Soft antibacterial agents

T. Thorsteinsson, T. Loftsson*, M. Masson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

53 Citations (Scopus)


Hard drugs have been defined as drugs that are biologically active and non-metabolizable in vivo. Soft drugs are defined as drugs, which are characterized by predictable and controllable in vivo destruction (i.e. metabolism) to form non-toxic products after they have achieved their therapeutic role. Quaternary ammonium compounds, such as benzalkonium chloride, are hard antibacterial agents. Their toxicity limits their usage in humans and animals, and their chemical stability limits their usage for general environmental sanitation. Furthermore, due to their stability they are prone to induce selective antimicrobial pressure and bacterial resistance. Soft analogs of the currently available hard antibacterial agents are less toxic. However, although the soft analogs have been shown to possess antibacterial activity in vitro studies, it is likely that their in vivo activity will be hampered by their chemical instability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1129-1136
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent Medicinal Chemistry
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 2003


Dive into the research topics of 'Soft antibacterial agents'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this