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Chemicals in Medicines-Analgesics, Antacid, Antihistamines, Tranquilizers, Anti-microbials, Antifertility Drugs, and the Difference Between Antiseptics and Disinfectants.

Chemicals in Medicines-Analgesics, Antacid, Antihistamines, Tranquilizers, Anti-microbials, Antifertility Drugs, and the Difference Between Antiseptics and Disinfectants.

Have you visited your nearest medical store? You must have seen a huge amount of medicines around the pharmacists. They generally give you medicines which are prescribed by your doctors. To understand why we take so many pills, we need to understand the history of medicinal drugs; from the herbal remedies of the Middle Ages to the pills produced by "Big Pharma" today, illicit drugs or well-known legal medications, they all played a major and important role. In recent days, we all have been going through a tough phase of life due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Vaccines and antibiotics transformed us from helpless victims of epidemics to capable combatants. Let’s know more about this in detail.


Table of Content:

What are medicines?

Medicines are chemical compounds that aid in the cure of diseases or the alleviation of suffering in living organisms. Synthetic organic chemistry, pharmacology, and biological sciences are all required for this field. Medicines contain a vast number of different ingredients. Let us learn everything about Chemicals in Medicines.


Analgesics diminish the effects of pain without producing mental disorientation, paralysis, or other nervous system disruptions, so you can genuinely get rid of the pain without generating any nervous system imbalance. Analgesic medicines can affect the peripheral or central nervous systems in a variety of ways, but unlike anaesthetics, they do not erase pain sensations.

Types of analgesics:

Analgesics are divided into two broad categories:

  • Non-narcotic analgesics-This sort of medication is typically used to relieve skeletal discomfort caused by arthritis. In this scenario, aspirin and paracetamol are the most commonly used medications. 
    When you take aspirin, it works by preventing the formation of a substance called prostaglandins, which promotes inflammation in the tissues and, as a result, pain. These medications also aid in the reduction of fever and the prevention of platelet coagulation. Aspirin is used to prevent heart attacks because of its anti-blood-clotting properties
  • Narcotic analgesics-These analgesic medicines are used for medical purposes and are taken in prescribed quantities to relieve pain and induce sleep. If the amount of this analgesic medicine is increased, it can result in unconsciousness, convulsions, and death.
    Morphine is the most commonly used narcotic analgesic today; it is also known as opiates because it is derived from the opium plant.
    Postoperative pain, cardiac discomfort, and cancer pain are the most common uses for narcotic analgesics or painkillers.

Side effects of analgesics: Because painkillers are the most commonly used drugs, we must always be cautious about the kind of analgesics we use and the dosages that are given. Before taking these drugs, one should get medical advice and avoid becoming addicted to them, as addiction can be dangerous.

For example, many individuals take sleeping pills to treat insomnia; as long as the drug is taken in the specified doses by the doctor, it may be beneficial; nevertheless, if you exceed the safety limits and take extra doses, you risk death


We may experience stomach irritation and pain as a result of excessive acid production. This can sometimes result in stomach ulcers. Antacids were discovered to be effective in treating acidity. Antacids are chemicals that are used to neutralise stomach acids.

Heartburn is caused by stomach acidity, and antacids are used to alleviate the discomfort. They are given orally to reduce acidity's effects. Antacids are alkaline ions that directly neutralise the stomach's gastric acids.

When we utilise too much hydrogen carbonate, the stomach becomes alkaline, which increases acid production. As a result, we use insoluble metal hydroxides that do not raise the pH value above neutral.

In the treatment of hyperacidity, histamine was a big advance. In the stomach, histamine increases the release of pepsin and hydrochloric acid. The medicine cimetidine (Tagamet) was created to inhibit histamine from interacting with the receptors in the stomach wall. As a result, there was less acid released.



are a class of medications that block histamine's physiological activity. Basophils create histamine, which is present in tissues that are close together. Histamine increases the permeability of white blood cells, allowing infections to enter diseased organs.
Antihistamines' function in the treatment of allergies:

  • When pollen, dust mites, pet dander, and other allergens come into touch with our bodies, a molecule called histamine is produced, which causes an allergic reaction.
  • Swelling in the nose, watery eyes and irritation in the mouth are all symptoms of this allergy.
  • Antihistamines prevent allergies by blocking the effect of histamines. They combat the symptoms of many allergies, such as hay fever, food allergies, and so on.
  • However, their use is limited because they cannot be utilised to treat all types of symptoms.
  • If we have nasal congestion, the doctor will recommend that we take a decongestant. Antihistamines and decongestants are combined in some medications.




Anti-anxiety medication is referred to as a tranquillizer. In 1953, the phrase was coined to describe medications that have a soothing effect.

  •  They are chemical substances that are effective in treating stress and mild to severe mental illnesses.
  •  They give a person a sense of well-being, relieving him of stress, tension, anxiety, and irritation. They are one of the most important ingredients in sleeping medicines.
  • One of the most important hormones is noradrenaline. neurotransmitters are involved in mood alterations if the number of noradrenaline levels is low for some reason, signal-sending activity is reduced and the individual suffers from depression.



Different sorts of organisms, such as bacteria, fungus, and viruses, can cause infections and diseases in humans and animals. Antimicrobial agents are drugs that prevent germs from becoming harmful.

Antimicrobial drugs are used to prevent pathogen-caused illnesses and diseases. Antimicrobial medications of various sorts are widely accessible. 

The following are some examples:
Antibacterial medications are drugs that are used to prevent bacteria from causing disease. For example, Zithromax.
Antifungal medicine: An antifungal drug is a drug that is used to prevent fungal activity in the host,
for example, Miconazole


Antiviral medications are drugs that are used to prevent viruses from causing disease, for example, Tamiflu.
Antiparasitic drug: A medication that inhibits the growth of parasitic pathogens, for example, Anthelmintics.

Antifertility drugs

Antifertility medicines are chemicals that block the function of hormones that help one to get pregnant. These medications safeguard against pregnancy by lowering the chances of conception. Antifertility medicines are made up of synthetic progesterone derivatives or a combination of oestrogen and progesterone derivatives.
Example: Ethynylestradiol is a mixture of oestrogen and progesterone derivatives.


Weight gain is the only negative effect that has been recorded with these medications. If taken at the correct dosage, these pharmaceuticals can provide the following substantial benefits:

  • They have no effect on sexual behaviours and minimise the risk of pregnancy.
  • They may cause menstrual bleeding to be reduced.
  • They can be taken right after giving delivery.

Difference between antiseptics and disinfectants

Although both disinfectants and antiseptics are used to destroy microorganisms, there is a distinction between the two.

  • An antiseptic is used on living tissues to destroy microorganisms, while a disinfectant is used on non-living objects.
  • Their concentrations are different. By altering the concentration of the same chemical, we can use it as both a disinfectant and an antiseptic.
  • For example, phenol can be used as an antiseptic at a concentration of 0.2 percent, but at a concentration of 1%, it can be used as a disinfectant
  • Cleaning products contain disinfectants, while healing products (for curing live tissues) contain antiseptics.
  • Both are identical in nature, but the concentration differs. Lysol is a disinfectant while Dettol is an antiseptic.

Practice Problems:

Q1. What do you understand by the term air disinfectant?
Solution: Chemical chemicals used to kill microorganisms suspended in the air are called aerosols. A disinfectant spray is another name for it.

Q2. Bleach comes under the category of ______

A. Disinfectant
B. Antiseptics
C. Tranquilizers
D. Anti-histamine.

Answer: A

Solution: Bleach destroys bacteria, fungi, and viruses, including the influenza virus, however, it is quickly inactivated by organic matter. Diluted home bleach disinfects after 10–60 minutes of contact time.

Q3.The drug cathartics are used to ________

  1. Relieve constipation
  2. Relieve basicity
  3. neutralise gastric HCl contents
  4. Attain synergic effects

Answer: A

Solution: The cleansing, emptying, purging, or evacuation of the bowels (intestines) is known as catharsis. As a result, cathartics are the most effective way to cure constipation.

Q4. Element present in vitamin B12 is________

A. Manganese
B. Cobalt
C. Calcium
D. Iron

Answer: B
Solution: Vitamin B12 is a cobalt coordination complex.

Frequently asked questions-FAQ

Question 1. Do tranquillizers help to rest your mind?
Solution: Tranquillizers operate by changing the way your central nervous system (CNS) communicates with your brain. They specifically cause the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) to work overtime. Hence, they relax your body by slowing down brain activity and as a result, our mind feels relaxed.

Question 2. What do mean by generic drugs?
Solution: A generic drug is a pharmaceutical that is designed to be identical to a brand-name drug in terms of dose form, potency, mode of administration, quality, performance characteristics, and intended use. These commonalities aid in demonstrating bioequivalence, which signifies that a generic medicine operates in the same way as a brand-name medicine and delivers the same therapeutic benefit.

Question 3. What do you understand by the term ‘ Major Tranquillizers’?
Solution: Neuroleptics, or major tranquillizers, were created to treat psychiatric diseases such as schizophrenia. These medications are used to treat hallucinations and other delusions. Tranquillizers such as phenothiazines, thioxanthenes, butyrophenones, clozapine, and rauwolfia alkaloids are commonly recommended for long periods of time.

Question 4. Are antihistamines anti-inflammatory in nature?
Solution: Antihistamines have recently been revealed to have anti-inflammatory properties beyond simply inhibiting histamine receptors. According to new research, these drugs reduce the expression of cell adhesion molecules.

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