June 15, 2015
Image of Midazolam 3D Image of Midazolam

Midazolam is a short-acting, rapid-onset benzodiazepine central nervous system depressant patented by Hoffmann-La Roche in 1976. In 1978, A. Walser and co-workers at the same company published its synthesis. (The article was the 84th in a series on quinazolines and 1,4-benzodiazepines!) In the United States, midazolam is best known by its trade name Versed.

Midazolam is or has been used as an anesthetic, sedative, seizure medication, and insomnia treatment. Its short elimination half-life makes it useful in intensive care units. Its main adverse effects occur when it is used in children, the elderly, and patients in poor health. After midazolam has been used for extensive periods, patients who are taken off the medication may experience symptoms of withdrawal. 

Molecule of the Week Challenge

Have you ever been treated with Versed? If so, please send your experiences to motw@acs.org.

In response to the June 1 MOTW Challenge, Rian Pebriana posits that the original name for dithiooxamide, rubeanic acid, is derived from the pupa of an insect with “rubea” (Latin for “red”) in its name.

The June 8 MOTW Challenge asked what chemical is sometimes coproduced with styrene. Dittmar Nerger replied, correctly, that it is propylene oxide.

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