Flualprazolam is a benzodiazepine-class synthetic depressant that has anxiolytic, disinhibiting, sedative, muscle relaxant, and memory suppressant effects when taken.
Appearance: Yellow powder
Flualprazolam is a non-registered benzodiazepine that represents a novel psychoactive substance (NPS). Since 2014, an increasing number of designer benzodiazepines have become available on the black market on the Internet. The Oregon Poison Center discovered a cluster of flualprazolam-intoxicated patients in June 2019. Flualprazolam’s clinical features have been poorly documented as an emergent drug of abuse. Six teenagers presented to local emergency departments over the course of a week after swallowing illegally obtained counterfeit alprazolam, which resulted in sedation. Slurred speech, disorientation, and mild respiratory depression were among the other symptoms. Within 6 hours of intake, all six patients’ symptoms had disappeared.
Three patients provided blood and urine samples, as well as a tablet fragment. Using liquid chromatography-quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometry, the pill and biological samples were determined to contain only NPS flualprazolam and no other medicines or intoxicants. With this case series, we contribute a clinical description of this developing substance of abuse to the medical literature. Flualprazolam appears to have benzodiazepine-like clinical effects. Physicians must be aware of the availability and features of flualprazolam and other NPSs as they become more common. Six of the six individuals who were given flualprazolam experienced sedation lasting less than six hours. The patients showed no side effects that would be predicted from benzodiazepine intoxication.
Flualprazolam is a nonregistered benzodiazepine that is classified as an NPS. Because of online shopping, the rate of NPS exposures has increased globally since the early 2000s. Between 2009 and 2017, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime received over 800 distinct NPS reports, with 22 tons of NPS recovered by law enforcement in 2016. NPSs are typically made by modifying or substituting existing recreational drugs, medicines, or their active metabolites structurally. Since 2014, the number of people exposed to designer benzodiazepines has increased in the United States.
Flualprazolam is structurally similar to the FDA-approved medicines alprazolam and triazolam, but differs in chemical makeup by having a fluorine atom in the ortho position of the phenyl moiety. Triazolobenzodiazepines are all three substances. 8 Flualprazolam’s clinical effects as a benzodiazepine include drowsiness, anxiolysis, forgetfulness, and perhaps respiratory depression. Alprazolam appears to be more hazardous than other prescription benzodiazepines in overdose. 9 Although flualprazolam has not been investigated in detail, rat investigations with fluorinated diazepam analogues show potencies ranging from half to tenfold10; thus, the pharmacological effects of fluorinated alprazolam cannot be predicted solely based on chemical structure.