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What is Acetaminophen?
Acetaminophen is paracetamol that is generally used as anti-inflammatory medicine and included in the list of essential WHO medicines needed in health systems. The formula for this compound is
C8H9NO2 and its extended formula is
HOC6H4NHCOCH3 with a molecular weight of 151.165 g mol-1. It is formed by combining an amide group and one hydroxy group together. The molecule has a planar geometry with 7 carbon atoms and sp2 hybridization.
The chemical structure for the molecule could be given as below.
The molecule is not available in nature but it is prepared in the laboratory. Similar to Aspirin, it was first synthesized in 1877 by Harmon but it was not used till 1893. After this, the researcher found paracetamol in the urine of patients that were treated with phenacetin.
Acetaminophen can be synthesized when 4-aminophenol is treated with acetic acid under high temperatures. The temperature should be greater than 70 degree Celsius when preparing this compound.
This is a colorless white crystalline solid that has a bitter taste with a density of 1.293 g mL-1. The melting and boiling point of the molecule is 168 ºC and 420 ºC, respectively. It is soluble in boiling water, methanol, and ethanol but it does not dissolve in water, ether or benzene.
It is generally used to reduce pain or fever in children or adults. It is used for the treatment of arthritis as well. This is a raw material that helps in preparing several other useful medicines.