Investigation of the First Deaths in the United Kingdom Involving the Detection and Quantitation of the Piperazines BZP and 3-TFMPP

S. Elliott, C. Smith
2008 Journal of Analytical Toxicology  
Piperazines such as 1-benzylpiperazine (BZP), 1-(3trifluromethylphenyl)piperazine (3-TFMPP), and 1-(3chlorophenyl)piperazine (3-CPP) have become recent drugs of abuse. With stimulant effects comparable to amphetamines but with a lower potency and differential global scheduling status, they have been sold as a supposed legal alternative to "Ecstasy". A few non-fatal and fatal cases where BZP has been detected have been published and typically involve other drugs. However, toxicity involving BZP
more » ... city involving BZP alone has also been reported. No case data currently exist for 3-TFMPP. The toxicological situation is complicated by the existence of positional isomers of TFMPP and CPP. This paper includes ultraviolet (UV) and liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry data for these isomers and indicates an advantage in using UV spectra to distinguish the structures. Consequently, the presence of BZP and 3-TFMPP has been confirmed in three fatalities (road traffic deaths and a fatal fall), with two cases involving both drugs. These are the first reported cases of 3-TFMPP in postmortem fluid. In all cases, other drugs and/or ethanol were found. BZP was found at concentrations of 0.71, < 0.50, and 1.39 mg/L and 3-TFMPP was found at concentrations of 0.05 and 0.15 mg/L in postmortem blood. Concentrations were also measured in urine. Although BZP and 3-TFMPP were not the direct cause of death, the toxicological findings presented in this paper may assist the interpretation of future cases involving these drugs where their significance may be more apparent. 172 Reproduction (photocopying) of editorial content of this journal is prohibited without publisher's permission.
doi:10.1093/jat/32.2.172 pmid:18334102 fatcat:jhyqya4ovbachivmwiaqftssya