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Synthetic drugs have different chemical structures from the illicit substances they are trying to mimic.


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Drugs are substances that are used or intended to be used in the diagnosis, prevention, treatment or cure of diseases. In early times, these substances were derived from natural sources, of which plants took up the major share.

With the introduction of technology, most drugs today are manufactured synthetically in the laboratory. The major sources of drugs can be grouped into the following. A of plants have medicinal qualities and have been used for centuries as drugs or drug sources. Although the earliest plant source for drugs was the leaf, other parts of plants e.

Where the product is used without further processing e. The table below shows some pharmacologically active principles or drugs derived from various parts of a plant. Many important drugs are derived from animal source. Insulin, heparin, adrenaline, thyroxin, cod liver oil, musk, beeswax, enzymes, and antitoxins sera are some examples of drugs obtained from animal sources. Like plant products, drugs from animal sources may be crude unrefined or refined material. Several life-saving drugs have been historically derived from microorganisms.

Sources of drugs

Examples include penicillin produced by Penicillium chrysogenumstreptomycin from Streptomyces griseus, chloramphenicol from Streptomyces venezuelae, neomycin from Streptomyces fradiae, bacitracin from Bacillus subtilis etc. Read Also: Microorganisms of Pharmaceutical Interest. Bioactive compounds from marine flora and fauna have extensive past and present use in the prevention, treatment or cure of many diseases. Coral, sponges, fish, and marine microorganisms produce biologically potent chemicals with interesting anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, and anticancer activity.

For example curacin A from marine cyanobacterium Lyngbya majusculeeleutherobin from coral Eleutherobia sp.

Minerals both metallic and non-metallic minerals have been used as drugs since ancient times. Our body requires trace elements of minerals in order to maintain homeostasis. Patients lacking an adequate level of these materials may take specific mineral-based drugs to raise the level of minerals. Examples include ferrous sulfate in iron deficiency anemia; magnesium sulfate as purgative; magnesium trisilicate, aluminum hydroxide and sodium bicarbonate as antacids for hyperacidity and peptic ulcer; zinc oxide ointment as skin protectant, in wounds and eczema; gold salts solganal, auranofin as anti-inflammatory and in rheumatoid arthritis; selenium as anti-dandruff.

A synthetic drug is produced using chemical synthesis, which rearranges chemical derivatives to form a new compound.

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The synthetic sources of drugs evolved with human skills in the laboratory and advanced knowledge and understanding of phytochemical investigation. At present, majority of drugs used in clinical practice are exclusively prepared synthetically in pharmaceutical and chemical laboratory. One of the earliest synthetic drugs was sulphonamide, which began with the synthesis of prontosil dye.

Regulations, guidelines and clinical trials

Other examples include acetylsalicylic acid aspirin or ASAoral antidiabetics, antihistamines, thiazide diuretics, chloroquine, chlorpromazine, general and local anaesthetics, paracetamol, phenytoin etc. Synthetically manufactured drugs generally have higher yields that are ificantly associated with quality, purity and low cost. Semi-synthetic drugs are neither completely natural nor completely synthetic.

Sometimes, semi-synthetic processes are used to prepare drugs when the natural sources may yield impure compounds or when the synthesis of drugs complex molecules may be difficult, expensive, and commercially unviable. In semi-synthetic drugs, the nucleus of drug obtained from natural source is kept intact but the chemical structure is altered. Examples of semi-synthetic medicine include heroin from morphine, bromoscopolamine from scopolamine, homatropine from atropine, ampicillin from penicillin etc.

Synthetic drugs

This is relatively a new field which is being developed by mixing discoveries from molecular biology, recombinant DNA technology, DNA alteration, gene splicing, immunology, and immune pharmacology. Drugs developed using living organisms with the help of biotechnology or genetic engineering are known as biologics, biopharmaceuticals, recombinant DNA expressed products, bioengineered, or genetically engineered drugs Examples include recombinant Hepatitis B vaccine, recombinant insulin and others.

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Basic Introduction to Pharmacology. February 21, January 8, November 27, November 26, Sources of Drugs by Pharmapproach November 10, in Pharmacology 4.

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Plant Sources 2 2. Animal Sources 3 3. Microbial sources 4 4. Marine source 5 5.

Mineral sources 6 6. Semi-synthetic Sources 8 8. Biosynthetic sources genetically engineered drugs 9 References. Tags: Drugs. Post Basic Introduction to Pharmacology. Comments 4.

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Cepheline says:. Pharmapproach says:. Aliyu abdullahi says:. Advantages and Disadvantages of Liquid Dosage Forms.

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All Rights Reserved. Deed by PML. Emetine from Cephaelis ipecacuanha ; reserpine from Rauwolfa serpentina.

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