Patterns of use and toxicity of new para-halogenated substituted cathinones: 4-CMC (clephedrone), 4-CEC (4-chloroethcatinone) and 4-BMC (brephedrone)

Marc Grifell, Mireia Ventura, Xoán Carbón, Pol Quintana, Liliana Galindo, Álvaro Palma, Ivan Fornis, Cristina Gil, Magi Farre, Marta Torrens

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21 Citations (Scopus)


Copyright © 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Objective: This paper aims to present results of the analysis of clephedrone (4-CMC), 4-chloroethcathinone (4-CEC), and brephedrone (4-BMC) on recreational drug markets and a systematic review of all the available information concerning these substances. Material and methods: Samples collected by the drug checking service of the Spanish harm reduction NGO—Energy Control were analyzed and systematic research was conducted. Between June 2014 and October 2016, 1,471 samples with at least one NPS were analyzed, 397 of which contained cathinones. Results: Clephedrone was found in 29 samples, brephedrone in 8, and both were present in 2 samples. 4-Chloroethcathinone was detected in 5 samples. Eleven out of the 47 purchased samples (23.4%) were tested to contain the substance the user expected. Samples received were mainly sold as 3-MMC, MDMA, ketamine, and other cathinones. No literature on the effects or toxicity of these substances was found; the only information available was on internet fora. On many posts, users exhibit concerns about potential toxicity and side effects of using these substances. Conclusion: Since the emergence of these substances could prove to be the next step to the cat-and-mouse game existing between drug producers and legislation, further clinical and epidemiological research should be carried out in order to build evidence to support policy for public health issues.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2621
JournalHuman Psychopharmacology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2017


  • 4-BMC
  • 4-CEC
  • 4-CMC
  • cathinones
  • new psychoactive substances
  • NPS


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