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Journal of analytical toxicology

A fatal intoxication of 2,5-dimethoxy-4-chloroamphetamine: a case report.


PMID 25217551

Abstract

Designer drugs appear to be increasing in popularity because of the ease of obtaining these constituents, the lack of ability to identify the substance(s) in routine drug screening, the appeal of the drug(s) being 'safe' due to them being marketed as a 'legal high' and possibly due to stronger restrictions that are being placed on prescription drugs. As components of designer drugs are identified and regulated by the DEA, new constituents, or analogs, of these designer drugs are being manufactured to circumvent legislation. 2,5-Dimethoxy-4-chloroamphetamine (DOC) is a substituted alpha-methylated phenethylamine and acts as a selective serotonin receptor partial agonist. There is limited literature on this particular compound and no literature that attributes death to use of this drug alone. We present a case of a 37-year-old male found at home lying face down next to a book titled 'Psychedelic Chemistry' by Michael Valentine Smith and in the early stages of decomposition. The decedent was a known methamphetamine abuser. A peripheral blood sample collected at autopsy was sent to toxicology for routine analysis. Results yielded negative for the drugs of abuse classes on the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay screen but was positive for DOC during routine GC-MS analysis. A urine sample collected at autopsy was subjected to a routine urine liquid/liquid analysis via GC-MS, and the specimen was positive for DOC. Quantification analyses showed DOC concentration levels to be 377 ng/mL in iliac blood; 3,193 ng/mL in urine; 3,143 ng/g in liver and 683 ng/g in brain. DOC was not detected in the gastric contents. Caffeine was the only other compound detected in blood and urine. Due to the lack of literature, we believe that this is the first case where death can be attributed to DOC alone.