Classification of Sulphonamides

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Chapter: Medicinal Chemistry : Antibacterial Sulphonamides

Sulphonamides can be classified in various ways: On the basis of the site of action, On the basis of the pharmacokinetic properties, On the basis of the duration of action, On the basis of the chemical structure


Sulphonamides can be classified in various ways:


On the basis of the site of action

·Sulphonamides for general infection: Sulphanilamide, Sulphapyridine, Sulphadiazine, Sulphamethoxacine, Sulphamethoxazole.

·Sulphonamides for urinary tract infections: Sulphaisoxazole, Sulphathiazole.

·Sulphonamides for intestinal infections: Phthalylsulphathiazole, Succinyl sulphathiazole, Sulphasalazine.

·Sulphonamides for local infections: Sulpahacetamide, Mafenamide, Silver sulphadiazine.

·Sulphonamides for dermatitis: Dapsone, Solapsone.

·Sulphonamides in combination: Trimethoprim with Sulphamethoxazole.


On the basis of the pharmacokinetic properties

·Poorly absorbed sulphonamides (locally acting sulphonamides)—Sulphasalazine, Phthalylsulphathiazole, Sulphaguanidine, Salicylazo sulphapyridine, Succinyl sulpha thiazole.

·Rapidly absorbed and rapidly excreted (systemic sulphanamides): Sulphamethoxazole, Sulphaisoxazole,

Sulphadiazine, Sulphadimidine, Sulphafurazole, Sulphasomidine, Sulphamethiazole, Sulphacetamide Sulphachlorpyridazine.

·Topically used sulphonamides: Sulphacetamide, Mafenide, Sulphathiazole, Silver sulphadiazine.

On the basis of the pharamacological activity

·Antibacterial agents:Sulphadiazine, Sulfisoxazole.

·Drugs used in dermatitis: Dapsone.


On the basis of the duration of action

·Extra long-acting sulphonamides (half-life greater than 50 h): Sulphasalazine, Sulphaclomide, Sulphalene.

·Long-acting sulphonamides (half-life greater than 24 h):Sulphadoxine, Sulphadimethoxine, Sulphamethoxy pyridazine, Sulphamethoxydiazine, Sulphaphenazole, Sulphamethoxine.

·Intermediate-acting sulphonamides (half-life between 10–24 h): Sulphasomizole, Sulphamethoxazole.

·Short-acting sulphonamides (half-life less than 20 h): Sulphamethiazole, sulphaisoxazole.

·Injectables (soluble sulpha drugs): Sulphafurazole, Sulphadiazine, Sulphamethoxine.


On the basis of the chemical structure

·N-substituted sulphonamide:Sulphadiazine, Sulphacetamide, Sulphadimidine.

·N-4 substituted sulphonamides (prodrugs): Prontosil.

·Both N-1 and N-4 substituted sulphonamides: Succinyl sulphathiazole, Phthalylsulphathiazole.

·Miscellaneous: Mefenide sodium.


I. N-1 Substituted sulphonamides

a. Short-acting sulpha drugs

b. Intermediate-acting sulphonamides

c. Long-acting sulphonamides

d. Extra long-acting sulphonamides


II. N-4 substituted suphonamides



III. Both N-1 and N-4 substituted suphonamides


IV. Miscellaneous

a. Topically used sulphonamides


Silver sulphadiazine


b. Drugs used in combination with sulphonamides




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