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Notes on the alkaloid aporeine (medicinal uses)

By extraction of the seed capsules of Papaver dubium with light petroleum, a previously unknown alkaloid, aporeine, is obtained. The thick, yellow, amorphous extractive product amounting to 0.015 p. c yields with 10 p. c. hydrochloric acid, the hydrochloride, which forms glistening scales, melting at about 230°, and gives precipitates with silver nitrate and phosphomolybdic acid. The base forms microscopic leaflets after crystallisation from ether, light petroleum, or chloroform. When a solution of the trace of the alkaloid or its hydrochloride in a drop of nitric acid of sp. gr. 1.8 is dropped into concentrated sulphuric acid, a violet, brown, and finally yellow coloration is produced, a similar result being given by the base with strong sulphuric acid in which a crystal of potassium chlorate has been dissolved. The hydrochloride gives a greyish-blue, green, brown, and finally black coloration, with a solution of 2 or 3 drops of 40 per cent, formalin in 3 C C. of concentrated sulphuric acid; with strong sulphuric acid, especially in the presence of potassium nitrate, or with fuming nitric and sulphuric acids in the presence of potassium dichromate, a brown coloration.

The hydrochloride produces on the tongue at first a burning and then a numbing sensation. The alkaloid is a tetanus poison, similar to thebaine—(J. Ch. S. LXXXVIII, part I., p. 368).