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IUPAC name
Other names
Metaphen; 6-Methyl-3-nitrobenzoxamercurete; 4-Nitro-5-hydroxymercuriorthocresol
3D model (JSmol)
ECHA InfoCard 100.004.648
Molar mass 351.71 g·mol−1
Main hazards moderately toxic
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
Infobox references

Nitromersol (metaphen) is a mercury-containing organic compound that is primarily used as an antiseptic and disinfectant. It is a brown-yellow solid that has no odor or taste, does not irritate the skin or mucous membranes, and has no impact on rubber or metallic instruments, including surgical and dental tools.[1]

This compound is a confirmed animal carcinogen. It can emit toxic fumes of NOx and mercury vapor when heated.[2] In 1998, use of nitromersol (and other mercury-containing products) as OTC first-aid antiseptics and products for diaper rash and vaginal contraceptives was disallowed by the FDA.[3] Nitromersol can cause hypersensitivity reactions, but it is still in use as a preservative for vaccines and antitoxins.[4]


  1. ^ Hospital formulary and compendium of useful information. Berkeley, California: University of California Press. 1941. p. 113. Retrieved 2011-04-08.
  2. ^ Lewis, Richard J. (2008). Hazardous chemicals desk reference. Wiley-Interscience. p. 1018. ISBN 0-470-18024-2. Retrieved 2011-04-08.
  3. ^ Remington: the science and practice of pharmacy. Medicine Series. 1 (21st ed.). Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. 2005. p. 369. ISBN 0-7817-4673-6.
  4. ^ Trevor, Anthony J.; Katzung, Bertram G.; Masters, Susan B. (2007). Katzung & Trevor's pharmacology: examination & board review. Lange Basic Science (8th ed.). McGraw-Hill Professional. p. 420. ISBN 0-07-148869-3.