Benzylpiperazine (Trifluoromethyl-Phenylpiperazine): Therapeutic use

Last modified: Thursday, 25. December 2008 - 8:30 am

Since the early 1950s, piperazines have been widely used in veterinary medicine as anthelminthic drugs, which rid the lower intestinal tract of parasitic worms. In humans, diethylcarbamazine and piperazine citrate serve a similar function and are used to treat pinworm and roundworm infestations in adults and children. While these drugs have little effect on immature worms, or larvae, which nest in muscles, skin, and other body tissues, they paralyze the muscles of mature worms, dislodging them from the wall of the intestinal tract so that they are eliminated with waves of intestinal movement.

In 1999, pharmaceutical researchers in Japan found that an N-benzylpiperazine derivative stimulates a brain chemical called acetylcholine, which is involved in learning and memory. This eventually led to the discovery of donepezil (Aricept), which helps ward off memory loss in Alzheimer’s disease and other age-related dementias, or brain diseases associated with progressive loss of memory, learning, and thinking ability.

Other BZP derivatives are being investigated for possible Therapeutic uses in depression, other psychiatric illnesses, epilepsy or seizure disorders, pain, and inflammatory diseases. Phenylpiperazine derivatives were developed to target specific tumors known as neuroblastomas. As of April 2002, no piperazines were being used for these conditions.

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