At the most fundamental level, the ability of a chemical compound to elicit a pharmacologic/therapeutic effect is related to the influence of various physical and chemical (physicochemical) properties of the chemical substance on the biomolecule(s) that it interacts with. Among the most pharmacologically influential physicochemical properties of organic medicinal agents (OMAs) are:
ACID-BASE PROPERTIES OF ORGANIC MEDICINAL AGENTS
A very important physicochemical property of OMAs is their ability to function as an organic acid and/or an organic base. Acidic and/or basic properties of OMAs are important in both pharmaceutical (dosage formulation, etc.) and pharmacological (disposition, structure at target site, etc.) phases.
The following primer will concentrate on two aspects of acid-base chemistry, (1) recognition of acidic or basic organic functional groups and (2) an estimation of the relative acid/base strength of these groups.