Flakka: New Dangerous Synthetic Cathinone on the Drug Scene

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Abstract

New psychoactive substances are being used as drugs and appear to be quite popular nowadays. Thanks to their specific properties, these drugs create inimitable experiences for intoxicated people. Synthetic cathinones are the most common compounds in these new drugs. Among them, α-pyrrolidopentadione (α-PVP), or “Flakka” (street name), is one of the most famous cathinone-designed drugs. Similar to other synthetic cathinone drugs, α-PVP can effectively inhibit norepinephrine and dopamine transmitters. The adverse reactions of α-PVP mainly include mania, tachycardia, and hallucinations. An increasing number of people are being admitted to emergency wards due to the consequences of their use. This work mainly summarizes the history, synthesis, pharmacology, toxicology, structure–activity relationship, metabolism, clinical process and health risks, poisoning and death, forensic toxicology, and legal status of α-PVP. We hope this review will help bring more attention to the exploration of this substance in order to raise awareness of its negative impacts on humans.

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