets to understand the medicinal effects of the drug, its metabolism and side-effects.
Definition of Pharmacology (from nature.com) Pharmacology is a branch of biomedical science, encompassing clinical pharmacology, that is concerned with the effects of drugs/pharmaceuticals and other xenobiotics on living systems, as well as their development and chemical properties.
Definition of Toxicology (from nature.com)
Toxicology is the scientific discipline concerned with the detection, evaluation and prevention of the toxic effects of substances that humans are exposed to. It has a key role in the development of new drugs, which are evaluated for potential toxic effects in preclinical studies, clinical trials and post-marketing studies with the aim of ensuring that their benefits outweigh their risks.
Pharmacology has now gathered 33 questions, medicinal-chemistry is clocking in on 62. Currently only 3 questions are overlapping. I didn't have time to go through all of them, but those I have read (about 20 score>3 questions) could (from my point of view) be reasonably tagged with either of the tags (if they were correctly tagged in the first place).
Given the above definitions and current uses, I suggest again:
Merge pharmacology and toxicology into medicinal-chemistry, keeping synonyms alive.
Editorial Notice: As of 27th of November 2017 the proposal is declined.