Analogs are compounds that have similar properties. Structural analogs possess structural similarities. Functional analogs are compounds that are structurally different yet produce similar pharmacological results.

In chemistry, the term analog typically refers to drugs or medications. Two drugs can be structural analogs and not functional analogs. Sometimes, analog is also spelled analogue.

Analog Drugs

In 1986, the federal government created the Controlled Substance Analogue Enforcement Act. Also known as the Federal Analogue Act, this law made it illegal to create chemical analogs of Schedule I and II drugs.

The Federal Analogue Act made it illegal for drug designers to duplicate the chemical structures of illicit drugs. It further criminalizes the synthesis of any drug that has the potential to become a drug of abuse.

What are Schedule I and Schedule II drugs? The Controlled Substances Act (CSA) is a law that prohibits drug use in the United States. The CSA groups all drugs into five different schedules. Schedule I is the most dangerous, and Schedule V is the least.

Schedule I drugs include those drugs that the federal government deems to have a high potential for abuse and a low potential for medical use, such as cocaine and heroin.

Schedule II drugs have some acceptable medical applications, but they also have a high potential for misuse and abuse. Schedule II drugs include methadone and prescription painkillers.