54 votes

What is the benefit of fever during infections?

Fever is a trait observed in warm and cold-blooded vertebrates that has been conserved for hundreds of millions of years (Evans, 2015). Elevated body temperature stimulates the body's immune ...
AliceD's user avatar
  • 52.4k
44 votes
Accepted

Are drugs made bitter artificially to prevent being mistaken for candy?

Short answer A bittering agent may be applied to therapeuticals to prevent pediatric poisonings, but many drugs inherently taste bitter by themselves. Background Bitter taste is thought to have ...
AliceD's user avatar
  • 52.4k
35 votes
Accepted

Why do animal cells "mistake" rubidium ions for potassium ions?

There are multiple biological mechanisms that can be brought to bear for distinguishing between atoms. In addition to binding properties (e.g., ionic charge, electronegativity, bond strength), there ...
jakebeal's user avatar
  • 6,977
33 votes
Accepted

Why are vaccines for polio taken orally while vaccines for TB need to be injected?

There are different polio vaccines - one live (attenuated) vaccine which is given orally and one inactivated, which is injected. The main reason for using the live orally vaccine is that it provides ...
Chris's user avatar
  • 51.6k
27 votes

Are stable isotopes ever used in pharmaceuticals?

Deutetrabenazine. As the linked article from Wikipedia notes: Deutetrabenazine (trade name Austedo) is a vesicular monoamine transporter 2 inhibitor which is used for the treatment of chorea ...
Jiminy Cricket.'s user avatar
25 votes
Accepted

Why are drug dosages so high in some mice studies?

Mice are simply different from humans; they have different metabolism, different lifespan, different body size. Generally, for a first order approximation, one might scale simply by body weight to ...
Bryan Krause's user avatar
  • 45.3k
21 votes
Accepted

Is cancer caused by vitamin B17 deficiency?

Short Answer: No. Background: First of all, there is no such thing as vitamin B17. The compound, amygdalin or laetrile, which is referred to by this term, is not a vitamin1. Amygdalin is indeed a ...
another 'Homo sapien''s user avatar
17 votes

How do you calculate the time until the steady-state of a drug?

Here's a short simulation that show the process. You can find more about how to simulate a half decay process here You can notice that the first dose of 40 mg should decay to 20 mg in 30 hours, but ...
heracho's user avatar
  • 727
16 votes
Accepted

How does methamphetamine (meth) damage neurons?

Nice question! I will directly begin with the process through which methamphetamine causes damage to neurons, putting in as much details as are known, and adding appropriate citations wherever ...
another 'Homo sapien''s user avatar
16 votes

Are stable isotopes ever used in pharmaceuticals?

The urea breath test for Helicobacter pylori uses urea labelled with carbon-13 or carbon-14 to detect the presence of the bacteria, which would metabolize it to carbon dioxide and be exhaled.
Nayuki's user avatar
  • 261
15 votes
Accepted

How does aspirin "thin" blood?

Aspirine irreversibly inhibits the enzyme cyclooxygenase. This enzyme facilitates the reaction from arachidonic acid to prostaglandin G2/H2. The further reaction leads to the generation of Thromboxane ...
Chris's user avatar
  • 51.6k
14 votes

Is cancer caused by vitamin B17 deficiency?

Short version: This is nonsense, cancer does not arise from nutritional deficiencies. Long version: The substance is called Amygdalin, a poisonous cyanogenic glycoside. It can be found in higher ...
Chris's user avatar
  • 51.6k
14 votes
Accepted

Meaning of "acute LSD"

In the abstract they refer to "acute LSD administration" (emphasis mine), and in the next section of the results after the one you mention in your question, they clarify it as "Acute ...
MattDMo's user avatar
  • 15.3k
13 votes
Accepted

Why is insulin given in type 2 diabetes?

Isn't it illogical to give more of insulin for a deficit amount of receptors? Seems like there is some confusion in the definition of type-2 DM itself. According ...
another 'Homo sapien''s user avatar
12 votes
Accepted

What is "irrational" drug/molecule design?

"Irrational" design in these papers refers to combinatorial mutagenesis, which is put forward as the alternative to "rational" protein design. Rational design involves using existing information ...
acvill's user avatar
  • 8,286
11 votes

Does one wing of fly contain harmful microbes and the other contain only antibodies?

Does one wing of fly contain harmful microbes and the other contain only antibodies? False. A healthy microdose of skepticism is all you would ever need here. It's just a silly attempt to prove a ...
S Pr's user avatar
  • 6,202
11 votes

How do you calculate the time until the steady-state of a drug?

heracho's answer does a good job showing the realistic timing. However you can do a pretty good approximation with a simple differential equation, where you approximate the daily dose as a continuous ...
thegreatemu's user avatar
11 votes
Accepted

Why do we not develop tolerance to endogenous factors?

Tolerance is just a special case of homeostasis. There definitely is some level of "tolerance" to endogenous substances: down-regulation or desensitization of receptors that are over-...
Bryan Krause's user avatar
  • 45.3k
9 votes

Why is insulin given in type 2 diabetes?

This is true for the beginning of the disease. As a reaction to the reduced sensitivity of the cells in the body to insulin (and thus less uptake of glucose from the blood and a resulting ...
Chris's user avatar
  • 51.6k
9 votes
Accepted

Humans have Cannabinoid receptors. Does that mean we're meant to consume cannabis?

Receptors Any drug or compound with specific effects has a receptor. You can read about this general concept in Goodman and Gillman's The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics. Chapter 1 introduces ...
De Novo's user avatar
  • 8,801
8 votes
Accepted

Does LSD "stay" in your fat storage and then "returns" back?

I've heard this rumor for years, both from pro- and anti-drug people, and it is not true. According to this review of LSD's pharmacology, its half-life in the body is about 5 hours, with it being ...
MattDMo's user avatar
  • 15.3k
8 votes

How do you calculate the time until the steady-state of a drug?

Let's take a moment to think about what it means for a drug dosed multiple times to reach "steady-state": "steady-state" would mean that it doesn't matter much if you've been ...
Bryan Krause's user avatar
  • 45.3k
7 votes

What is the benefit of fever during infections?

Fever normally under hypothalamic heat center's control which stays at limbic system of brain . Hypothalamus sets its own set point 36.4-37.2 in healthy peoples by some molecules named exogenous and ...
sinankzlyr's user avatar
7 votes
Accepted

Can controlled dose of Codeine improve brain's functionality?

the first time you take them you will feel better, think sharper, and act better You are probably thinking of amphetamines, not opiates. Militaries have used amphetamines for just that purpose for ...
Bryan Krause's user avatar
  • 45.3k
7 votes
Accepted

What is the motivation behind fluorinated pharmaceuticals?

Fluorine has a combination of unique chemical properties, which makes it very useful in drug design : It is small, such that replacing a C-H with a C-F is often possible, from a sterical point of ...
Eliane B.'s user avatar
  • 1,145
7 votes
Accepted

Why don't anti-viral drugs like "Acyclovir" work against coronaviruses?

Aciclovir specifically targets HSV-family viruses. It is metabolized by a viral-specific enzyme into an inhibitor of the specific DNA polymerase expressed by the virus: in infected cells, HSV or ...
Bryan Krause's user avatar
  • 45.3k
6 votes

Why are vaccines for polio taken orally while vaccines for TB need to be injected?

The reason why the oral polio vaccine is not digested in the stomach is that the poliovirus itself has adapted such that it can survive the acidic conditions of the stomach. By using an attenuated (...
Thawn's user avatar
  • 1,239
6 votes
Accepted

How does paracetamol work?

What are the most popular theories in a nutshell? To date, the mechanism of action of paracetamol is not fully understood. There are some experimental evidences, but it is difficult to put things ...
Marco Vismara's user avatar
6 votes
Accepted

Why antipyretics do not bring the body-temperature below normal?

Antipyretics doesn't work by reducing the body temperature but blocking pathways that make it higher. For paracetamol/acetaminophen the mechanisms implied are not currently completely clear (as ...
DavideN's user avatar
  • 180
6 votes

Drugs to make rats easier to trap

I keep somewhat up-to-date with pest control measures. I haven't heard of chemicals being used to alter rat behaviour but using parasites that alter rat and mouse behaviour (Toxoplasma spp.) has been ...
Michael_A's user avatar
  • 1,305

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible