Piperazine: Synthesis, Dosage & Structure

Instructor: Artem Cheprasov

Artem has a doctor of veterinary medicine degree.

Live worms coming out of unspeakable regions? It's possible. There's a drug called piperazine that can help with this. This lesson goes over its synthesis, structure, and potential dosage.

What Is Piperazine?

Most people in the Western world do not eat worms, fresh or fried. This doesn't mean you won't poop one out eventually. Seriously. You may end up defecating one or many worms if you accidentally ingest the egg of an Ascarid or roundworm. If you do, you'll hopefully run to the doctor. Your doctor may prescribe an anthelmintic, a class of drugs that treat intestinal worms. One type of anthelmintic he may give you is called piperazine.

Let's find out how piperazine is made, what its structure is, and what some dosages are.

Synthesis & Structure

Piperazine is made through a reaction of ethanolamine with ammonia. This occurs under high pressure with the help of a catalyst. A catalyst is a substance that speeds up a chemical reaction. As a result, this reaction produces various chemical compounds called ethylenamines, including piperazine. The piperazine is separated out from the other ethylenamines via distillation.

Once synthesized, piperazine takes on a structure as show in the lesson here. It is a six-membered ring. The ring contains two opposing nitrogen atoms bonded to one hydrogen atom each. The rest of the ring is composed of four carbon atoms bonded to two hydrogens each. This means there is a total of four carbon atoms, ten hydrogen atoms, and two nitrogen atoms in piperazine's structure.

The 2D structure of piperazine


Before we move on to this next section, a word of warning. Piperazine can have potentially serious adverse effects. So if you don't know what you're doing, always consult with a doctor prior to starting, stopping, or changing any medication! Keep in mind, the information in this section is very general and doesn't take into account a lot of factors which could change individual dosage, such as the form in which the drug is given.

With the legal stuff out of the way, let's move on to piperazine's dosage. First, be sure not to confuse the term 'dosage' with 'dose' or 'relative dose.'

  • 1 gram (g) of a drug is the drug dose, also called the absolute drug dose.
  • 1 g/kg of a drug is the relative drug dose. It is the dose relative to another unit; that of the person's weight.
  • 1 g given every 8 hours is the dosage, the frequency at which a dose is given.

Piperazine can be taken with or without food. Your stomach can be full or empty. To treat roundworms or pinworms this medication's dosages may be as follows:

  • Children 2-8 years of age might be given 2 grams once a day for one day.
  • Children 8-14 years of age might be given 2 grams two times a day for one day.
  • Teenagers and adults may be given 2 grams three times a day for one day.

A repeat treatment may be necessary in two weeks.

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