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Inorganic Chemistry And Drug Design

P. Sadler
Published 1991 · Chemistry

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Publisher Summary This chapter discusses some of the current uses of inorganic compounds as drugs and diagnostic agents. It focuses on areas of demonstrated medical and clinical interest. The illustrative examples chosen are mostly concerned with metals and do not form a comprehensive list. The use of inorganic compounds in medicine dates back to ancient times. The wider use of inorganic compounds in health care depends heavily on overcoming the toxicity problem. Arsenic, for example, is widely perceived to be a toxic element, but the enormous variation in toxicity among the types of arsenic compounds is not widely acknowledged: As(III) compounds are usually much more toxic than As(V) compounds, and arsenobetaine (Me 3 As + CH 2 C0 2 − )is relatively nontoxic, which is fortunate because man consumes it regularly in certain fish and crustacea. The Egyptians are said to have used copper to sterilize water in 3000 BC, and the Chinese were using gold in medicine in 2500 BC; mercurous chloride was known to be a diuretic during the Renaissance period, and mercurial diuretics were widely used up until the 1950s.
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