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What one hand giveth the other taketh away: some unpredicted effects of enantiomers in psychopharmacology.

Authors
  • Nutt, David J
  • Feetam, Celia L
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of Psychopharmacology
Publisher
SAGE Publications
Publication Date
Aug 01, 2010
Volume
24
Issue
8
Pages
1137–1141
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1177/0269881110374782
PMID: 20663810
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

It is well known that many medicines are a mixture of two enantiomers, or mirror-image molecules. Two enantiomers occur when a molecule has a single chiral centre and the two mirror images, called S or L (left handed) and R or D (right handed), are usually found in equal amounts in the parent (racemic) mixture. While for many compounds used in clinical practice the active moiety is found in one of the two enantiomers with the other being seen as an unnecessary and redundant component of the racemic mixture, the difference between enantiomers can mean a difference between therapeutic and adverse effects, as well as in beneficial pharmacological effect and potency.

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