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Dr. Suyash Chavan,MBBS* and Dr. Vandana Roy


Designer drugs‟ are psychoactive substances that mimic the effects of other banned illicit drugs but evade detection by law enforcing agencies. This is because of modifications in the structure of the original psychoactive molecule. Originally developed as a way to evade existing drug laws in the late 1960s, the synthesis and use of designer drugs has increased dramatically. They are advertised with innocuous names and are sold mostly over the internet, discreet outlets and at entertainment clubs. Victims may exhibit symptoms similar to the effects of the illegal drug that these synthetic drugs mimic, however, the exact culprit drug is not detected due to structural modifications in the new drug. Overdose of these drugs may lead to serious adverse effects that can be life threatening. Understanding the pharmacology and toxicology of these agents is essential to facilitate their detection and to provide better medical care for patients suffering from adverse effects due to their consumption. This review focuses on designer drugs, their pharmacology and clinical effects based on the literature available. Multiple names under which these drugs are commonly marketed are identified and tabulated.

Keywords: Designer drugs, New Psychoactive substances, Psychostimulants, Synthetic drugs, Bath salts, Legal highs.

[Full Text Article]

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