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October 18, 2019
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Medical Uses of Some Important Chemical Compounds

Organic Chemistry has a wide range of applications in the agricultural, industrial, and medical sectors. For example, the chemical compound N-acetyl-para-aminophenol (commonly known as paracetamol) is used to treat fevers and headaches. Some interesting medical uses of chemical compounds are listed in this article. 

Potassium Permanganate (KMnO4)

Numerous skin conditions can be treated with potassium permanganate – an inorganic chemical compound with the chemical formula KMnO4. Examples of such skin conditions include dermatitis, impetigo, fungal infections in human feet, tropical ulcers, and pemphigus. Potassium permanganate is a very strong oxidizing agent and can therefore, constrict body tissues and disinfect the surface of the skin.

Sodium Thiosulfate (Na2S2O3)

Sodium thiosulfate is an inorganic compound with the formula Na2S2O3. In the field of medicine, this compound is primarily used for the treatment of cyanide poisoning. However, sodium thiosulfate is also used to treat ringworms (topically) and the side-effects of chemotherapy and hemodialysis. 

In cyanide poisoning cases, the intravenous injection of sodium thiosulfate results in the conversion of the highly toxic cyanide molecule into thiocyanate anions. The enzyme rhodanese catalyzes this action. Apart from its medical uses, this compound also finds applications in iodometry, photographic processing, and gold extraction. 

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Benzoyl Peroxide (C14H10O4)

Benzoyl peroxide (often abbreviated to BPO) is an organic chemical compound with the formula C14H10O4. It is highly effective in the treatment of acne in humans. Owing to its bacteriocidal effect on the bacteria associated with acne, benzoyl peroxide is often used to reduce the number of acne lesions and to minimize their severity. Commonly reported side-effects of this compound include irritation of the skin, dryness of the skin, and skin peeling. This compound is also used in the bleaching of hair and the whitening of teeth. 

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