Emily Carlson, National Institutes of Health | August 14, 2013 11:49am
Ways Medicines Work
Findings from research funded by the National Institutes of Health have shed light on how some common medicines work.
1. Antibiotics, Antivirals
Antibiotics and antiviral drugs attack proteins that are only found in the targeted bacterium or virus and that are crucial for the pathogen's survival or multiplication. In many cases, the targets are enzymes, which are proteins that speed up chemical reactions. The antibiotic penicillin, for example, hones in on an enzyme that builds bacterial cell walls, causing infecting bacteria to burst and die. Protease inhibitors like saquinavir shut down an enzyme that would otherwise help HIV spread in the body.
Read the full list at Live Science