Total synthesis of morphine and related alkaloids ..
genes that allow the opium poppy to make codeine and morphine, ..
The isolation of morphine was the beginning of alkaloid chemistry, which has yielded many important medicinal substances. Although a satisfactory theory of analgesic structure or action still eludes us, experimenters have developed a number of synthetic analgesics related to morphine. The oldest is (also known as meperidine, Demerol and about 40 other names). It was synthesised in 1939 by the German chemist Otto Eisleb. It is less potent than morphine, but is still widely used for the relief of post-operative pain. By replacing one of the -OH groups with a methoxy group, morphine is converted into , another powerful painkiller. When mixed with paracetamol it goes by the trade name . When ingested, the -OCH3 group is converted back to -OH, regenerating morphine.
9 syntheses of Morphine - The Organic Synthesis Database
The most notorious derivative of morphine is . It is synthesised by acetylation of the two hydroxyl groups of morphine with acetyl chloride, hence its other names, or . Heroin was first isolated from morphine in 1874 and was originally used as a 'safe' ( non addictive) cure from morphine addiction. This was later found to be incorrect and in the 1900s heroin abuse and addiction became common. Heroin was first restricted in the UK in 1868 due to 'unprofitable diversion of workers' and an international ban followed after the first world war. It is now classified as a Class A drug and possession or trading in it results in heavy penalties in most countries.