Mercurial diuretics

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Chapter: Medicinal Chemistry : Diuretics

Mercurial diuretics : i. Mercaptomerin sodium ii. Chloromerodrin - Synthesis and Drug Profile


Mercurial diuretics

Calomel was used by Paracelsus in the 16th century as a diuretic. Most mercurial diuretics have the same general structure, which is a chain of at least three carbon atoms with one atom of mercury at one end of the chain. The group R is hydrophilic in nature, which determines the distribution and late excretion of the compound. The nature of α substituent affects the toxicity of the compound, irritation at the site of injection, and rate of absorption.

Mode of action: These drugs primarily inhibit Na+K+2Cl co-transporter in the ascending limb of Henle’s loop and produce acidic urine. It involves in the interactions with sulphhydryl enzymes in kidney tubules.

i. Mercaptomerin sodium


ii. Chloromerodrin


Uses: It is used in the treatment of congestive heart failure due to oedema, chronic nephritis, ascites of liver diseases, and nephrotic oedema.

Dose: The usual oral dose is 18.3 to 73.2 mg per day (≡ 10 to 40 mg of mercury per day).

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