In this section we will be looking over the two drugs Acetaminophen and Ibuprofen. We will look at their chemical structures and find out what makes them different.
Ibuprofen is a drug used to reduce pain and inflammation and is found in popular brands such as Advil and Motrin. It was first discovered by Dr. Stewart Adams, in the United Kingdom. This was around the 1950s, and it was later patented in 1961 and it took another 8 years to become readily available to the public. It is categorized under the NSAID type of drugs (Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug). Ibuprofen is effective because of its role in the production of prostaglandins.
Prostaglandins are compounds that have a long list of effects and are created all over the body but act locally (where they are created). One of its effects are causing inflammation. Ibuprofen can reduce the inflammation and pain because of the antipyretic and analgesic power the drug has inside. The antipyretic compound works by interfering with the synthesis of prostaglandins thus stopping the inflammation. This is done by stopping cyclo-oxygenase, which is an enzyme that is a catalyst in making compounds called arachidonic acid into prostaglandins.
2-(4-isobutylphenyl) propanoic acid
Functional groups represented in Ibuprofen: Carboxylic acid, Benzene.
Acetaminophen is a drug used to reduce pain and fever as well. Found in Tylenol and Excedrin, its been relieving pain since the late 1800's. It as well works by limiting the production of prostaglandins (chemical messengers in the body which are produced when it senses illness or injury) and its pain signals. However it is not an NSAID and does not deal with inflammation. It is part of the two medical categories called analgesics (pain reliving) and antipyretics (fever reducing). It also has no effects on the stomach and esophagus unlike ibuprofen. With that said, taking large doses for an extended amount of time still may cause liver damage or impairment.
The starting material for the commercial manufacture of paracetamol is phenol, which is nitrated to give a mixture of the ortho and para-nitrotoluene. The o-isomer is removed by steam distillation, and the p-nitro group reduced to a p-amino group. This is then acetylated to make paracetamol.
History of Acetaminophen
It was created at first to try and improve Ibuprofen, by not affecting the stomach as much. It was released to the public first in the UK in 1956. Its a very household drug and is safe to use with children. It is also known around the world as Paracetamol.
Functional groups represented in Acetaminophen: Alcohol, Benzene, Ketone, Amine.