Tylenol, Its Structure, Nomenclature, and a Lab Synthesis

Chemistry, Medicine
Tylenol® is a trade name for acetaminophen.1 Does the latter word sound foreign to you? Let's find out what it means. This compound contraction combines acetyl with amino with phenol. What's in a Name? Does acetyl remind you of acetic acid or vinegar? Acetic acid is CH3COOH. The acetyl group is written CH3CO–. Amino is familiar too, as in amino acid? The basic amino group is written NH2–, though at times one or both of the hydrogen atoms are replaced by something else, as it is for Tylenol. Finally, "phen" stands for phenyl. Remove one atom from a benzene ring and you have phenyl. C₆H₅– is the simplest phenyl ring. Again, hydrogen atoms may be replaced with something else. The end result of putting these together to form acetaminophen is…
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