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Ibuprofen - Essay Example

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Ibuprofen is used to treat inflammatory conditions such as dysmenorrhea, vascular headache and fever, mild and moderate pain,…
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Download file to see previous pages However, other websites say that it is 2-(4-isobutylphenyl)propanoic acid, where methylpropyl is replaced with isobutyl (Broyles, 2009).
First of all, Ibuprofen is a propanoic acid, which is a carboxylic acid, characterized by a –COOH tail, and is an organic hydrocarbon molecule with three carbons, which is a property of the basic propane structure. Its being a propanoic acid gives Ibuprofen its pharmacologic properties – analgesic, antipyretic and antiinflammatory – because it is its carboxylic end that reacts with the enzymes that help produce pain hormones. Moreover, Ibuprofen is a chiral or aromatic compound because of its benzene ring or phenyl group, which is attached to the second carbon. Furthermore, there is an isobutyl group, which is made up of four carbons, attached to the second carbon of the phenyl group.
Ibuprofen has two optical isomers, the R- and the S+ forms, and where the S+ form has distinct pharmacologic properties and has a significant role in inhibiting the synthesis of prostaglandins. The R- form, on the other hand, has no anti-inflammatory effect. Nevertheless, an enzyme in the human body naturally converts R- isomers of Ibuprofen into the useful S+ forms, thus increasing the total active forms of Ibuprofen in the body (“The Structure of Ibuprofen,” 2012).
According to information from the University of Oxford Department of Chemistry, Ibuprofen is “only slightly soluble in water but readily soluble in organic solvents such as ethanol” (“Ibuprofen,” University of Oxford, 2012). Other sources, however, say that Ibuprofen is insoluble in cold water (“Material Safety,” 2012). The insolubility of Ibuprofen is due to the presence of the non-polar covalent bonds present in the hydrocarbon chains, which are not soluble in polar compounds like water. In fact, this particular physical property of Ibuprofen accounts for some of its less significant pharmacologic effects.
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