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|Trade names||Nicorette, Nicotrol|
|Inhalation; insufflation; oral – buccal, sublingual, and ingestion; transdermal; rectal|
|ATC code||N07BA01 (WHO) QP53AX13 (WHO)|
|Bioavailability||20 to 45% (oral), 53% (intranasal), 68% (transdermal)|
|Metabolism||Primarily hepatic: CYP2A6, CYP2B6, FMO3, others|
|Biological half-life||1-2 hours; 20 hours active metabolite|
|Excretion||Urine (10-20% (gum), pH-dependent; 30% (inhaled); 10-30% (intranasal))|
|PDB ligand ID||NCT (PDBe, RCSB PDB)|
|Chemical and physical data|
|Molar mass||162.23 g/mol|
|3D model (Jmol)||Interactive image|
|Melting point||−79 °C (−110 °F)|
|Boiling point||247 °C (477 °F)|
|(what is this?)|
|The fire diamond hazard sign for nicotine.|
Nicotine is a potent parasympathomimetic alkaloid found in the nightshade family of plants (Solanaceae) and is a stimulant drug. Nicotine is a nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) agonist, except at nAChRα9 and nAChRα10 where it acts as an antagonist. Nicotine is found in the leaves of Nicotiana rustica in amounts of 2–14%, the tobacco plant Nicotiana tabacum, Duboisia hopwoodii and Asclepias syriaca.
It constitutes approximately 0.6–3.0% of the dry weight of tobacco and is present in the range of 2–7 µg/kg of various edible plants. It functions as an antiherbivore chemical; consequently, nicotine was widely used as an insecticide in the past and neonicotinoids such as imidacloprid are currently widely used.
Nicotine is highly addictive. An average cigarette yields about 2 mg of absorbed nicotine, and in lesser doses of that order, the substance acts as a stimulant in mammals, while high amounts (50–100 mg) can be harmful. This stimulant effect is a contributing factor to the addictive properties of tobacco smoking. Nicotine's addictive nature includes psychoactive effects, drug-reinforced behavior, compulsive use, relapse after abstinence, physical dependence and tolerance.
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