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Dirty Drug

A dirty drug is an informal term used in pharmacology to describe drugs that may bind to many different molecular targets or receptors in the body, and so tend to have a wide range of effects and possibly negative side effects. Today, pharmaceutical companies try to make new drugs as selective as possible to minimise the occurrence of side effects and risk of adverse reactions.

Examples of compounds often cited as "dirty drugs" include chlorpromazine, dextromethorphan and ibogaine, all of which bind to multiple receptors or influence multiple receptor systems. There may be instances of advantages to drugs that exhibit multireceptor activity such as the antiaddictive drug ibogaine that acts within a broad range of neurohormonal systems where activity is also exhibited by drugs of abuse including opioids, nicotine, and alcohol. [1] [2] Dextromethorphan for its part is widely used as a cough medication.


  1. ^ P. Popik, P. Skolnick (1998). Pharmacology of Ibogaine and Ibogaine-Related Alkaloids. The Alkaloids 52, Chapter 3, 197-231, Academic Press, Editor: G.A. Cordell
  2. ^ K.R. Alper (2001). Ibogaine: A Review. The Alkaloids 56, 1-38, Academic Press (pdf)
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Dirty_Drug". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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