When the drug penicillin finds the bacteria, penicillin blocks the bacterias ability to produce this chemical, making it impossible for the bacteria to perform respiration. Numerous other drugs have been derived from penicillin and are referred to as sulfa drugs.
When the goal is to prevent certain bodily functions and reactions from taking place, the drugs used are called hormones. The most commonly used hormones are for birth control. There are two chemical components to birth control hormones. The first chemical synthesizes the natural hormone known as estrogen. When high levels of this hormone are introduced into the body, the body reads the hormone and assumes it is pregnant. The result is that the body does not allow implantation. The second chemical used to copy natural hormones is progesterone. Progesterone within the body triggers ovulation. When mimicked using chemicals, the body does not ovulate (Lide, 70). When these two artificial hormones combine, it effectively eliminates the natural process of fertility by communicating to the body that it is pregnant. While effective, hormones have undergone increased scrutiny due to numerous side effects the drugs can cause including breast cancer in some patients.
Steroids alter the hormonal balance within the body to achieve certain desired outcomes. The main ingredient in steroids is the hormone testosterone. One such steroid, anabolic steroids, decreases the amount of testosterone within the body. The steroid structure is highly complex, being composed of a 17-carbon-atom, with a four ring skeletal structure. If used properly and within the recommended limits, steroids act to reduce inflammation and aid in healing. When abused, steroids can cause liver damage and cause a shortage of other hormones resulting in undesired outcomes (The Journal of Steroid Biochemistry).
Anticancer drugs, or cytotoxicity drugs, are chemically attracted to and poisonous toward cancer cells within the body. Selective toxicity is achieved through the chemical structure of the drugs. For instance, hexamethylmalamine, or Trimelamol, actively seeks out and destroys cancer cell DNA using a 2,4,6-tris (dimethylamino)-1,3,5-triazine structure (Thurston, 15). With cancer drugs becoming more and more cyto-specific, the toxicity of the drugs is limited and the side effects eliminated.
Conclusion: I chose to further research the topic of modern drugs because it is such a versatile and cutting edge area of chemistry. It seems as though chemists are daily uncovering new reactions within the body and discovering new chemical compositions that effect those reactions. I decided to especially focus my work on the most commonly used drugs, as these areas of study are forever changing and provide a vast field of resources for study and learning. This field of study relates directly to chemistry because everything done within the world of medicine is done through introducing various chemicals into the body and quantifying those chemicals reactions. Every drug, both organic and inorganic have specific atomic structures that give those drugs the ability to function within the human body. Each atom reacts differently in the body, completing different desired tasks. For instance, chemists are working very hard to discover a way to make cancer drugs completely non-toxic to the rest of the body, but entirely toxic to cancer cells. Such research requires precision and an absolute grasp of the chemical reactions and signatures of the cancer cells. Works Cited: Kelley, J.A., Kuzin, A.P., Charlier, P. And Fonze, E. (1998) X-ray studies of enzymes that interact with penicillins.Cell and Molecular Life Sciences 54, pp. 353-358. Lide, David. CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics. 1974. Material Safety Data Sheet. “Acetaminophen.” October, 2005. The Journal of Steriod Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. “Endocrine Disruptor.” Volume 127. 2011, pp 250-267. Thurston, David E. Chemistry and Pharmacology of Anticancer Drugs. 2007.