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Generic structure of morphinan molecule

Morphinan is the prototype chemical structure of a large chemical class of psychoactive drugs consisting of opiate analgesics, cough suppressants, and dissociative hallucinogens, among others.


Morphinan is comprised of a phenanthrine core of three fused benzene rings, two of which are saturated. A fourth six-membered nitrogen containing ring is attached to the core at to carbons 9 and 13.

Hydrogen atoms around the structure can be substituted for other functional groups to produce drugs of varying potency, affinity, efficacy and half-life.



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Morphinans include compounds which can produce a variety of pharmacological effects. Many have been demonstrated to interact with NMDA receptors, opioid receptors, and sigma receptors.

See also