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Systematic (IUPAC) name
Clinical data
Legal status
CAS Number 466-97-7 YesY
ATC code None
PubChem CID 5462508
ChemSpider 4575435 N
Synonyms Normorphine
Chemical data
Formula C16H17NO3
Molar mass 271.311 g/mol
 NYesY (what is this?)  (verify)

Normorphine is an opiate analogue, the N-demethylated derivative of morphine, that was first described in the 1950s[1] when a large group of N-substituted morphine analogues were characterized for activity.

Normorphine has relatively little opioid activity in its own right,[2][3] but is a useful intermediate which can be used to produce both opioid antagonists such as nalorphine, and also potent opioid agonists such as N-phenethylnormorphine.[4] It is also produced as a major metabolite of morphine,[5] with its formation from morphine catalysed by the liver enzymes CYP3A4 and CYP2C8.[6]

Normorphine is a controlled substance listed under the Single Convention On Narcotic Drugs 1961 and the laws in various states implementing it; for example, in the United States it is a Schedule I Narcotic controlled substance, with an ACSCN of 9313 and an annual aggregate manufacturing quota of 18 grammes in 2013, unchanged from the prior year.


  1. ^ Journal of the American Chemistry Society 75,4963 (1953)
  2. ^ Fraser HF, Wikler A, Van Horn GD, Eisenman AJ, Isbell H. Human pharmacology and addiction liability of normorphine. Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics. 1958 Mar;122(3):359-69. PMID 13539761
  3. ^ Lasagna L, De Kornfeld TJ. Analgesic potency of normorphine in patients with postoperative pain. Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics. 1958 Nov;124(3):260-3. PMID 13588540
  4. ^ Daniel Lednicer. Central Analgetics. (1982), p146. ISBN 0-471-08314-3
  5. ^ Yeh SY. Urinary excretion of morphine and its metabolites in morphine-dependent subjects. Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics. 1975 Jan;192(1):201-10. PMID 235634
  6. ^ Projean D, Morin PE, Tu TM, Ducharme J. Identification of CYP3A4 and CYP2C8 as the major cytochrome P450 s responsible for morphine N-demethylation in human liver microsomes. Xenobiotica. 2003 Aug;33(8):841-54. PMID 12936704