Tuesday, December 29, 2015

History of phenacetin

Phenacetin (or acetophenetidin) is used as an analgesic and antipyretic drug for human and animals.  It was widely used between its introduction in 1887 and the 1983 ban imposed by the FDA on its use in the United States.

Phenacetin was marketed in 1888 and it could be stated that the development of phenacetin should be regarded as the beginning of the pharmaceutical industry in its modern form. It was introduced by the Bayer Company.

Phenacetin was first prepared by C. Hinsberg in 1887 who was seeking a use for a quantity of p-nitrophenol that he had a accumulated as a byproduct of dye works. Bayer’s chemists synthesized some derivatives of which the 4-epoxy acetanilide was less toxic, and was marketed as an analgesic and antipyretic under the name of phenacetin.

Phenacetin was a highly successful product and established the Bayer Company as a leading pharmaceutical manufacturer.

Phenacetin was first produced in the United States in the 1920s. Total annual sales of phenacetin for medical use were estimated to be less than 640,000 kg by the late 1970s.

Phenacetin was widely used for about 90 years until mounting concerns over carcinogenicity and kidney-damaging properties in chronic treatment.
History of phenacetin

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