Drugs and Medicine Term Paper

Pages: 4 (1275 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 4  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Junior  ·  Topic: Medicine

Chemistry is doing more than simply turning liquids different colors in vials. In fact, one of the most cutting edge areas of modern chemistry is drug innovation. Chemists within drug pharmacology are discovering drugs that do everything from reducing inflammation of human tissue to targeting specific cancer cells without harming the rest of the body. Discoveries are being made that extend life, regrow cells, and kill some of the world's most deadly diseases. All of this is done through the innovation of chemistry.

The body's functions and reactions are all based upon chemicals. Chemicals are sent through and received by the various cells in the body. When a desired health outcome is needed, it is up to modern chemists to isolate the body's chemicals and find a way to prevent those chemicals from reaching their receptors. Some drugs do this through bonding with the chemicals, while others actually target and destroy the DNA of harmful cells, and still other drugs simply mimic other hormones to create an artificially communicated image within the body. Through forming various chemical bonds and deriving structures from nature, modern chemists are on the forefront of uncovering cures for nearly everything that ales modern man.

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Introduction: Medicinal drugs are among the forefront of modern medicine and both help and hurt mankind in many ways. At the leading role in this industry are biochemists, whose specialty is to find and explain new reactions within the human body to chemicals. There are many different drugs on the market today and each does something very different to help the human body function better. However, all drugs also have side effects on the human body. In fact, one of the primary jobs of chemists in the drug industry is to discover all of the possible side effects and weight those side effects against the benefits. The most commonly used drugs can be divided into 5 categories: analgesic, antibiotics, hormones, steroids, and anticancer.

Term Paper on Drugs and Medicine Assignment

Content: The first group of drugs are known as analgesic. Analgesic drugs, or pain relievers, use chemical reactions to prevent certain neurotransmitters from being received within the body. Acetaminophen, commercially known as Tylenol, is a large organic molecule that when dissolved into the bloodstream acts as an analgesic and an antipyretic. Acetaminophen is available over the counter in oral doses of 325 mg to 650 mg. Acetaminophen is an organic molecule with a very large structure compared to most organic molecules. It is comprised of eight carbon atoms, nine hydrogen atoms, a nitrogen atom and two oxygen atoms (CRC Handbook). The actual chemical weight, according to the CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics is 151.17 g/mol. Acetaminophen is crystalline in nature and nearly impossible to vaporize. At room temperature it takes on a white, powdery form and does not melt until it reaches 338 degrees (Material Safety). Acetaminophen is denser than water with a gravity of 1.293 and dissolves at a rate of 14mg per milliliter of water. In a healthy adult, Acetaminophen reacts very interestingly to effectively eliminate pain, swelling, and fever. Tylenol is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). This group of drugs binds molecules within the body known as cyclooxygenases (COX). The COX molecules form enzymes that trigger swelling and fever symptoms within the body. When bound, the body stops producing the fever or swelling symptoms entirely. A secondary reaction also takes place with Acetaminophen whereby higher concentrations of the body's own pain-reducing molecules, anandamide, become concentrated at the nerve endings producing greater pain relief (CRC Handbook).

Antibiotics are drugs that kill microorganisms, known as bacteria, in the body. The most common group of antibiotics originated from penicillin. Penicillin is a chemical drug derived from the penicillium mold genus (Waxman). The chemicals in penicillin are attracted to a chemical known as peptidoglycan found in gram-positive bacteria (Kelley). Gram-positive bacteria are a type of… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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