Cantharidin

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cantharidin

[kan′thar·ə·dən]
(organic chemistry)
C10H12O4 Colorless crystals that melt at 218°C; slightly soluble in acetone, chloroform, alcohol, and water; used in veterinary medicine. Also known as cantharides camphor.

Cantharidin

 

the active principle of Spanish flies and other bugs of the family Meloidae (blister beetles); a terpenoid anhydride of cantharidic acid. Cantharidin is poorly soluble in water and readily soluble in fats and organic solvents. It severely blisters the skin and mucous membranes. It causes pain, a burning sensation, and formation of blisters. Ingestion causes poisoning, accompanied by catarrh of the urinary tract, salivation, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and excitation of the central nervous system.