From my understanding, (8) are almost the same as (5), cross referenced are two. I believe merging these two does no harm, and I would suggest to keep drugs as a synonym and use the more appropriate pharmaceuticals. I am uncertain how to treat drugs that are usually considered illegal substances, but I think If these are within the scope of this website, they can be treated as pharmaceuticals. An example for this kind of question is What chemical properties make LSD so psychoactive?

The other part I am more uncertain about. I understand, that (4) (and toxicology) are closely related to (17). I believe, that even in the long run, the scope for pharmacology is too close to medicinal-chemistry and that most of these questions will be tagged with both.
In line with organic, inorganic, physical, etc. -chemistry, I suggest keeping medicinal-chemistry and having pharmacology as a synonym. (In this I think it would be appropriate to create toxicology as a synonym too.)

Looking at the answers given so far, I see that there is consensus about the pharmaceuticals into drugs merger. (I guess we can do that now.)
About the second part there is the question still open, if pharmacology should be merged or deleted.
I personally would keep the tag as a synonym, to avoid having this discussion somewhen in the future again. I do however completely support Greg E.'s answer. I just take this stand out of convenience.

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    $\begingroup$ +1 for the merger of pharmaceuticals and drugs (although I'd probably merge drugs into the other, given the numbers and the negative connotations of "drugs") $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 20, 2014 at 19:31

3 Answers 3


has been merged into , with a synonym.


Having answered some of these questions myself, I'd like to share my opinion too.

I second Martins's suggestion to merge and into the first and use the latter as a synonym. Drugs is a well-established term that covers both prescribed medicaments and controlled substances for "recreational purposes".

As far as the interaction of drugs with living organsims is concerned, seems fully sufficient to cover various aspects, such as uses in folk medicine, metabolism, kinetics, etc. Consequently, should be merged into it.


I agree on your first proposal, but I'm less certain about the second one. It seems to me that is used for questions that can also be reasonably categorized under , , and in addition to . Hence, I'm skeptical of making it a synonym. That having been said, I'm also inclined to think that the tag is probably quite broad and doesn't really have any unique significance: that is, I can't think of a single type of question that's appropriate on Chem.SE (as opposed to, e.g., Biology.SE) and would belong under while not intersecting with one of those other aforementioned tags. In short, the semantic content and organizational utility of the tag 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.

  • $\begingroup$ Would you go as far as deleting pharmacology altogether then? $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 19, 2014 at 8:47
  • $\begingroup$ @Martin, I would be inclined to do that at this point, yes. I think questions that can be tagged with pharmacology but not one of those others I've mentioned, with equal validity and organizational value, probably don't belong on the site at all. $\endgroup$
    – Greg E.
    Commented Aug 19, 2014 at 8:51
  • $\begingroup$ @Martin, that said, I'd be very happy to hear an argument for retaining the tag, or a counterexample of a unique legitimate use. I think it's highly possible that I'm just suffering from a lack of imagination or knowledge, since I can't think of any such plausible arguments/counterexamples myself. $\endgroup$
    – Greg E.
    Commented Aug 19, 2014 at 8:55
  • $\begingroup$ I agree with you. As we had pharmacology/toxicology as a one semester course in university, I thought that this might still be a fit for this site. However, I was thinking, that medicinal-chemistry already covers the entirety of this subject. I would go for dismissal, too, but I could be convinced to keep the tag when I see counter opinions. $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 19, 2014 at 9:03
  • $\begingroup$ @Martin I'm going to let this play out a little bit before making a decision, but I think it's a good direction to go in in terms of tag consolidation. $\endgroup$
    – jonsca
    Commented Aug 21, 2014 at 1:24

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