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A Closer Look: Thalidomide

posted Feb 8, 2012, 11:42 AM by Sarah O'Brien   [ updated Feb 9, 2012, 11:39 AM ]

Use the links below to answer the following questions on a separate piece of paper.

Historical Information About Thalidomide
This brief article on the following web link will provide some basic historical information about thalidomide.
  1. When and where was the drug thalidomide first used?
  2. For what purpose was it used?
  3. What were the unintended consequences of its use by pregnant women?

Thalidomide and Stereochemistry
This article provides information on the stereogenic effects of Thalidomide.
Why is drug chirality important?
  1. Why is thalidomide chiral?
  2. Why are drug moledules often chiral in order to have positive effects in humans?
  3. What should drug companies consider when they develop and market new chiral drugs?
What caused the thalidomide tragedy?
  1. What are the harmful side effects of the chiral drug Thalidomide
  2. Why can thalidomide cause birth defects?
  3. If doctors prescribe the pure (+)(R)-thalidomide only, could the harmful side effects of thalidomide be avoided?  Why?
Why has thalidomide been approved for sale again?
  1. Why was thalidomide banned in 1962?
  2. Why did the US Food and Drug Administration approve the use of thalidomide in 1998?
  3. Thalidomide victims have expressed a lot of concerns about the return of thalidomide to the market.  What are their major concerns?  What are their recommendations?

More Information
For more information on a number of related topics, click on these links!