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Acetorphine ball-and-stick animation.gif
Systematic (IUPAC) name
4,5α-epoxy-7α-(1-hydroxy-1-methylbutyl)-6-methoxy -17-methyl-6,14-endo-ethenomorphinan-3-yl acetate
Clinical data
Legal status
CAS Registry Number 25333-77-1 N
ATC code None
PubChem CID: 62795
ChemSpider 16736130 YesY
UNII 2OGQ81529L YesY
Chemical data
Formula C27H35NO5
Molecular mass 453.57 g/mol
 N (what is this?)  (verify)

Acetorphine is a potent opioid analgesic, up to 8700 times stronger than morphine by weight.[1] It is a derivative of the more well-known opioid etorphine, which is used as a very potent veterinary painkiller and anesthetic medication, primarily for the sedation of large animals such as elephants, giraffes and rhinos.

Acetorphine was developed in 1966 by the Reckitt research group that developed etorphine. Acetorphine was developed for the same purpose as etorphine itself, namely as a strong tranquilizer for use in immobilizing large animals in veterinary medicine. Despite showing some advantages over etorphine, for instance producing less toxic side effects in giraffes,[2] acetorphine was never widely adopted for veterinary use, and etorphine (along with other tranquilizers such as carfentanil and azaperone) remains the drug of choice in this application.

Acetorphine is a Schedule I controlled substance in the United States. Its DEA Administrative Controlled Substances Control Number is 9319 and the one salt in use, acetorphine hydrochloride, has a freebase conversion ratio of 0.93


  1. ^ Bentley, K. W.; Hardy, D. G. (1967). "Novel analgesics and molecular rearrangements in the morphine-thebaine group. 3. Alcohols of the 6,14-endo-ethenotetrahydrooripavine series and derived analogs of N-allylnormorphine and -norcodeine". Journal of the American Chemical Society 89 (13): 3281–3292. doi:10.1021/ja00989a032. PMID 6042764. 
  2. ^ UNODC (1968). "The case of etorphine and acetorphine". Bulletin on Narcotics (UNODC) 1968 (2): 51–52. 

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