While pharmacy and pharmacology may sound similar, they actually point to careers that differ in terms of day-to-day work. As doubts about this subject are very common and frequent, we prepared this article to explain what is this difference between pharmacy and pharmacology. Keep reading to find out!

Pharmacy and Pharmacology are two directly related fields, however, they have some different aspects. These differences are in the professional’s specialization, their work environment, the profession’s routines, role permissions, among other details.

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Therefore, in order for you to choose one of the two professions, it is essential to know each of them in depth. By analysing its characteristics, it is easier to decide which one is more in line with your personal and professional goals, Pharmacy or Pharmacology.

To uncover the salient differences between pharmacy and pharmacology, let’s see what each of these professionals do.

What does a Pharmacy Professional do?

The professional who graduates from a Faculty of Pharmacy is called a “pharmacist”. Basically, they are drug specialists. They know in depth the different formulations that exist, the way they work in the body, the expected reactions and the problems or diseases they aim to treat.

The pharmacist is fully aware of which medication is most suitable in each case, the substances that cannot be associated and the way in which each drug is used.

This professional is also very familiar with contraindications, among other fundamental aspects for the drug to be beneficial and contribute to recovery or symptom relief.

All of this distinguishes a professional in the field of pharmacy from that in the field of pharmacology.

Areas of Expertise of Pharmacists

There are several options for those who choose Pharmacy as a course to study These professionals can, for example, act as entrepreneurs by opening their own drugstore, or be hired as pharmacists responsible for a particular establishment.

In addition, it is possible to work with the manipulation and production of medicines and cosmetics, as well as provide pharmaceutical assistance in health establishments such as clinics, hospitals and even laboratories.

The pharmacist is also able to carry out research, preparation and registration of new drugs, as well as cosmetics. All this further expands the market opportunities for this professional and is another major difference between pharmacy and pharmacology.

Thus, a strong advantage for opting for the pharmacy over pharmacology is the various job opening available for professionals.

You will be able to open your own business, manage pharmacies, develop formulas or provide assistance and consultancy to other healthcare professionals.

What does a Pharmacology professional do?

The pharmacist knows everything about the drugs and substances that are already on the market and has enough knowledge to recommend them. However, he can go further by specializing in Pharmacology.

Pharmacology is one of the areas of Pharmacy, being available as a specialization course for professionals in the field. The pharmacologist is the specialist who works in the study, research, analysis, creation and development of formulas and substances.

In other words, the pharmacologist works mainly with the scientific part behind Medicine. He goes deep into the study of substances and their effects on the body, checking both the benefits they provide and the risks they pose in relation to their toxicity and side effects.

Areas of Expertise of Pharmacologist

Knowledge in Pharmacology involves two areas directly related and fundamental for the study and development of new medications: pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics.

In the first case, the professional studies how substances affect cells through physiological, biological and molecular effects; pharmacokinetics, on the other hand, is dedicated to analysing how the body absorbs drugs and how they are released and excreted.

What careers are there for Pharmacologists?

The workplace of a pharmacologist is usually academic institutions, laboratories and research centres. They can also be hired by private foundations, industries or government organizations to research and develop new drugs, testing their efficacy and safety.

A pharmacologist can be dedicated to a certain area, such as Veterinary Pharmacology, Toxicology, Chemotherapy , among many others. Although the principle of work is the same, it is possible to follow a branch of greater affinity or according to personal and professional interests.

What are the differences between Pharmacy and Pharmacology?

  1. Some Master’s and Bachelor’s Degree courses may be very similar to others, and this is the case with Pharmacy and Pharmacology. They are two intertwined faculties, since to pursue a career as a pharmacologist you must have studied Pharmacy, or another similar field.
  2. Pharmacy and pharmacology are different professions because the pharmacologist is the specialist who studies, analyzes and develops new substances and medicines; while the pharmacist has an initial bachelor’s degree, with in-depth knowledge of all medications and substances available on the market, their indications and ways of actinar
  3. While one has extensive knowledge of the substances that serve as the basis for the drug and how they act in the body, the other is specialized in all drugs and formulas available on the market and the indications according to the person’s type of problem.
  4. Also the work environment is entirely different, while the pharmacist usually works in greater contact with the public, the pharmacologist performs his tasks in laboratories and research centres.
  5. With regard to the length of the course, the average duration of the Faculty of Pharmacy is five years, while specialization in pharmacology is completed in about 1 year.

Therefore, you can choose whether or not to take the postgraduate course in Pharmacology or keep a bachelor’s degree in Pharmacy. This means that you can be a pharmacist with a pharmacology degree.


To choose between completing your education with the Faculty of Pharmacy or continuing with the specialization in Pharmacology, you need to consider aspects related to your profile.

What you want for your career goes a long way, after all, the professionals’ performance is different, although both work mainly with medication.

Anyway, Pharmacy and Pharmacology are two very promising options that can offer good opportunities for you.

The choice between one or the other depends only on your profile, so try to analyse every detail and think about the career you want to build, so that you choose the branch that is in accordance with your goals and objectives.

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