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Showing posts from September, 2009

How drugs work

Prescription Drugs Special ReportEver wonder how the medications you take act in your body? This brief guide explains how several classes of popular drugs work. Thousands of medications are in use today. Here are some of the most common mechanisms by which these drugs achieve their effects: Antibiotic Drugs -- The development of safe and effective drugs to cure infections was arguably the most significant advance in drug development of the 20th century. Perhaps the most famous example is penicillin, which is derived from a toxin produced by the fungus Penicillium notatum that contaminated a laboratory experiment. The Scottish scientist Alexander Fleming noticed that the Penicillium fungus had done something to kill the bacterium Staphylococcus, which is responsible for many human infections.
Antibiotics have several modes of action. Penicillin disrupts the cell walls of bacteria, causing them to die. Some other antibiotics interfere with the ability of microorganisms to manufacture ess…