Paulina Wiśniewska

Application of some metal compounds in pharmacotherapy

Application of some metal compounds in pharmacotherapy

Metals and their compounds are an inherent element of human life due to their key roles in biological processes and all human technology. In this aspect, the use of metal compounds as drugs brings a wide range of applications. Modern pharmacotherapy derives from experience in treatment with metal compounds collected over the centuries. Scientists constantly try to expand the therapeutic applicability of metals with a high atomic number, such as coinage metals.

Silver has long been used due to its anti-microbial activity, and more recently, silver has gained prominence due to the growing market of medical products based on this metal, which aids wound healing. Ions of this metal affect the process of protein denaturation, and also have caustic and astringent properties. Even at low concentrations, anti-inflammatory and bacterial growth-inhibiting effects are observed.

It is said that the origins of the use of gold date back to ancient Chinese and Arabic medicine. Nowadays gold is the subject of intense research owing to its anti-arthritic and anti-cancer effects.

Pharmacotherapy based on bismuth compounds comprises the treatment of gastrointestinal disorders. In contrast, extremely poisonous arsenic compounds, thanks to modifications of the chemical structure, allowed for the development of novel potent molecules, including antibacterial agents. Although arsenic trioxide is mainly known as a poison, scientists in 1971 found that a 1% solution administered as an intravenous infusion was effective in treating leukemia. This observation allowed the use of arsenic compounds in pharmacotherapy.

Cisplaytin, as well as second generation congeners, such as carboplatin, is a widely used drug in cancer chemotherapy of various types of cancers, including ovarian, head and neck, lung, and bladder tumors. Yet still, scientists expand research on organic platinum derivatives since innovative approaches are required to deal with the challenges of cancer plasticity and heterogeneity.

The use of metals in pharmacy currently enters its renaissance since organometallic chemistry provides new biologically active compounds that contain metals such as platinum, gold, antimony, and strontium.

Keywords: silver, arsenic, bismuth, gold, organometallic compounds.

© Farm Pol, 2021, 77(1): 97–110

Application of some metal compounds in pharmacotherapy

446.43 kB | 31 marca 2021