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Summary of Sulphonamide and Sulphones

1. Sulphonamides
The sulphonamides are derivatives of sulphanilamide, which is that the amide of sulfanilic acid (4-aminobenzene sulphonic acid). The individual drugs are characterised by a selected substituent, R, at the amido nitrogen of sulphanilamide which is commonly noted as Nl , whereas their amino nitrogen cited as N4 must be free (unsubstituted). In many of the sulphonamides in current use as antibacterial drugs and all told those used as antimalarials, R may be a six-membered aromatic ring (a pyrimidine or a pyrazine) with one or two methoxy groups.

2. Sulphones
The sulphones utilized in chemotherapy - mainly in leprosy and, secondarily, in malaria - are bis (4-aminophenyl) sulphone (dapsone) and some derivatives thereof, mostly with two equal substitutents Rl = R2 at the 2 amino groups. The most important drugs are dapsone itself, and its bis-formyl and bis-acetyl derivatives which essentially act as chemical slow releasers of the parent compound