Medicines and Drugs

List the effects of medicines and drugs on the functioning of the body.
A medicine or a drug is a chemical that does one of the following: Alters a physiological state, Alters mood or emotions, Alters incoming sensory sensations
The Placebo effect: Merely taking any medicine may trigger responses in the body that result in changes in the mental/emotional or physiological states of the person without having any medicinal action.
Outline the stages involved in the research, development and testing of new pharmaceutical products.
It is an expensive process. Stages include: 1. Isolation or chemical synthesis. 2. Laboratory studies. 3. Animal testing to determine LD50(the concentration that will kill 50 % of the animals in a test sample. 4. Clinical testing to determine effectiveness (ED50, the concentration necessary to bring about a noticeable effect in 50% of the test sample). 5.Approval by the FDA for market.
Thalidomide- Prescribed to combat morning sickness, caused major birth defects.
Describe different methods of administering drugs
Drugs must reach blood stream to be transported to critical tissues. The method of administration determines the rate at which the drug is absorbed in the blood.
Five common points of entry: Oral, Inhalation, Topical, Injection, Anal. Injections my be intravenous, intramuscular and subcutaneous.
Discuss the terms therapeutic window, tolerance and side-effects.
Therapeutic index is the ratio of LD50/ED50.
Tolerance occurs when repeated doses of a drug result in smaller physiological effects.
Side-effects are additional effects that result from the use of a particular drug to treat a particular condition.
State and explain how excess acidity in the stomach can be reduced by the use of different bases
Antacids are weak bases which neutralize the excess acid generated by the stomach. They also prevent inflamation, relieve pain and allow the mucus layer and stomach lining to mend. Common examples include: Al(OH)3, NaHCO3, CaCO3 and milk of magnesia.
example: NaCl + NaHCO3 –> NaCl + CO2+H2O
Side effects: magnesium compounds can cause diarrhea, while aluminium compounds can cause constipation. Also, antacids are often combined with alginates which are anti-foaming agents, which prevent flatulence.
Describe and explain the different ways that analgesics prevent pain.
Analgesics are pain relievers and anti-inflammatory drugs.
Mild analgesics (like aspirin and ibuprofen) function by intercepting the pain stimulus at the source, often by interfering with the production of substances that cause pain, fever or swelling.
Strong analgesics (like Opium, Heroine and Codeine) work by temporarily bonding to receptor sites in the brain, preventing the transmission of pain impulses without depressing the central nervous system
Describe the use of derivatives of salicylic acids as mild analgesics, and compare the advantages and disadvantages of using aspirin and paracetamol (acetaminophen)
Aspirin is a derivative of salicylic acid, which was used as a pain reliever.
ADVANTAGES of Aspirin: Aspirin inhibits the production of the enzyme Prostaglandin synthase which is formed at the site of the injury. It : it reduces pain and fevers, and DILATES blood vessels. Is useful in preventing the recurrence of heart attacks and strokes
DISADVANTAGES of Aspirin: ulceration and stomach bleeding, allergic reaction and Reye’s syndrome in children (a potentially fatal liver disorder)
PARACETAMOL is very safe in the correct dose but can, in rare cases, cause blood disorders and kidney damage.Overdose can lead to serious kidney damage, brain damage and even death.
Compare the structures of morphine, codeine and diamorphine(heroin, a semi-synthetic opiate)
Morphine and Codeine have identical structures except for the HO and H3CO on the top left corner of their structures and the Me and CH3 connected to N.
– There is one more Carbon atom and two more Hydrogen atoms in Codeine than in Morphine.
– All three structures involve Carbon, Hydrogen, Nitrogen and Oxygen atoms.
Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using morphine ad its derivatives as strong analgesics.
Short term: -Dulling of pain-Euphoria-Slow Nervous system-Slowed heart rate- Loss of cough relfex- Nausea- Overdoses can lead to death- Possibility of stroke- Overall slowdown of biological systems.
Long Term- Addiction and very strong withdrawal effects- Constipation- Loss of libido- Disruption of menstruation- Loss of apetite
Describe the effects of depressants
They depress the central nervous system by interfering with the transmission of neural impulses in the nerve cells (neurons)
EFFECTS: – Slow Down bodily functions especially motor activity and mental activity. – Low Doses (feelings of calm and reduced anxiety, induced sleep)
Moderate doses the compound may induce sedation
Large doses- loss of consciousness, coma, death
Discuss the social and physiological effects of the use and abuse of ethanol
Alcoholism i caused by the prolonged consumption of alcohol.
It results in -violent antisocial behavior- social costs to families- safety issues especially road accidents.
Short-Term Effects- Relaxation,confidence, increased sociability- Dilation of blood vessels leads to feelings of warmth- impaired judgement- lengthened neural response time
Long term- Cirrhosis of the liver and liver disease, coronary heart disease, high blood pressure and strokes, dementia, miscarriage, fetal abnormalities and fetal alcohol syndrome.
Describe the techniques used for the detection of ethanol in the breath, the blood and urine.
Breathalyser tests- Reduction of potassium dichromate to Cr3+ ion. Fuel cell where alcohol is oxidized to produce electric current.
Alcohol Blood Test:

Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) is measured in percentage by mass or mass per volume. (E.g. 0.20% BAC means 1 gram of alcohol per 500 grams of blood)
An alcohol blood test measures the amount of alcohol (ethanol) in a person’s body.
Alcohol is absorbed into the bloodstream very quickly and can therefore be detected within minutes of drinking.
A blood alcohol test is used to find out if a person is legally drunk or wasted.
It is done by a health professional drawing blood which is then analyzed in a laboratory.

Method (Chromatography)
-The client is asked for urine specimen, and then the alcohol is detected by its metabolite Ethyl glucuronide (EtG), (so the presence of EtG shows that there was alcohol consumption)

Describe the synergistic effects of ethanol with other drugs.
Ethanol can interact with other drugs, often enhancing their effect, because it inhibits the functioning of the nervous system.
The synergistic effect can be fatal when alcohol is taken with certain drugs including Narcotics, Barbituates and Benzodiazepines. When taken with aspirin it increases the likelihood of stomach bleeding
Identify other commonly used depressants and describe their structures
Certain medicines known as antidepressants are used to treat anxiety, stress, and clinical depression. These include Diazepam (valium), nitrazepam, Prozac(fluoxetine hydrochloride)
List the physiological effects of stimulants
Stimulants are chemical substances that enhance the activity of the brain and the central nervous system.
They cause increased alertness and wakefulness. In many cases they also act to decrease apetite.
Compare amphetamines and epinephrine
Amphetamines are sympathomimetic drugs (mimic the effects of the hormone, adrenaline). Generally, they cause constriction of the arteries and increase metabolism.
Amphetamines and epinephrine (adrenaline) are chemically similar in that both derive from the phenylethylamine structure.
Discuss the long-short term effects of nicotine consumption
Short term effect: increases concentration, relieves tension and boredom, helps to counter fatigue, increases heart rate and blood pressure, decreases urine output.
Long Term effects: High blood pressure, increases risk of heart disease, coronary thrombosis, increases the level of fatty acids in the blood which increases chance of strokes, over stimulation of stomach acids which can lead to increased risk of peptic ulcers.
Describe the effects of caffeine and compare its structure with that of nicotine.
Caffeine is a respiratory stimulant. When consumed, in large ammounts it can cause anxiety, irritability and sleeplessness. It is a weak diuretic. Both caffeine and nicotine contain a tertiary amine group
Outline the historical development of penicillins.
Penicillin was discovered in 1929 vy scientist Alexander Fleming. He left for vacation with a plate with a bacteria. When he returned, he noticed that the fungus, Penicillium, had grown on the plate. The bacteria colony surrounding the fungus had become transparent because the bacterial cells had undergone lysis.
Years later, Florey and Chain stumbled across Flemings research. They developed a way to mass produce penicillin and making it available for soldiers in WWII
Explain how penicillin works and discuss the effects of modifying the side chain
Penicillins work by interfering with the chemicals that bacteria need to form cell walls. Modifying the side chain results in penicillins that are more resistant to the penicillinase enzyme.
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