Molecule of the Day

Cotinine is the principal metabolite of nicotine:


Cotinine spends quite awhile in the body; it can take several days to eliminate, so it’s a marker for recent exposure to tobacco (secondhand smoke counts). This makes it one of the few drugs other than marijuana that will reliably show up on a drug test.


  1. #1 Vince Noir
    June 27, 2007

    Is it an active metabolite?

  2. #2 Uncle Al
    June 28, 2007

    Given the eldritch solvent powers of N-methylpyrrolidinone, I’m thinking UNKNOWN HAZARDS! and a desperate opportunity for Homeland Severity/EPA/War on Drugs to SAVE OUR CHILDREN! by requiring weekly inventory and reportage of every drop of NMP in academic labs,

    Whenever I see a left-handed metabolite I see a commie rat, er, Middle East terrorist. We have always been at war with EastAsia (in the east toward the west, as opposed to Far East Asia that is to the west if you go east enough. Agents of Goldstein!). What good is a police state without police?

  3. #3 Organic Chemistry Help
    July 1, 2007

    How is this metabolite removed from the body? Through the liver or some other route?

  4. #4 Chris
    July 6, 2007

    Here’s a nifty little metabolism pathway graphic, although I suspect it’s out of date by now:

  5. #5 Brandon
    March 24, 2008

    Actually i have a 3 part question… a) what is the structural type for cotinine? b) how was cotinine discovered? and c) which industry uses cotinine?

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