Carboxylic acid amides

Author: Prof. Dr. med. Peter Altmeyer

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Last updated on: 29.10.2020

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Carboxylic acid amides, a subgroup of amides, are derivatives of ammonia and of primary and secondary amines in which one or more hydrogen atoms on the nitrogen are replaced by carboxylic acid residues (R-CO-). They are reaction products of carboxylic acid chlorides (R-CO-Cl) or carboxylic acid anhydrides (both are also called activated carboxylic acids) with ammonia or with amines. Carboxylic acids themselves react with ammonia to form the respective ammonium salt, but not carboxylic acid amides.

General information
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Carboxylic acid amides are divided into primary (1 carboxy group) secondary (2 carboxy groups) and tertiary (3 carboxy groups) carboxylic acid amines, depending on the number of carboxy groups on the nitrogen.

Amides with 1 or 2 alkyl groups on the nitrogen atom are called N-alkylamides or N,N-dialkylamides. Cyclic amides are called lactams.


Last updated on: 29.10.2020