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Mariana Angoa-Pérez, John H Anneken, Donald M Kuhn
The present review briefly explores the neurotoxic properties of methcathinone, mephedrone, methylone, and methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV), four synthetic cathinones most commonly found in "bath salts." Cathinones are β-keto analogs of the commonly abused amphetamines and display pharmacological effects resembling cocaine and amphetamines, but despite their commonalities in chemical structures, synthetic cathinones possess distinct neuropharmacological profiles and produce unique effects. Among the similarities of synthetic cathinones with their non-keto analogs are their targeting of monoamine systems, the release of neurotransmitters, and their stimulant properties...
October 18, 2016: Current Topics in Behavioral Neurosciences
Pedram Ramin, Andreas Libonati Brock, Fabio Polesel, Ana Causanilles, Erik Emke, Pim de Voogt, Benedek Gy Plosz
Sewer pipelines, although primarily designed for sewage transport, can also be considered as bioreactors. In-sewer processes may lead to significant variations of chemical loadings from source release points to the treatment plant influent. In this study, we assessed in-sewer utilization of growth substrates (primary metabolic processes) and transformation of illicit drug biomarkers (secondary metabolic processes) by suspended biomass. Sixteen drug biomarkers were targeted, including mephedrone, methadone, cocaine, heroin, codeine and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and their major human metabolites...
October 14, 2016: Environmental Science & Technology
G Jeanne, D Purper-Ouakil, H Rigole, N Franc
AIM: There have been significant changes in adolescent consumption habits over the past fifteen years. New molecules have been synthesized, new devices created and a number of products have increased in popularity; and as a result clinicians sometimes lack information. We chose to focus on this population because of its vulnerability, as adolescents show low sensitivity to long-term outcomes of their actions and may be easily influenced by peers as regards experimentation of new drugs...
October 6, 2016: L'Encéphale
Lindsay Glicksberg, Kelsie Bryand, Sarah Kerrigan
Synthetic cathinones continue to present a formidable challenge to forensic toxicology laboratories despite the fact that they are often encountered in impaired driving and death investigations. Due to limitations in immunoassay-based screening technologies, many forensic toxicology laboratories must rely on more labor intensive chromatographic-based screening approaches in order to detect these drugs in biological evidence. Solid phase extraction (SPE) and liquid chromatography-quadrupole/time of flight (LC-Q/TOF) mass spectrometry were used to identify twenty-two synthetic cathinones in urine and blood...
November 1, 2016: Journal of Chromatography. B, Analytical Technologies in the Biomedical and Life Sciences
Tingting Gao, Peng Du, Zeqiong Xu, Xiqing Li
New psychoactive substances have become increasingly popular across the globe in recent years, which may cause certain public health issues. In this work, sewage-based epidemiology was applied to examine the use of two synthetic cathinones, mephedrone and methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV), and three piperazines, benzylpiperazine (BZP), trifluoromethylphenylpiperazine (TFMPP), and 1-(3-Chlorophenyl)piperazine (mCPP), across China. Influent wastewater samples were collected from 36 sewage treatment plants (STPs) in 18 major cities that cover all the geographic regions of the country...
September 24, 2016: Science of the Total Environment
Ernesto Solis
Products containing psychoactive synthetic cathinones, such as mephedrone and 3,4-methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV) are prevalent in our society. Synthetic cathinones are structurally similar to methamphetamine, and numerous synthetics have biological activity at dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine transporters. Importantly, monoamine transporters co-transport sodium ions along with their substrate, and movement of substrates and ions through the transporter can generate measurable ionic currents. Here we review how electrophysiological information has enabled us to determine how synthetic cathinones affect transporter-mediated currents in cells that express these transporters...
September 28, 2016: Current Topics in Behavioral Neurosciences
A Kolliakou, M Ball, L Derczynski, D Chandran, G Gkotsis, P Deluca, R Jackson, H Shetty, R Stewart
BACKGROUND: Public health monitoring is commonly undertaken in social media but has never been combined with data analysis from electronic health records. This study aimed to investigate the relationship between the emergence of novel psychoactive substances (NPS) in social media and their appearance in a large mental health database. METHODS: Insufficient numbers of mentions of other NPS in case records meant that the study focused on mephedrone. Data were extracted on the number of mephedrone (i) references in the clinical record at the South London and Maudsley NHS Trust, London, UK, (ii) mentions in Twitter, (iii) related searches in Google and (iv) visits in Wikipedia...
October 2016: European Psychiatry: the Journal of the Association of European Psychiatrists
Michael Collins, Christopher Donnelly, Shane Cameron, Mark Tahtouh, Helen Salouros
In September 2015, eighty litres of a viscous, light-red liquid, described as hair product, was seized by the Australian Border Force (ABF). Initial testing by ABF indicated that the liquid was the MDMA precursor chemical safrole and custody of the material was transferred to the Australian Federal Police (AFP) who coordinated all subsequent investigations. Initial gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) analysis by AFP indicated that the material was not safrole and samples of the liquid were transferred to the National Measurement Institute Australia (NMIA) for identification...
August 30, 2016: Drug Testing and Analysis
E B de Sousa Fernandes Perna, E Papaseit, C Pérez-Mañá, J Mateus, E L Theunissen, Kpc Kuypers, R de la Torre, M Farré, J G Ramaekers
Recreational use of mephedrone, alone and in combination with alcohol, has increased over the past years. Pharmacological properties of mephedrone share similarities with methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), but its effect on neurocognitive function has not been well established in humans. The present study assessed the effect of mephedrone alone and after co-administration with alcohol on neurocognitive function. It was hypothesised that mephedrone would improve psychomotor performance but impair memory performance, when administered alone...
August 25, 2016: Journal of Psychopharmacology
Z Ottaway, Fionnuala Finnerty, Aliza Amlani, Nicolas Pinto-Sander, Joshua Szanyi, Daniel Richardson
The sexualised use of recreational drugs (Mephedrone, GBL/GHB, Crystal Meth) generally known as 'chemsex' in men who have sex with men (MSM) is thought to be associated with sexually transmitted infection (STI) acquisition; however there is little data showing a direct relationship. We reviewed 130 randomly selected cases of MSM with an STI attending our STI service and 130 controls (MSM attending the STI service who did not have an STI) between 5 May 2015 and 2 November 2015. Reported condomless anal sex was significantly higher in cases 90/121 (74%) compared with controls 65/122 (53%); (χ(2 )= 11...
August 19, 2016: International Journal of STD & AIDS
Odd Martin Vallersnes, Alison M Dines, David M Wood, Christopher Yates, Fridtjof Heyerdahl, Knut Erik Hovda, Isabelle Giraudon, Paul I Dargan
BACKGROUND: Psychosis can be associated with acute recreational drug and novel psychoactive substance (NPS) toxicity. However, there is limited data available on how common this is and which drugs are most frequently implicated. We describe a European case series of psychosis associated with acute recreational drug toxicity, and estimate the frequency of psychosis for different recreational drugs. METHODS: The European Drug Emergencies Network (Euro-DEN) collects data on presentations to Emergency Departments (EDs) with acute recreational drug and NPS toxicity at 16 centres in ten countries...
2016: BMC Psychiatry
Gavin McLaughlin, Noreen Morris, Pierce V Kavanagh, John D Power, Geraldine Dowling, Brendan Twamley, John O'Brien, Brian Talbot, Donna Walther, John S Partilla, Michael H Baumann, Simon D Brandt
3-Methoxy-2-(methylamino)-1-(4-methylphenyl)propan-1-one (mexedrone) appeared in 2015 and was advertised by UK Internet retailers as a non-controlled mephedrone derivative (2-(methylamino)-1-(4-methylphenyl)propan-1-one), which was of particular interest to countries who operate generic drugs legislation. This study describes the synthesis and analytical characterization of mexedrone and differentiation from its isomer, N-methoxymephedrone, which was predicted to be a suitable candidate before the identity of mexedrone was revealed...
August 15, 2016: Drug Testing and Analysis
P Weatherburn, F Hickson, D Reid, S Torres-Rueda, A Bourne
OBJECTIVES: There is considerable public health concern about the combining of sex and illicit drugs (chemsex) among gay men. With a view to inform supportive therapeutic and clinical interventions, we sought to examine the motivations for engaging in chemsex among gay men living in South London. METHODS: Community advertising recruited 30 gay men for qualitative semi-structured interview. Aged between 21 and 53 years, all lived in South London in the boroughs of Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham and all had combined crystal methamphetamine, mephedrone and/or γ-hydroxybutyric acid/γ-butyrolactone with sex in the past 12 months...
August 12, 2016: Sexually Transmitted Infections
Iria González-Mariño, Emma Gracia-Lor, Nikolaos I Rousis, Erika Castrignanò, Kevin V Thomas, José Benito Quintana, Barbara Kasprzyk-Hordern, Ettore Zuccato, Sara Castiglioni
Synthetic cathinones are among the most consumed new psychoactive substances (NPS), but their increasing number and interchangeable market make it difficult to estimate the real size of their consumption. Wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE) through the analysis of metabolic residues of these substances in urban wastewater can provide this information. This study applied WBE for the first time to investigate the presence of 17 synthetic cathinones in four European countries. A method based on solid-phase extraction and liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry was developed, validated, and used to quantify the target analytes...
September 20, 2016: Environmental Science & Technology
Fabio Vaiano, Francesco P Busardò, Diego Palumbo, Chrystalla Kyriakou, Alessia Fioravanti, Valeria Catalani, Francesco Mari, Elisabetta Bertol
Identification and quantification of new psychoactive substances (NPS), both in biological and non-biological samples, represent a hard challenge for forensic toxicologists. NPS are increasingly emerging on illegal drug market. Many cases of co-consumption of NPS and other substances have also been reported. Hence, the development of analytical methods aiming at the detection of a broad-spectrum of compounds (NPS and "traditional" drugs) could be helpful. In this paper, a fully validated screening method in blood for the simultaneous detection of 69 substances, including 64 NPS (28 synthetic cannabinoids, 19 synthetic cathinones, 5 phenethylamines, 3 indanes, 2 piperazines, 2 tryptamines, 2 phencyclidine, methoxetamine, ketamine and its metabolite) and 5 amphetamines (amphetamine, methamphetamine, MDMA, MDA, 3,4-methylenedioxy-N-ethylamphetamine - MDEA-) by a dynamic multiple reaction monitoring analysis through liquid chromatography - tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) is described...
September 10, 2016: Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis
Jacob R Peters, Robert Keasling, Stacy D Brown, Brooks B Pond
The abuse of synthetic cathinones, formerly marketed as "bath salts", has emerged over the last decade. Three common drugs in this class include 3,4-methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV), 4-methylmethcathinone (mephedrone), and 3,4-methylenedioxymethcathinone (methylone). An LC-MS/MS method has been developed and validated for the simultaneous quantification of MDPV, mephedrone, and methylone in brain tissue. Briefly, MDPV, mephedrone, methylone, and their deuterium-labeled analogs were subjected to solid phase extraction (SPE) and separated using an HILIC Silica Column...
July 29, 2016: Journal of Analytical Toxicology
Christopher M Rollman, Mehdi Moini
RATIONALE: Analysis of forensic evidence by information-rich technologies such as mass spectrometry (MS) is one of the fastest growing areas in forensic analysis. To provide more accurate identification of forensic evidence, in the past few years there has been a growing interest in moving this technology to the field for on-site, real-time analysis. To this end, several portable mass spectrometers have been introduced; however, the analysis of controlled substances could be complicated by the existence of various isomers including optical isomers in which sentencing may depend on the identification of the isomer...
September 30, 2016: Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry: RCM
Tatiana Baciu, Francesc Borrull, Marta Calull, Carme Aguilar
A suitable method has been developed and validated for the chiral separation and determination of R,S-mephedrone and one of its metabolites, R,S-4-methylephedrine, and R,S-methylenedioxypyrovalerone (R,S-MDPV) in human hair samples by the in-line coupling between SPE and CD-assisted CE with a previous sample pretreatment procedure based on pressurized liquid extraction. Optimum separation was achieved on a fused silica-capillary of 50 μm id and 80 cm total length using 12 mg/mL β-CD in an aqueous solution of 80 mM disodium phosphate at pH 2...
September 2016: Electrophoresis
Pablo Barrio, Matthew Gaskell, Javier Goti, Sergi Vilardell, Josep Maria Fàbregas
Mephedrone (4-methylmethcathinone) is a synthetic stimulant drug of the cathinone class. Similar effects to those of cocaine and ecstasy are reported by users, with a high addictive potential. Given its increasing rate of consumption in Europe, it is getting more and more attention from the addiction field. In spite of that, little is known about the long-term consequences of prolonged heavy use. The two following cases might depict some of them. Case 1 was a middle-age man who reported three years of intravenous use of mephedrone...
2016: Adicciones
F P Mayer, L Wimmer, O Dillon-Carter, J S Partilla, N V Burchardt, M D Mihovilovic, M H Baumann, H H Sitte
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: 4-Methyl-N-methylcathinone (mephedrone) is a synthetic stimulant that acts as a substrate-type releaser at transporters for dopamine (DAT), noradrenaline (NET) and 5-HT (SERT). Upon systemic administration, mephedrone is metabolized to several phase I compounds: the N-demethylated metabolite, 4-methylcathinone (nor-mephedrone); the ring-hydroxylated metabolite, 4-hydroxytolylmephedrone (4-OH-mephedrone); and the reduced keto-metabolite, dihydromephedrone. EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH: We used in vitro assays to compare the effects of mephedrone and synthetically prepared metabolites on transporter-mediated uptake and release in HEK293 cells expressing human monoamine transporters and in rat brain synaptosomes...
September 2016: British Journal of Pharmacology
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