Pharmacology Q25

Mechanisms of Action of Important Drugs

 

Below is a detailed breakdown of the mechanisms of action of various medications including anticoagulants and an antidote for paracetamol toxicity.

Anticoagulants

1. LMWH (Low Molecular Weight Heparin)

    . Mechanism: Activates antithrombin III, which inhibits the conversion of prothrombin to thrombin, playing a crucial role in preventing clot formation.

2. UFH (Unfractionated Heparin)

    . Mechanism: Like LMWH, it activates antithrombin III but goes a step further by not only inhibiting the conversion of prothrombin to thrombin but also blocking the action of thrombin itself. This dual action is central to its anticoagulant properties.

3. Warfarin

    . Mechanism: It works through the inhibition of vitamin K dependent factors necessary for clotting. This action helps in preventing the synthesis of clotting factors, thereby exerting an anticoagulant effect.

Antidote for Paracetamol Toxicity

4. N-acetylcysteine

    . Mechanism: In the case of paracetamol toxicity, N-acetylcysteine comes into play by acting as a precursor for glutathione synthesis. It increases glutathione production, helping in the inactivation of NAPQI, a harmful metabolite produced during paracetamol overdose. Furthermore, it offers protection from free radicals, reducing the extent of liver damage that can occur due to toxicity.

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