Lykrex is the commercial name for a now-discontinued anti-fungal agent once used in the treatment in symbiotic rheumatism in verdials. The drug is notable for its deceptively narrow therapeutic index and the tendency for the patient to develop tolerance, with overdoses leading to lethal destruction of the host's Caudal lichen symbiote. Counter-agents to Lycrex and its analogues are being studied by the Ghostleaf Foundation because of the drug's potential use by foreign adversaries as a chemical warfare agent.
Mechanics & Inner Workings
Lykrex prevents verdialization and supresses the growth of pre-exising Caudal lichen symbiotes by inhibiting the growth of the required strong fungal scaffolding inherent to the lichen. Specifically, the drug cleaves a Caudal lichen enzyme responsible for the creation and maintenance of a chitinous cell wall. Without a cell wall, the cells either fail to form in a viable state or, with no way to present proper protein markers to the host's immune system, are attacked as foreign materials. The metabolites of this drug are themselves cytotoxic and accumulate in the effected Caudal lichen tissues, though the blood eventually carries its to the host's kidneys, causing nephrotoxic effects in high concentrations. Because of this accumulation, couples where one or both members are on Lykrex treatment are discouraged from engaging in certain intimate activities unique to verdial physiology. Lykrex is readily absorbed through the skin, and targeted therapy involves applying a petrolatum preparation to the immediate proximity of the effected joints. Systemic therapy comes in the form of injections or suppositories; Lykrex breaks down under the acidic conditions found in the stomach, precluding oral formulations. Concentrated Lykrex is a light liquid and has the potential to become aerosolized. It is this property that has caused the Petalcap Vale Department of Defense to regard the drug as a potential chemical weapon in the wrong hands, as much of the life in the Petalcap Vale is fungal in some capacity and would be injured on contact. Lykrex analogue vapors have seen use in the past in decontamination chambers, especially where research into Caudal lichen proliferation and alteration have taken place, but these applications become less common by the year as safer and more generalizable sterilization procedures are developed.