Synthesis of thebaine and oripavine from codeine and morphine.

  title={Synthesis of thebaine and oripavine from codeine and morphine.},
  author={R B Barber and Henry Rapoport},
  journal={Journal of medicinal chemistry},
  volume={18 11},
A practical synthesis of thebaine and oripavine has been developed from codeine and morphine, respectively. Attempts to use a codeinone intermediate gave poor yields; however, methylation of the potassium salt of codeine to give codeine methyl ether followed by oxidation with gamma-MnO2 gave thebaine in 67% yield from codeine. Similarly, the potassium salt of the di-O-anion of morphine was selectively alkylated to give morphine 6-methyl ether (heterocodeine) in better than 90% yield… CONTINUE READING

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