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Organic Chemistry Today

Organic Chemistry Today: Organic Chemistry Today: Out of about 30 million organic compounds discovered, more than 18 million compounds are used as medicines. Now‐a‐days organic chemists are researching to synthesize new efficient drugs to act against many incurable diseases such as AIDS to increase the average life span of humans.

Tenofovir Alafenamide Fumerate(TAF, GS–7340), is one of the most efficient drug that can manage the AIDS. It inhibits the enzyme integrase, which is produced by HIV virus and performs a crucial role in an early stage of HIV's replication process. Integrase inhibitors are effective against HIV that has become resistant to other antiretroviral classes.

Learning Objectives

After completing the topic, the student will be able to:

  • Appreciate the recent developments in organic chemistry.
  • Define medicine and drug.
  • Classify the drugs based on physiological and pathological behavior.
  • Define and give examples for pharmacodynamic agents such as analgesics, tranquilizers, antacids, antihistamines and oral contraceptives.
  • Define and give examples for chemotherapeutic agents such as antimicrobials, antiseptics and disinfectants.
  • Discuss the mode of action of drugs given in the above list.
  • List various artificial sweetening agents and recognize their significance.
Chemicals in Medicine

The words ‘medicine’ and ‘drug’ are often used in our country to mean the same substances: any substance, manufactured artificially, which can help recovery from sickness, relieve symptoms or modify a natural process in the body. A medicine is often a mixture of several chemical compounds. Even if it has only one active component or compound often other substances are used as fillers or binders to give it bulk.

Chemistry, the science related to chemical substances, provides us the tools to make and study the substances that are the constituents of almost all medicines. The past hundred years or so, ever since the advent of organic chemistry, many chemical compounds have been discovered in nature that are effective for curing diseases.

Modern chemistry has also made it possible to synthesize several medicines using methods of organic chemistry.

There are very many medicines that come under each of these groups. Often several chemical compounds that make a particular group of medicines, say antibiotics have similar chemical structure. Since the medicines in a particular group are effective for treating a particular type of ailment or disease, their mode of action can also be very similar. But, the methods used to isolate a medicine from its natural sources or to synthesize it are most often very different.

Classification of drugs:
Drugs are broadly classified into two main classes on the basis of their therapeutic action.

Pharmacodynamic agents:
Pharmacodynamic agents deal with the study of the biochemical and physiological effects of drugs and the mechanisms of their actions including the correlation of actions and effects of drugs with their chemical structure.

These drugs act selectively on any system of the body like the central nervous system (CNS), peripheral nervous system, cardiovascular system, hematapoietic system, renal system etc. The pharmacodynamic agents interact with specific receptors in the body tissues and regulate their biochemical functions. These are classified into various types. The site of the action of the drug along with the commonly used drugs is indicated in the table.

The pharmacological activity of a drug allows a rational basis of classification. They are thus classified as analgesics, drugs which give relief from pain; antimalarials which act against malarial parasite, anti bacterial, drugs which either kill or reduce the growth of harmful bacteria, anesthetics, drugs which produce anesthesia, insensitive to pain, hypnotics, sedatives and tranquilizers which act on the central nervous system and produce sedation and sleep etc.

Chemotherapeutic agents

These are the drugs used in the treatment and cure of infectious diseases without injuring or destroying the cells of the infected host. Chemotherapeutic agents mainly act by inhibiting the growth of parasitic organisms.

These drugs, on the basis of the pathogen that causes the disease, are further divided into various classes. The class of drugs that cure the specific disease and some of the commonly used drugs against each disease are mentioned in adjacent table.

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