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AH-7921: the list of new psychoactive opioids is expanded.

Katselou M, Papoutsis I, Nikolaou P, Spiliopoulou C, Athanaselis S - Forensic Toxicol (2015)

Bottom Line: Several in vitro experiments and animal model studies established the morphine-like analgesic action of AH-7921 as a μ-opioid receptor agonist that has been found to be several times more potent than codeine and at least as potent as morphine.The limited existing analytical methodologies for the determination of AH-7921 in biological samples are also presented.Published or reported AH-7921-related cases, fatalities, or intoxications, and self reports from drug users are reviewed.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology, Faculty of Medicine, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, 75 Mikras Asias, 115 27 Athens, Greece.

ABSTRACT

AH-7921 is a structurally unique synthetic opioid analgesic that has recently entered the drug arena in Europe, the USA, and Japan. Although it was synthesized and patented in the mid-1970s, it was first identified in a seized sample purchased via the Internet in July 2012 and formally brought to the attention of the European Union early warning system in August 2012 by the United Kingdom. Several in vitro experiments and animal model studies established the morphine-like analgesic action of AH-7921 as a μ-opioid receptor agonist that has been found to be several times more potent than codeine and at least as potent as morphine. This novel psychoactive substance has already led to eight non-fatal intoxications and 16 deaths in Sweden, the United Kingdom, Norway, and the USA. Thus, AH-7921 is a current public health risk, and better international collaboration, effective legislation and continuous community alertness are needed to tackle this current growing problem. The aim of this review is to summarize the current knowledge about this drug concerning its chemistry, pharmacology, and toxicology, as well as its international legal status. The limited existing analytical methodologies for the determination of AH-7921 in biological samples are also presented. Published or reported AH-7921-related cases, fatalities, or intoxications, and self reports from drug users are reviewed.

No MeSH data available.


Chemical structures of AH-7921, fentanyl, doxylamine, and phencyclidine
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Fig1: Chemical structures of AH-7921, fentanyl, doxylamine, and phencyclidine

Mentions: AH-7921 is an N-substituted cyclohexylmethylbenzamide, where the benzamide moiety is dichlorinated at positions 3 and 4 of the benzyl ring, and the aminocyclohexane moiety is N,N-dimethylated. “AH” refers to “Allen and Hanburys”, the company that patented the drug. Its systematic (International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry) name is 3,4-dichloro-N-{[1-(dimethylamino)cyclohexyl]methyl}benzamide, but it can also be found as 1-(3,4-dichlorobenzamidomethyl)cyclohexyldimethylamine [6, 10]. Common names like doxylam, doxylan, and CN 2924 29 98 (CAS Number) are also used [6]. The chemical structure of AH-7921 is shown in Fig. 1.Fig. 1


AH-7921: the list of new psychoactive opioids is expanded.

Katselou M, Papoutsis I, Nikolaou P, Spiliopoulou C, Athanaselis S - Forensic Toxicol (2015)

Chemical structures of AH-7921, fentanyl, doxylamine, and phencyclidine
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4525185&req=5

Fig1: Chemical structures of AH-7921, fentanyl, doxylamine, and phencyclidine
Mentions: AH-7921 is an N-substituted cyclohexylmethylbenzamide, where the benzamide moiety is dichlorinated at positions 3 and 4 of the benzyl ring, and the aminocyclohexane moiety is N,N-dimethylated. “AH” refers to “Allen and Hanburys”, the company that patented the drug. Its systematic (International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry) name is 3,4-dichloro-N-{[1-(dimethylamino)cyclohexyl]methyl}benzamide, but it can also be found as 1-(3,4-dichlorobenzamidomethyl)cyclohexyldimethylamine [6, 10]. Common names like doxylam, doxylan, and CN 2924 29 98 (CAS Number) are also used [6]. The chemical structure of AH-7921 is shown in Fig. 1.Fig. 1

Bottom Line: Several in vitro experiments and animal model studies established the morphine-like analgesic action of AH-7921 as a μ-opioid receptor agonist that has been found to be several times more potent than codeine and at least as potent as morphine.The limited existing analytical methodologies for the determination of AH-7921 in biological samples are also presented.Published or reported AH-7921-related cases, fatalities, or intoxications, and self reports from drug users are reviewed.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology, Faculty of Medicine, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, 75 Mikras Asias, 115 27 Athens, Greece.

ABSTRACT

AH-7921 is a structurally unique synthetic opioid analgesic that has recently entered the drug arena in Europe, the USA, and Japan. Although it was synthesized and patented in the mid-1970s, it was first identified in a seized sample purchased via the Internet in July 2012 and formally brought to the attention of the European Union early warning system in August 2012 by the United Kingdom. Several in vitro experiments and animal model studies established the morphine-like analgesic action of AH-7921 as a μ-opioid receptor agonist that has been found to be several times more potent than codeine and at least as potent as morphine. This novel psychoactive substance has already led to eight non-fatal intoxications and 16 deaths in Sweden, the United Kingdom, Norway, and the USA. Thus, AH-7921 is a current public health risk, and better international collaboration, effective legislation and continuous community alertness are needed to tackle this current growing problem. The aim of this review is to summarize the current knowledge about this drug concerning its chemistry, pharmacology, and toxicology, as well as its international legal status. The limited existing analytical methodologies for the determination of AH-7921 in biological samples are also presented. Published or reported AH-7921-related cases, fatalities, or intoxications, and self reports from drug users are reviewed.

No MeSH data available.