Ten important drugs that changed the world

In the modern world more than 300 thousand medicines are at the disposal of doctors. However, among this diversity are worthy of mention those ten of them, thanks to which medicine has taken a step forward.


  • 1 Preparation No. 1: Opium
  • 2 Preparation No. 2: Salvarsan
  • 3 Preparation No. 3: Smallpox vaccine
  • 4 Preparation No. 4: Aspirin
  • 5 Preparation No. 5: Vitamins
  • 6 Preparation No. 6: Penicillin
  • 7 Preparation No. 7: Insulin
  • 8 Preparation No. 8: ether
  • 9 Preparation No. 9: cocaine
  • 10 Preparation No. 10: enovid

Preparation No. 1: opium

Opium, which is a juice, dried out in a special way from immature poppy heads, has become one of the first strong painkillers. His healing properties were known to doctors in ancient Greece and Rome, Ancient China and India, used his tincture to reduce pain. In 1806, a young druggist, Friedrich Sertürner, created morphine by isolation from opium alkaloids.

The discovery of morphine, as well as the invention of a syringe in 1853, revealed to the world the most powerful anti-pain drug .However, it soon became known that the development of habituation to it occurs very quickly. In 1874, heroin from heroin was synthesized heroin, which, according to the anesthetic effect, was much stronger than morphine, and until 1910 it was freely sold in pharmacies. So far, it has not been proven that he is also a strong drug. Currently, opium has become the parent of all known narcotic analgetics: promedola, tramadol, fentanyl, deprivan and others, as well as antitussive codeine and vasodilator - papaverine.

Preparation No. 2: Salvarsan

In 1907, Austrian physician Paul Erlich synthesized a drug for the treatment of syphilis - salvarsan, which quickly spread throughout the world. This was the origin of chemotherapy, a method of treatment with the help of chemicals specifically designed to fight a specific pathology. In the subsequent , chemotherapy drugs were synthesized in large quantities.

Preparation No. 3: smallpox vaccine syringe and vials

Inventor of the world's first vaccine and vaccination method was Edward Jenner, a physician from England .In 1796 he introduced a child of 8 years old, James Phipps, a liquid contained in vials from the hands of a milkmaid infected with cowpox. Then, after 1.5 months, the doctor introduced another substance to the boy, from a small vial of a smallpox patient. The child was healthy. In Russia the first such inoculation was made in 1801 by a toddler, whose name was Anton Petrov. Then, thanks to Jenner's invention, vaccinations against other diseases were created: hepatitis B, diphtheria, whooping cough, rubella, tetanus, etc. In the USA, was first developed in in 2007 for the preparation of against cancer: a vaccine capable of preventing the form caused by the papilloma virusrights.

Preparation No. 4: Aspirin

People have long known that the willow bark helps to bring down the fever. This was due to the content of salicylates( salts of salicylic acid).In 1897 the German chemist Hoffman Felix chemically synthesized acetylsalicylic acid. Later on, was used to create new non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs . According to WHO, acid and its analogs( aspirin, pridol, etc.) for many years occupy leading positions among the ten most used drugs in the world .In recent years, scientists have found that with the use of aspirin in small doses, heart attacks, strokes, thromboses and many other diseases are prevented. Drug № 5: vitamins

For the first time, vitamin B1 was isolated by Polish chemist Casimir Funk from rice husk .In the modern world, more than 20 vitamins are known, which are part of the enzymes( C, B, PP) and cell membranes( A, D, E, K), are actively involved in all reactions in the body. They are used to treat diseases such as scurvy, rickets, hypovitaminosis, to prevent the onset of many diseases and to rehabilitate people.

Preparation No. 6: Penicillin

Thanks to the discovery of antibiotics in the fight against infection, a coup has come. This event was committed in 1929 by Professor Alexander Fleming, who discovered that green mold exudes a special substance that inhibits the growth of microbes. He called it penicillin and isolated it in its pure form. In 1940, scientists Ernst Chain and Howard Flory received the antibiotic in a form suitable for use in practice. In the USSR, this substance was able to receive the microbiologist Zinaida Yermolieva in 1942.Undoubted is the fact that the discovery of antibacterial drugs has revolutionized medicine. Getting penicillin, the very first of them, was the beginning of a new era in medical history. At the present time, pharmacologists have synthesized dozens of new types of drugs that can defeat many infections. Until now, there has been no alternative to antibiotics in medicine.

Preparation # 7: insulin

Approximately 15 million people in the world are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. The only way out for them is life-long injections of insulin. This drug was first discovered by the Russian scientist Leonid Sobolev who, in 1901, experimentally proved the fact that the cells isolated pancreatic islets of the hormone, which regulates the level of glucose in the blood, and found ways to obtain it. In 1921, Canadians Frederick Bunting and Charles Best received insulin from the dog's gland. In early 1922, the drug was first tested on a 14-year-old patient, seriously ill with diabetes, to whom the medicine helped. At the end of 1922, insulin first appeared on the market of medicines, and very quickly it began to be produced in large quantities. In 1923, for the discovery of the drug, scientists received the Nobel Prize. She was also received in 1958 by the British Frederick Senger for determining the sequence of amino acids that make up the insulin molecule. And now for many patients insulin preparations are the only way to survive.

Preparation 8: ether

This surgery is impossible without anesthesia. And one day, at the opening of ether and nitrous oxide, a giant leap forward of science was made. The famous doctor Paracelsus spoke about the narcotic effect of sulfur ether for the first time in 1525.In 1797, a British chemist, Gemfri Davy, discovered the anesthetic effect of nitrous oxide, which he called "a gay gas."Even then, scientists suggested that this substance can be used in surgery for anesthesia. Another British in 1818 experienced the sleeping pills of a couple of ether and published work on this topic. The day of the birth of anesthetists as a science is considered October 16, 1846.It was on this day in the hospital in Boston for the first time in the world conducted an operation with the participation of an anesthesiologist. In Russia, for the first time, an operation with anesthesia with ether was performed by Fedor Inozemtsev on February 7, 1847. Then, 10 days later, Pirogov underwent anesthesia for the first time to remove the mammary gland from a woman. From this moment, widespread application of anesthesia throughout the world began. In September 1847, during the war in Dagestan, Pirogov spent about five days in about five hundred operations using ether anesthesia in a field infirmary.

Currently, for narcosis, the latest equipment and sophisticated technology are used. However, the general principle of the method remained exactly the same as a century and a half ago: immersion in chemical sleep. The attempts to create a principally different method of anesthesia are still unsuccessful.

insulin Drug no. 9: cocaine

As well as surgery it is impossible to imagine without anesthesia, as medicine can not be imagined without cocaine. This substance is the main component of the drugs for local anesthesia( novocaine, dicaine, trimecaine, lidocaine, etc.), without which modern dentistry, surgery, gynecology and all other fields of medicine could not exist.

Cock was discovered by conquistadors, and then by travelers visiting South America. They drew attention to the fact that aborigines constantly chew the leaves of a plant called coca, which helps them to easily tolerate fatigue and pain. In 1860, chemist Albert Niman first identified the main active component of these leaves, which was an alkaloid, called cocaine. In 1879, St. Petersburg professor Vasily Anrep first conducted a study of the properties of cocaine and suggested its use as a local anesthetic. In 1890 the German surgeon Karl Schleich discovered a modern method of local anesthesia. Through numerous experiments, he created a persistent anesthetic by adding cocaine to a 0.05% solution of sodium chloride, which eventually led to the appearance of an anesthetic drug. And, what was most important, this drug could be stored for a long time in vials. In April 1892, at a surgical congress about his discovery of a new method of local anesthesia, Schleich told his colleagues. In 1905, Alfreid Eichorn marked the beginning of a new stage in the development of anesthesia, when he received novocaine. This drug had 15 times less toxicity, unlike cocaine, and a pronounced analgesic effect, for which quickly received approval from specialists. The discovery of drugs for general and local anesthesia resulted in a struggle for anesthesia. All further achievements in this direction were only additions to what was already open.

Preparation No. 10: Enovid the doctor holds a vial in his hand

In the past, all standard methods of prevention( condom, cap, paste, interrupted sexual intercourse, etc.) were ineffective, since pregnancy occurred in 20% of cases. The world changed after the creation of the first oral contraceptives.

It has long been known about the property of hormones to influence the onset of ovulation. In 1931, the Austrian Ludwig Haberlandt suggested using them in women to prevent the onset of pregnancy. An extract was prepared from the ovaries of pigs, which was called "infekundin" and which became too expensive for industrial production. In 1944, the first artificial progesterone was synthesized. After 10 years, American biologist Gregory Pincus first created a contraceptive pill. In 1960, she appeared in pharmacies called "Enovid."The invention of oral contraception has made it possible to solve the problem of unnecessary pregnancy, to reduce the number of gynecological pathologies and the mortality of children.