Sulfonamide (chemistry)

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The structure of the sulfonamide group

In chemistry, the sulfonamide functional group is -S(=O)2-NH2, a sulfone group connected to an amine group.

A sulfonamide (compound) is a compound that contains this group. The general formula is RSO2NH2, where R is some organic group. For example, "methanesulfonamide" is CH3SO2NH2. Any sulfonamide can be considered as derived from a sulfonic acid by replacing a hydroxyl group with an amine group.

In medicine, the term "sulfonamide" is sometimes used as a synonym for sulfa drug, a derivative or variation of sulfanilamide.

Organic synthesis

Sulfonamides can be prepared in the laboratory in many ways:

Sulfonamide synthesis from aniline and sulfur dioxide

In this example the reactant is aniline and the catalysts are triethylamine and iodine. Sulfur dioxide is believed to be activated through a series of intermediates: Et3N-I+-I-, Et3N-I+-I3- and Et3N+-SO2-.

See also


  1. Organic Syntheses, Coll. Vol. 4, p.943 (1963); Vol. 34, p.96 (1954). Online Article
  2. Organic Syntheses, Coll. Vol. 5, p.39 (1973); Vol. 48, p.8 (1968). Online Article
  3. Sulfamides and sulfamide polymers directly from sulfur dioxide Alexander V. Leontiev, H. V. Rasika Dias and Dmitry M. Rudkevich Chem. Commun., 2006, 2887 - 2889, doi:10.1039/b605063h

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