Top 10 Drug Discoveries of All Time


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Top 10 Drug Discoveries of All Time

Taking drugs for the ailment is a part and parcel of our life. The discovery of the drug has paved the way for advancing medical science. Before discovering drugs, ill people were treated with magical formulas or dealt with the supernatural. Life has now become so calm and uncomplicated with the mercy of the enhancement of medical science. If you become ill now, you don’t have to go to the doctor now due to the technological revolution. But still, the development of science can’t solve each problem. We are still far behind discovering new problems and symptoms of illness. Coronavirus has taught us that lesson also. On the contrary, we can’t avoid the fact that how we have become accustomed to nature by years.

Let’s dig into the top 10 drug discoveries of all time.

10. Ether

Crawford Williamson Long is known to use ether as an anesthetic drug in surgery for the first time in history. Before that, nobody had believed it was a powerful drug for human beings. Diethyl ether has replaced the use of chloroform as a general anesthetic drug in the human body. It has a reviving property that helps the nervous system. It can be used safely to the shocked patient to get rid of hypertension and tachycardia. But the discovery of newer drugs has lessened the use of ether as an anesthetic drug rather than ether has been mixed with alcohol or chloroform to work as an anesthetic drug.

Though over the past few decades, new anesthetic drugs are evolving, the immense importance of ether can’t be overlooked at all.

 09. Mechlorethamine

Mechlorethamine is commonly known as nitrogen mustard which brand name is Mustargen. If any of you are familiar with prostate cancer, then you will surely find this drug. It’s a revolutionary drug that has been used for over past decades only in warfare. But due to the development of the drug, it has been used as an anticancer chemotherapeutic drug. The function of this drug is to bind the DNA, crosslink two strands, and prevent duplication of cells.

Many diseases like Hodgkin’s disease, lymphosarcoma, chronic myelocytic leukemia are diagnosed with this drug as it has the efficacy in fungicides type cutaneous T cell lymphoma.

08. HIV Protease inhibitors

HIV is a virus that attacks the human body system which results in AIDS. The rate of getting infected with HIV is getting higher day by day. But the treatment of HIV is improving day by day. The drug that has changed the overall improving outlook of HIV is HIV protease inhibitors which have led to extraordinary success in the drug development arena. HIV always tries to copy itself as many times as it can. If anything can stop the HIV from multiplying then it can’t spread into the body. That significant role is being played by protease inhibitors. HIV injects its genetic materials into immune cells which results in a virus factory. Protease is an enzyme that helps HIV to replicate and a protease inhibitor stops the action of protease enzyme.

This is how HIV can’t copy itself.

07. Chlorpromazine

Suffering from anxiety and depression is a common ailment of today’s world. But before 1950 people used to take lithium to refrain from anxiety and depression. Chlorpromazine, commonly known as Thorazine has created a revolutionary change in the history of psychiatric medicine. Chlorpromazine is considered a low potency antipsychotic drug that has lower side effects. Research shows that it is 13% more effective than Latuda and Fanapt. For porphyria and tetanus treatment, this drug is also used. AIDS patients with delirium symptoms are also treated with this drug.

Though it has some adverse effects like sedation and parkinsonism, it has created an immense effect to treat bipolar disorder or mental ailment patients.

06. Morphine

German scientist Friedrich Serturner had first isolated the drug morphine in 1804. Merck started to marketize commercially in 1827. Morphine was widely used after the invention of the hypodermic syringe. The raw material of morphine is derived from poppy straw. It had a significant impact on the battlefield as it was used to get relief from chronic and acute pain. Morphine is effectively used in reducing the symptoms of shortness of breath for cancer and non-cancer patients. It is widely used for myocardial infarction and labor pain. It is also used for opiate substitution therapy ( OST ). It has some adverse effects that may imply some contradiction such as hormone imbalance, constipation, addiction.

Despite having a lot of adverse effects, it has opened a new methodology of the pain management drugs and drug development arena.

05. Insulin

There are about 422 million diabetic patients and 1.6 million deaths are caused by diabetes. There are two types of diabetes such as type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes. In type 1 diabetes, insulin can’t be secreted into the blood. In type 2 diabetes, beta-cell destruction is less frequent and it is pronounced much for the increased glucagon secretion. Insulin is a protein hormone that is produced by beta cells and pancreatic islets. Frederick Banting and Charles Herbert Best are considered to be the discoverer of insulin in 1921. Insulin is a hormone that is attributed to the conversion of sugar into energy. It increases the path of DNA replication and modifies the activity of numerous enzymes. Insulin can’t be taken by mouth rather it should be taken as subcutaneous injections by single-use syringe.

As the number of diabetic patients is increasing day by day, the intake of insulin is bearing more importance than ever.

04. Serelaxin 

Serelaxin is widely used for the treatment of acute heart failure. Serelaxin is a reorganized form of a hormone called relaxin that is generated during pregnancy. It also helps in reducing the increased blood output of the heart and blood flow in the kidney. It increases the calcium sensitivity of cardiac myofilaments and the phosphorylation of myofilaments.

According to Novartis, a safe and efficacy trial that is undergone by the FDA has declared that serelaxin has the ability to reduce the death rate by 37% compared to the patient who took standard therapy.

But it’s a matter of regret that this study went in vain as it didn’t meet the primary endpoint of the reduced cardiovascular death rate. Though it didn’t become successful, Novartis is committed to improving the lives of cardiovascular patients and for this, this study helps them a lot to improve in the drug development arena.

03. Contraceptive Pill

Austrian Scientist Ludwig Haberlandt first introduced hormones can be a way of contraception. The first approval of the contraceptive pill happened in 1960 by the FDA. Since then, the rate of taking contraception pills is getting higher and higher. But before 1960, it was a taboo to the people. Many women now believe that contraceptive pills have paved the way for women to become self-independent and create an impact on economic growth. It is estimated that 17.5 percent of women in the world are taking contraceptive pills. Though it is generally accepted safe to take this drug, it has some common side effects like breakthrough bleeding and amenorrhea.

It can create some impact on environmental aspects as several studies have shown that reducing human population growth can be an effective hack to climate change mitigation.

02. Aspirin 

In ancient Egypt, medicines were made from willow and salicylate rich plants. Hippocrates cited salicylic tea as a pain-relieving medicine. You probably are thinking why these examples are shown in this para. Here comes the answer. Over the past few centuries, salicylic acid is used to treat pain and the modification of that use is today’s aspirin. Aspirin’s popularity grew in the 20th century but it lost its pride after the development of paracetamol in 1956. It’s a prominent medication that is widely used for reducing pain, fever, and inflammation. In some cases, lower doses of aspirin can prevent death from a heart attack. It also has some properties to treat cancer, stroke patients, and even veterinary treatment. Like every other drug, it also has some demerits, it only should take under the proper instructions of a doctor.

But whatever it is, it has created an immense impact in the drug development arena.

01. Penicillin

In 1928, the advancements of antibiotics were laid because of the discovery of penicillin by Alexander Fleming. Statistics show that the antibiotic has saved over 80 million lives. Antibiotics are widely used for treating pneumonia, scarlet fever, and throat infections. Penicillin is a bunch of antibiotics that are derived from Penicillium molds. For this outstanding discovery, Alexander Fleming was awarded the Nobel prize in 1945. Many derivatives like procaine benzylpenicillin (procaine penicillin), benzathine benzylpenicillin (benzathine penicillin), and phenoxymethylpenicillin (penicillin V) are also considered as “penicillins”.

After the discovery of penicillin, the advancements of antibiotics got a new dimension of drug development that has enabled to save a million lives.

Final Thoughts

These are the top drug discoveries that we have found to describe. There may be a lot of varieties of drugs emerging day by day that is helping us to live a healthy life. Would you like to mention some drugs? What about your thoughts regarding this list?

Let us know that fact!

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