Sulfapyridine, original UK spelling sulphapyridine, is a sulfonamide antibacterial. At one time it was commonly referred to as M&B.
Sulfapyridine is not prescribed for treatment in humans any more. However, it may be used to treat linear IgA Disease. It is a good antibacterial drug, but its water solubility is very pH dependent. Thus there is a risk of crystallization within the bladder or urethra, which could lead to pain or blockage.
Discovered by British firm May & Baker Ltd and logged in their Test Book on 2 November 1937 under Code No M&B693. Successfully used to treat Winston Churchill's bacterial pneumonia in 1942. In a subsequent radio broadcast he said "This admirable M&B from which I did not suffer any inconvenience, was used at the earliest moment and, after a week's fever, the intruders were repulsed." In 1944 M&B693 also saved Nero, the Royal Circus lion, from pneumonia.[Glasgow Evening News January 1944.]
The drug sulfasalazine is structurally one molecule of mesalamine linked to one molecule of sulfapyridine with an azo bond.
M & B 693 was one of the first generation of sulphonamide antibiotics, It has been reported as the first chemical cure for pneumonia. It could either be taken in tablet form or the powder could be placed in wounds. It was used so widely during the Second World War that May & Baker had difficulty keeping up with demand. It was later largely superseded by penicillin and sulphonamides.
- ^ Lesch, John (2007). "Chapter 7". The First Miracle Drugs (illustrated ed.). Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-518775-X.