1. Introduction to drug chemistry - what is a drug?

  1. What is a Drug - discuss and define?
  2. What is meant by a Drug of Abuse?
  3. What is a diluent?
  4. What is an adulterant?
  5. In what forms (presentations) could you see drugs of abuse?
  6. What is an agonist?
  7. What does IUPAC stand for?
  8. Explain advantage and disadvantages of IUPAC names.
  9. List the IUPAC name and any other general name used for the most common drugs of abuse
  10. Draw the chemical structures of the following substances: Methamphetamine, Cocaine, Heroin.
  11. List 'street names' of common drugs.
  12. How and when are other naming systems used in classification of drugs (synonyms)?
  13. What pharmaceutical products are seen as drugs of abuse?
  14. What drug (active ingredient) is present in commonly abused pharmaceuticals?
  15. Can drugs can be classified by pharmacological effects?
  16. What are the basic pharmacological classifications of drugs?
  17. Group the common drugs of abuse by basic pharmacological classifications.
  18. Describe the relationship between drug structure (i.e. heroin) and its pharmacological effect.
  19. Describe how the form of a drug (i.e. salt form to base drug) can cause different pharmacological effects.
  20. What form (i.e. salt form or base) of each common illicit drug is present and why ?
  21. Describe the common routes of administration and their effects for - Heroin, Methylamphetamine, MDMA, Cocaine, ketamine, LSD, Psilocin or Psilocybin and testosterone.
  22. What does the term anabolic mean?
  23. What does the term androgenic mean?
  24. Explain the difference between a natural, semi-synthetic and synthetic drug.
  25. Classify the common drugs of abuse as natural, semi-synthetic or synthetic drugs.
  26. Identify common sources of naturally occurring drugs.
  27. What would be the source of synthetic drugs?
  28. What functional groups classify a drug as an acid, base or neutral?
  29. Identify 10 of the most common drugs as acid, base or neutral.
  30. Why is it important to know why a drug is an acid, base, neutral?
  31. What is the term “Alkaloid” used to describe?
  32. Name two plant species that produce alkaloids of forensic interest.
  33. Define (chemically) the terms isomer, derivative and analogue.
  34. How does your drug legislation define isomer, derivative and analogue?
  35. What are the strengths and weaknesses of the legal definitions of these terms?
  36. List any controlled substances (and their schedule) for which the isomer must be determined.
  37. How are the terms homolog and analog related?
  38. Define the following terms:
    • Isomer
    • Constitutional Isomer
    • Stereoisomer
    • Configurational Isomer
    • Conformational Isomer
    • Enantiomer
    • Diastereomer
    • Chirality, chiral center
    • R (rectus), S (sinister)
    • Optical activity, optical rotation
    • Dextrorotatory, levorotatory
    • Specific rotation [α]
    • Optical Rotatory Dispersion (ORD)
  39. Draw the chemical structures for the following compounds and identify the chiral centers: Methamphetamine , Ephedrine, Methcathinone"
  40. The specific rotation of a molecule [α] is dependent on what 4 factors?
  41. How does the salt form of a drug affect its analysis?
  42. How does pH affect the solubility of drugs?
  43. How does the functional group affect the analysis procedure?
  44. How could the form of the drug (i.e. salt or base) affect analysis.
  45. Possession of what two characteristics make a molecule an excellent candidate for circular dichroism measurements?
  46. There are 12 structural isomers with the formula C5H12O:
    • Draw two with a straight carbon chain and an alcohol group.
    • Draw two with a straight carbon chain and an ether group.
    • Draw two with a branched carbon chain and either an ether or alcohol group.
    • How do the isomers in a and b above differ?
  47. From the structures below identify:
    • The three pairs of structural isomers.
    • The two structures that are not structural isomers.


Last Update June 2022

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