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Morphine Zwitterion

Published:March 16, 2017DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.janh.2017.03.001
      German pharmacist Friedrich Sertürner (1783-1841) crystallized morphine in 1805 and named the molecule in 1817. It was the first botanical drug to be isolated in nearly pure form. Not established at the time, a reason for the seminal success was that the morphine molecule is the only one of the venerable botanical drugs to have the properties of a simple zwitterion. It remains the only zwitterionic opioid.

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