Topics - Thalidomide
Thalidomide, 2-(2,6-Dioxo-3-piperidinyl)-1H-iso-indole-1,3(2H)-dione or 3-phthalimidoglutarimide has molecular weight of 258.23 and contains 60.45%w/w of carbon, 3.90%w/w of hydrogen, 10 .85%w/w of nitrogen and 24.78%w/w of oxygen. It is a drug that has been used in the treatment of leprosy bur was originally used as a tranquilizer. This drug was manufactured and sold as a racemic mixture of N-phthalylglutamic acid imide. However, the desired physiologically activity was found to reside solely in the R-(+)-isomer and it was discovered, too late, that the corresponding S-(-)-enantiomer was teratogenic and could cause serious fetal malformations. The thalidomide disaster evoked the interest of all pharmaceutical manufacturers and also the drug regulatory committees. As a result, research activity in the field of stereochemistry became very important and the United States Food and Drug Administration recommended that the physiological activity of each isomer of all new drugs should be individually tested.