What is a Bipyridine?

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  • Written By: C.B. Fox
  • Edited By: Susan Barwick
  • Last Modified Date: 07 November 2019
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An organic compound, bipyridine is a molecule that can be coupled with other molecules in order to create a number of different chemicals. Variations of bipyridine molecules are often used in the creation of herbicides and medications used to treat heart failure. The differences between these products are due to the position of the nitrogen atoms in the molecules and in the other atoms and molecules that are coupled with the bipyridines.

Bipyridine is a molecule made from carbon, hydrogen and nitrogen. It is made up of two rings of the chemical pyridine, which is in the form of an interior circle of carbon atoms surrounded by a circle of hydrogen atoms. These atoms are attached to each other through electron bonds. When two of pyridine rings link together, they form a bipyridine molecule.

There are different variations of bipyridine. The differences between these molecules stem from the way the two pyridines line up in relation to the location of the nitrogen atom. In one variation, the pyridines connect through the carbon atoms adjacent to the nitrogen in the ring. This variation of the molecule is used in the creation of an herbicide called diquat which kills any plant that it is sprayed on.


In medicine, another variation of bipyridine is used in the creation of medicines called inamrinon and milrinone. Both of these medications are made from pyridine rings that are linked asymmetrically and which are then linked with other organic chemicals. These medicines are in the class of medicines known as lactates and are used in the treatment of emergency heart conditions.

When given in an emergency situation, medications derived from bipyridine increases heart function. They do this by dilating the blood vessels and by increasing the strength of the contractions in the heart. These two things together help increase blood flow in patients who are suffering from acute heart failure. They can be administered in oral and intravenous form.

Inamrinon and milrinone are only safe for short-term treatment of patients with heart failure. The medications are effective for about 48 hours, after which the risk of using them outweighs the benefits. Hospital monitoring is important for all patients who are given either of these drugs, as there can be serious side effects from their use.


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