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Thalidomide Essay

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Below is an essay on "Thalidomide" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Thalidomide was a drug that was prescribed to pregnant women in the late 1950s and early 1960s to help combat morning sickness. It effectively reduced the symptoms of morning sickness in those women, but at a horrible cost. Many of the children born from women who took Thalidomide during pregnancy were born with birth defects and were called Thalidomide babies. In reference to the stereochemistry of Thalidomide, there is only one chiral carbon, and thus just two isomers. Thalidomide exists in two stereoisomers, S-thalidomide, which is a sedative that calms nervousness, and R-thalidomide, which was found to be a teratogen that causes birth defects. The carbon atom from the carbon-nitrogen bond connecting the two main ring structures is chiral, as shown on the attached bonus paper. The R-thalidomide isomer is the one that causes all the problems with birth defects, so one might think that if the S-thalidomide isomer was given to patients instead, there wouldn’t have been such a horrific problem. That, however, isn’t the case. Humans convert the S-thalidomide into R-thalidomide once in the body, so it really doesn’t matter which enantiomer is taken, it would have harmful effects to the babies of the pregnant women anyway.   Although the use of Thalidomide for morning sickness and its harmful effects to the babies has been called “one of the biggest medical tragedies of modern times”, there was some good to come from finding the bad results. The Thalidomide tragedy led to much stricter testing being required for drugs and pesticides before they can be licensed. In addition, it has been found to be a viable treatment for many medical conditions including “multiple myeloma in people who have been recently found to have this disease.” It’s also used to treat and prevent “skin symptoms of erythema nodosum leprosum(ENL or leprosy).

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Thalidomide. Anti Essays. Retrieved December 14, 2018, from the World Wide Web: http://parimatchstavki7.com/free-essays/Thalidomide-188024.html