In the first two chapters, I discussed some of medicine’s heroes and their exploits and several of the diseases that have affected humans and our world. There is another important collection of tales; these are about the drugs and other remedies that physicians and scientists have developed to combat the illnesses we all suffer. Some drugs, such as quinine, originally came from botanicals; ergot and penicillin were discovered in fungi; conjugated equine estrogens (Premarin) was extracted from horse urine; and one of the compounds we use today—ammonia—was first derived from camel dung. Drawing laboratory notes from a hat decided the patent rights of isoniazid. In this third chapter, I discuss six historically noteworthy compounds—ranging from the opium derivatives to penicillin. As a bonus, I will share some short stories about other familiar medications such as nitrogen mustard, warfarin, and nystatin.
KeywordsOpium Poppy Nitrogen Mustard Isonicotinic Acid Hydrazide Unpolished Rice Patron Saint
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