Artemisinin (pronounced ) is a drug used to treat multi-drug resistant strains of falciparum malaria. The compound (a sesquiterpene lactone) is isolated from the shrub Artemisia annua long used in traditional Chinese medicine. Not all shrubs of this species contain artemisinin. Apparently it is only produced when the plant is subjected to certain conditions, most likely biotic or abiotic stress. It can be synthesized from artemisinic acid.
Phenylpropanolamine (PPA) is a drug of the phenethylamine family used as a decongestant and also as an appetite suppressant. In veterinary medicine, it is used to control urinary incontinence in dogs
In the United States, PPA is no longer sold without a prescription due to a somewhat increased risk of stroke in younger women. It is easily available in Europe and elsewhere in the world.
There are four optical isomers of phenylpropanolamine: d- and l-norephedrine, and d- and l-norpseudoephedrine. D-norpseudoephedrine is also known as cathine, and occurs naturally in the stimulant plant Catha edulis (khat). This isomer is commonly used in European medications described as "phenylpropanolamine", whereas in the United States a racemic mixture of d,l-norephedrine is usual.
Phenylpropanolamine was also used for the illicit synthesis of other stimulant drugs such as phenmetrazine and 4-methylaminorex, and since phenylpropanolamine was withdrawn from use in humans in the early 2000s (although it is still sold for some veterinary applications) it is now much less available, and this in turn has meant that phenmetrazine and 4-methylaminorex have largely disappeared from the illicit market.
Colchicine is a highly poisonous natural product and secondary metabolite, originally extracted from plants of the genus colchicum (autumn crocus, colchicum autumnale, also known as the "meadow saffron"). Originally used to treat rheumatic complaints and especially gout, it was also prescribed for its cathartic and emetic effects. Its present medicinal use is mainly in the treatment of gout; as well, it is being investigated for its potential use as an anti-cancer drug. It can also be used as initial treatment for pericarditis and preventing recurrences of the condition. In neurons, axoplasmic transport is disrupted by colchicine.
Reserpine is an indole alkaloid antipsychotic and antihypertensive drug that has been used for the control of high blood pressure and for the relief of psychotic behaviors, although because of the development of better drugs for these purposes and because of its numerous side-effects, it is rarely used today. The antihypertensive actions of Reserpine are a result of its ability to deplete catecholamines (among the others) from peripheral sympathetic nerve endings. These substances are normally involved in controlling heart rate, force of cardiac contraction and peripheral resistance.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, usually abbreviated to NSAIDs, are drugs with analgesic, antipyretic and, in higher doses, anti-inflammatory effects - they reduce pain, fever and inflammation. The term "non-steroidal" is used to distinguish these drugs from steroids, which (among a broad range of other effects) have a similar eicosanoid-depressing, anti-inflammatory action. As analgesics, NSAIDs are unusual in that they are non-narcotic. NSAIDs are sometimes also referred to as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents/analgesics (NSAIAs) or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIMs). The most prominent members of this group of drugs are aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen partly because they are available over-the-counter in many areas. Paracetamol (acetaminophen) has negligible anti-inflammatory activity, and is not an NSAID.
Phenylephrine or Neo-Synephrine is an a-adrenergic receptor agonist used primarily as a decongestant, as an agent to dilate the pupil and to increase blood pressure. Phenylephrine has recently been marketed as a substitute for pseudoephedrine, (e.g. Pfizer's Sudafed (Original Formulation)) but there are recent claims that oral phenylephrine may be no more effective as a decongestant than placebo.
Phenylephrine is used as a decongestant, available as an oral medicine or as a nasal spray. Phenylephrine is now the most common over-the-counter (OTC) decongestant; oxymetazoline is a more common nasal spray. Pseudoephedrine was historically more common, although its notoriety as a precursor has led some governments to restrict its sale.
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