Thursday, October 31, 2013

Penicillin: Wonder Drug

Penicillin has become synonymous with modern medicine, but this wonder drug has only been around for roughly 70 years. Before penicillin the mode for treating infection was not nearly as effective. When it was first debuted, before WWII, it was the biggest thing to hit the medical community and became the number one choice for treating a wide range of infections. Some of the most popular prescriptions belonged to people suffering from Syphillis, Strep, or Staph, as well as other. The problem with Penicillin being so effective against all of the aforementioned "bad actors" is that it was used too much, and have lead to antibiotic resistance in several bacteria species.
  Penicillin contains three chiral centers and S,R,S steriochemistry. Look to the diagram for exact locations.


  1. I find it quite interesting that penicillin, which is used to treat so many problems, has only been known for about 70 years. And how, just 70 years back, it was touted as a cure-all by the medical community; luckily today researchers are a bit more judicious when it comes to assigning appropriate uses to drugs. But then again, the "miracle" status of penicillin did lead to gems like this:

  2. I think it is really interesting to learn more about penicillin which has was a revolutionary drug when it was discovered. I think it is important that you mentioned the antibiotic resistance as this could potentially be very important in the future and the future use of drugs. This is an interesting molecule as it has 3 chiral centres, 2 of which are on the B-lactam ring.