Microwave synthesis is considered a breakthrough in the field of chemistry due to its benefits over conventional heating methods. We describe, for the first time, the total synthesis of phenytoin adapted for a microwave reactor, proposed as an experiment for undergraduate courses. When carried out with microwaves, the synthetic route provided phenytoin in 6 min and 30 s, while for conventional heating the total time was 170 min. The experiment also involves rapid identification of compounds by TLC, ¹H NMR, FT-IR and melting points determination.
drug synthesis; phenytoin; microwave-assisted organic synthesis