[ExI] good bexarotene article

The Avantguardian avantguardian2020 at yahoo.com
Thu Feb 16 17:03:55 UTC 2012

----- Original Message -----
> From: spike <spike66 at att.net>
> To: 'The Avantguardian' <avantguardian2020 at yahoo.com>; 'ExI chat list' <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org>
> Cc: 
> Sent: Wednesday, February 15, 2012 5:51 PM
> Subject: RE: [ExI] good bexarotene article

> ----- Original Message -----
>> From: spike <spike66 at att.net>
>>> ...  What if we could find the company that makes 
>> reagent grade Bexarotene and buy it not as a medication but as rather 
>> a flavoring for beer?  Or rather as mouse food?  ...
>> ...Reagent grade is usually only about 99% pure, Spike. That 1% impurity
> can be unconsumed reactants, products of side reactions, bacterial
> endotoxins, or practically anything...
> Ja, I specified reagent grade because it typically costs less than a tenth
> as much as pharmaceutical grade.  If it is 99% pure, then 1% of 75 mg is
> less than a milligram of impurities.  It would be dissolved in alcohol,
> which is likely to slay any bacterial contaminants or other microbeasts in
> there.  My contention is that there aren't many substances likely to do much
> harm at less than a milligram a day.

Actually bacterial endotoxins like Botulinin D can have lethal doses as low as 4 nanograms per kilogram of bodyweight but you are correct that such would not be likely contaminant. Here are some methods of inactivating various endotoxins:


> I checked the MSDS and other sources, learned that the common catalysts in
> the production of reagent grade bexarotene are aluminum trichloride and
> sodium hydroxide, neither of which are toxic at these levels.  At much
> higher levels, aluminum trichloride causes skin and eye irritation.  Sodium
> hydroxide is used in hand soap.

It isn't the catalysts that I would worry about, it is the precursors they use to build the molecule. One of the precursors is Methyl 4-(chlorocarbonyl)benzoate which is toxic by ingestion.
>> ...So I would discourage anybody from using reagent-grade on a
> human without having a drug chemist clean it up for you...
> Hmmm, if one can afford it sure, but I bet I could clean reagent grade
> bexarotene with only amateur chemistry knowledge.  A little hydrochloric
> acid will neutralize the sodium hydroxide but this is unnecessary anyways,
> there is plenty of HCl in the stomach.  Sodium hydroxide and hydrochloric
> acid produce sodium chloride (table salt) and water.  I can dissociate and
> precipitate that alum trichlor, but that isn't necessary either, for in this
> form and at these amounts the body wouldn't know or care if it is present.

I don't doubt that given suitable equipment you could do it yourself, Spike. But I think you overestimate what say an o-chem grad student who eats Top Ramen twice a day would charge you. I estimate $50-$200 for about one afternoon of work. And believe me, when you see that single sharp peak on the gas chromatagraph indicating pure product, you will feel a lot better about taking it. 
Incidentally, I can't find any sources for non-pharmaceutical grade bexarotene outside of China, so good luck on that.
Stuart LaForge
"When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - Hunter S. Thompson

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