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Why do some drugs end with the suffix -ine?

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2011-01-14 13:24:07
2011-01-14 13:24:07

Drugs ending with "ine" are alkaloids. They are bitter tasting and in all cases poisonous, probably a protection for the plants that produce them. All of them contain nitrogen, and in small doses are used as drugs. Although opium does not end in "ine", it contains a cocktail of 26 alkaloids that do end in "ine", the most significant being morphine and codeine.

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