Antiseptics, Disinfectants and Antifertility drugs

Microorganism affect our lives greatly. Sometimes they can be so harmful that they cause diseases.

Microorganisms that cause diseases are called pathogens.

Specialised drugs called antimicrobial drugs have been developed to counter these disease causing microorganisms .

Antiseptics and disinfectants are common antimicrobial drugs that we use in our day to day life.

Open wounds, cuts or ulcers are the common place for growth of microorganisms.

Here antiseptics come to rescue, where they arrest the growth of microorganisms and reduce the risk of infection.

But in case we want to stop the growth of microorganisms on floors or walls, we use a class of antimicrobials called disinfectants.

Up next let us look at a few examples of antiseptics and disinfectants.

Commonly used antiseptic, dettol is a mixture of chloroxylenol and terpineol.

Also, a drug called bithionol is mostly added to soaps to make it antiseptic.

Iodine is another powerful antiseptic.

of its solution in alcohol water mixture is known as tincture of iodine. This solution can be easily applied on a bruised area.

Next if you looking for an antiseptic for eyes, you can go for boric acid in dilute aqueous solution.

Also, some of the substances you use as an antiseptic can also be used a disinfectant, simply by varying the concentration.

For instance, solution of phenol is an antiseptic while its solution is disinfectant.

Other examples of disinfectants include: low concentrations of sulphur dioxide and chlorine in aqueous solution.

These drugs keep us safe and increase our life expectancy. But downside of this is increased population.

Increased population brings in many socio-economic problems. As a result, family planning has become something of utmost importance.

Development of antifewtility drugs is thus a step towards controlling population.

The antifertility drugs come in the form of birth control pills.

The birth control pills contain a mixture of synthetic estrogen and progesterone derivative.

Both these compounds are hormones. And progesterone is known to suppress ovulation.

Progesterone derivative most widely used in antifertility drugs is Norethindrone.

And the common estrogen derivative used with progesterone derivative is ethynylestradiol (novestrol).


Antiseptics are the chemicals which either kill or prevent the growth of microorganisms.

Disinfectants are applied to inanimate objects such as floors, drainage system, instruments, etc.

The same substance can act as an antiseptic as well as a disinfectant by varying the concentration.

Antifertility drugs come in the form of birth control pills. They are a mixture of synthetic estrogen and progesterone derivatives.

The End