Substituted morphinans

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Generic structure of morphinan molecule

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Morphinans are a class of psychoactive drugs consisting of opiate analgesics, cough suppressants, and dissociative hallucinogens, among others.


Morphinans are made up of the morphinan molecule with altering functional groups attached on the numbered carbons. Morphinan is comprised of a 1-benzylisoquinoline backbone with two additional ring closures. It features three benzene rings, where two are partially unsaturated, as well as a piperidine ring. It can have various substitutions at R3 and R6, and it is commonly substituted at RN with a methyl group and at R4 and R5 with an ether linkage to form products of varying potency, affinity, efficacy and half-life. It is a very flexible molecule with five chiral centers, which results in a lot of different configurations of the bonds.


The morphinans are a large chemical class and compounds within it have differing pharmacological effects. Active morphinan derivatives often act upon the NMDA receptor, the μ-opioid receptor and the σ1 and σ2 sigma receptors.


Morphinans are seen throughout organic chemistry including many analgesic, antitussive and anaesthetic compounds.

Analgesic drugs

Dissociative drugs

Opioid antagonists

See also

External links


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