Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs)

Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) are the components in pharmaceutical drugs that are biologically active. Some drugs are comprised of multiple kinds of APIs. Any drug is composed of two components: the API, which is the central active ingredient, and an excipient, which is the inactive substance within the drug or tablet. [1] APIs may constitute antibacterials, central nervous system targeted agents, antihistamines/anti-asthmatics, cardiovascular agents, antivirals, antidiabetics, antifungals, proton pump inhibitors and pain management drugs. For example, Acyclovir is an antiviral medicine used predominantly in treating conditions like Herpes Simplex and Herpes Zoster. Acyclovir also is the precursor to all antiviral treatments.[2] The API used in Bleomycin is employed to treat cancer, plantar warts and pleurodesis, as well as squamous cell carcinoma.[3] In another example, the API present in Latanoprost helps to reduce intraocular pressure.[4]

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[1]. [2]. Huff JC, et al. Therapy of herpes zoster with oral acyclovir. Am J Med. 1988, 85(2A): 84-89. [3].Blum RH, et al. A clinical review of bleomycin–a new antineoplastic agent. Cancer. 1973, 31(4): 903-914. [4].Rulo AH, et al. Reduction of intraocular pressure with treatment of latanoprost once daily in patients with normal-pressure glaucoma. Ophthalmology. 1996, 103(8): 1276-1282.

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