Home | Chemistry | 10 Examples of Alkaloids

10 Examples of Alkaloids

August 17, 2023
written by Sidra Batool

Alkaloids are organic compounds that contain nitrogen and are usually basic in nature. They are found in plants and some animals. The general formula for an alkaloid is R-NH₂, where R is an alkyl group.

Examples of Alkaloids

Here are few Examples of Alkaloids:

1. Caffeine

Source: Found in coffee beans, tea leaves, and cacao beans.

Characteristics: Caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant that is commonly consumed in beverages like coffee and tea. It can enhance alertness and reduce the perception of fatigue.

2. Nicotine

Source: Primarily found in tobacco leaves.

Characteristics: Nicotine is a potent stimulant and is responsible for the addictive properties of tobacco products.

3. Morphine

Source: Extracted from opium poppy (Papaver somniferum).

Characteristics: Morphine is a powerful analgesic (pain-relieving) alkaloid used in medicine to manage severe pain. It is also the precursor for the synthesis of various opioid medications.

4. Quinine

Source: Originally derived from the bark of cinchona trees.

Characteristics: Quinine is used to treat malaria and has antipyretic (fever-reducing) properties. It was one of the earliest effective treatments for malaria.

5. Codeine

Source: Found in opium poppy (Papaver somniferum) and some other plants.

Characteristics: Codeine is a less potent opioid alkaloid often used as a pain reliever and cough suppressant.

6. Atropine

Source: Extracted from plants such as deadly nightshade (Atropa belladonna).

Characteristics: Atropine is used medically to dilate pupils, treat certain types of poisoning, and as an antispasmodic.

7. Cocaine

Source: Derived from the coca plant (Erythroxylum coca).

Characteristics: Cocaine is a stimulant and a local anesthetic. It is a highly addictive substance and has a history of recreational use.

8. Ephedrine

Source: Found in various species of the Ephedra plant.

Characteristics: Ephedrine has been used to treat respiratory conditions and allergies due to its bronchodilator and decongestant properties.

9. Vinblastine

Source: Extracted from the Madagascar periwinkle plant (Catharanthus roseus).

Characteristics: Vinblastine is used as an anticancer medication, particularly in the treatment of Hodgkin’s lymphoma and certain types of leukemia.

10. Strychnine

Source: Obtained from the seeds of the strychnine tree (Strychnos nux-vomica).

Characteristics: Strychnine is a highly toxic alkaloid that affects the central nervous system and can be fatal in even small doses.

File Under: