Why are there dozens of drugs with the "left" particle in the name (levomycytin, levomekol, levocarnitine, etc.), but no "right"?

Why are there dozens of drugs with the "left" particle in the name (levomycytin, levomekol, levocarnitine, etc.), but no "right"?

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answers (2)

Answer 1
January, 2021

The thing is that many organic molecules of one substance can be like our hands - right and left. They are similar, but not the same - we will not wear the right glove on the left hand. This property is called chirality, from the word "hand".

And it so happened that in our body, some molecules work like right, others - like left. All amino acids are left-handed, all sugars are right.

The same is true for drugs - some work in L-form, others in D-form - this is what the right molecules are called, from Dexter - right. And in the pharmacy, such drugs are also found, for example, dextromethorphan.

Answer 2
January, 2021

There is one more important circumstance: organic molecules, being built from carbon chains, almost always have a spiral spatial structure. In biochemistry, it is the left-handed isomers that are active. That is why there are L-carnitine, L-DOPA, etc.

Right-handed sugar isomers, for example, are used as sweeteners, because they have the same sweet taste, but do not participate in the Krebs cycle and other biochemical reactions .

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