EU drug monitoring agency voices concerns over “legal highs”BMJ 2010; 341 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.c6491 (Published 12 November 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c6491
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5-IT or 5-API is the common name for a newly emerging designer drug. It is a positional isomer of the tryptamine drug α-methyltryptamine and has the chemical structure (1H-indol-5-yl)propan-2-amine. Currently not controlled in Europe, it is covered, however, by the federal analogue acts in the USA 1 and Australia 2.
Very little is known about the acute or chronic effects of 5-IT. An oral dose of 20 milligrams is said to produce long-lived stimulant effects, including increased heart-rate, anorexia, diuresis, and slight hyperthermia for about twelve hours 3.
Recently we identified 5-IT in post-mortem blood samples of two young adults. The substance was found in combination with other drugs in one case. In the other 5APB/6 APB a designer drug which is similar in some respects to the chemical structure of the well known psychotropic substance 3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA) was also found. The National Board of Forensic Medicine in Sweden has recently identified the drug in 14 deaths and 5-IT was said to be the direct cause of death in two of these cases 4.
5-IT is inexpensive, easily available online as a “research chemical” and therefore has the potential for becoming a replacement for other recently banned designer drugs. The medical community should be aware of both the availability and use of 5-IT within the UK. The drug needs to be banned, but again regulatory control in the UK will be chasing designer drug innovation.
1. http://www.fda.gov/regulatoryinformation/legislation/ucm148726.htm accessed 07-08-2012.
2. http://www.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/download.cgi/au/legis/cth/consol_act/c... Downloaded 07-08-2012 (Page 517).
3. http://www.erowid.org/library/books_online/tihkal/tihkal48.shtml. Accessed 07-08-2012.
4. http://www.fhi.se/Aktuellt/Nyheter/Folkhalsoinstitutet-foreslar-forbud-f... accessed 07-08-2012
Competing interests: No competing interests