Chemical Component Summary

FormulaC10 H14 N2
Molecular Weight162.23
Isomeric SMILESCN1CCC[C@H]1c1cccnc1

Chemical Details

Formal Charge0
Atom Count26
Chiral Atom Count1
Chiral AtomsC6
Bond Count27
Aromatic Bond Count6
Leaving Atomsn/a

Drug Info: DrugBank

DrugBank IDDB00184 Different stereochemistry
DescriptionNicotine is highly toxic alkaloid. It is the prototypical agonist at nicotinic cholinergic receptors where it dramatically stimulates neurons and ultimately blocks synaptic transmission. Nicotine is also important medically because of its presence in tobacco smoke.
  • (−)-nicotine
  • (S)-(−)-nicotine
  • (S)-3-(1-methylpyrrolidin-2-yl)pyridine
  • (S)-3-(N-methylpyrrolidin-2-yl)pyridine
  • (S)-Nicotine
SaltsNicotine polacrilex
Brand Names
  • American Fare Nicotine Transdermal System
  • Berkley and Jensen Nicotine
  • Berkley and Jensen Nicotine Po
Affected OrganismHumans and other mammals
IndicationFor the relief of nicotine withdrawal symptoms and as an aid to smoking cessation.
PharmacologyNicotine, the primary alkaloid in tobacco products binds stereo-selectively to nicotinic-cholinergic receptors on autonomic ganglia, the adrenal medulla, neuromuscular junctions and in the brain. Nicotine exerts two effects, a stimulant effect exerted at the locus ceruleus and a reward effect in the limbic system. Itranvenous administration of nicotine causes release of acetylcholine, norepinephrine, dopamine, serotonine, vasopressin, beta-endorphin and ACTH. Nicotine is a highly addictive substance. Nicotine also induces peripheral vasoconstriction, tachycardia and elevated blood pressure. Nicotine inhalers and patches are used to treat smoking withdrawl syndrome. Nicotine is classified as a stimulant of autonomic ganglia.
Mechanism of actionNicotine is a stimulant drug that acts as an agonist at nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. These are ionotropic receptors composed up of five homomeric or heteromeric subunits. In the brain, nicotine binds to nicotinic acetylcholine receptors on dopaminergic neurons in the cortico-limbic pathways. This causes the channel to open and allow conductance of multiple cations including sodium, calcium, and potassium. This leads to depolarization, which activates voltage-gated calcium channels and allows more calcium to enter the axon terminal. Calcium stimulates vesicle trafficking towards the plasma membrane and the release of dopamine into the synapse. Dopamine binding to its receptors is responsible the euphoric and addictive properties of nicotine. Nicotine also binds to nicotinic acetylcholine receptors on the chromaffin cells in the adrenal medulla. Binding opens the ion channel allowing influx of sodium, causing depolarization of the cell, which activates voltage-gated calcium channels. Calcium triggers the release of epinephrine from intracellular vesicles into the bloodstream, which causes vasoconstriction, increased blood pressure, increased heart rate, and increased blood sugar.
Route of administration
  • Buccal
  • Nasal
  • Oral
  • Respiratory (inhalation)
  • Topical
  • Alkaloids
  • Autonomic Agents
  • Chemical Actions and Uses
  • Cholinergic Agents
  • Cholinergic Agonists
  • 12:92.00
  • 24:06.92
  • 88:08.00
  • 92:02.00*
CAS number54-11-5
Drug Info/Drug Targets: DrugBank 3.0: a comprehensive resource for 'omics' research on drugs. Knox C, Law V, Jewison T, Liu P, Ly S, Frolkis A, Pon A, Banco K, Mak C, Neveu V, Djoumbou Y, Eisner R, Guo AC, Wishart DS. Nucleic Acids Res. 2011 Jan; 39 (Database issue):D1035-41. | PMID:21059682