ATC Code R05DA07
Formula C22H23NO7
Molar Mass (g·mol−1) 413,4205
Physical State solid
Density (g·cm−3) 1,395
Melting Point (°C) 176
PKS Value 6,24
CAS Number 128-62-1
PUB Number 275196
Drugbank ID DB06174
Solubility poorly soluble in water / highly soluble in ethanol


Noscapine is an active ingredient derived from the opium poppy. The natural component of opium has no analgesic or depressant properties and therefore has no addictive potential. It mainly has a cough-suppressing effect and is used for irritable coughs.

Since the effect is somewhat weaker than that of codeine, the drug can also be used in infants from six months of age (under a doctor's prescription).



The antitussive effects are due to an attack of the cough center in the brainstem. Activation of sigma opioid receptors induces cell division inhibitory effects. Because of this mechanism of action, noscapine is also a potential agent for tumor treatment.


The pharmacokinetic properties are comparable to those of codeine. The drug is absorbed through the gastrointestinal tract, with only about 5-10% of the administered dose being converted to morphine in the liver. The remaining components are broken down to ineffective intermediates and excreted renally. After about three hours, the plasma concentration of the compound drops to half of the initial level.

Drug Interactions

Concurrent use of noscapine with sleeping pills, sedatives, antidepressants, antipsychotics, opioids, and alcohol is not recommended.


Side effects

Occasional side effects may include headache, dizziness, skin and hypersensitivity reactions, and nausea.

Toxicological data

LD50 (mouse, oral): 2784 mg/kg
LD50 (Hund, intravenös): 73 mg/kg

Markus Falkenstätter

Markus Falkenstätter

Markus Falkenstätter ist Autor zu pharmazeutischen Themen in der Medizin-Redaktion von Medikamio. Er befindet sich im letzten Semester seines Pharmaziestudiums an der Universität Wien und liebt das wissenschaftliche Arbeiten im Bereich der Naturwissenschaften.

Mag. pharm Stefanie Lehenauer

Mag. pharm Stefanie Lehenauer

Stefanie Lehenauer ist seit 2020 freie Autorin bei Medikamio und studierte Pharmazie an der Universität Wien. Sie arbeitet als Apothekerin in Wien und ihre Leidenschaft sind pflanzliche Arzneimittel und deren Wirkung.

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