The synthetic drug U-47700 is dangerous and is considered a major threat to public health and safety.
The synthetic drug U-47700 is dangerous and is considered a major threat to public health and safety. This substance was part of the cocktail of drugs that killed the famous singer Prince. These 3 important facts will provide you with pertinent information about the hazards of this drug.
1. Now a Schedule I Controlled Substance
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has placed the research chemical U-47700 temporarily into Schedule I of the Federal Controlled Substances Act effective November 14, 2016.1 This substance is also known by the street name “pink” or “pinky.” The scheduling will last for 24 months, with a possible 12-month extension if the DEA needs more research to determine whether it should be permanently scheduled.1 Schedule I substances have a high potential for abuse and no currently accepted medical use in the United States. States such as Florida have recently created laws making U-47700 illegal. With the DEA’s new scheduling, U-47700 will now be illegal, at least temporarily, in all states.
2. U-47700 has a high potential for abuse
Research suggests that abuse of U-47700 is similar to heroin, prescription opioid pain medications, and other novel opioids.1 The drug has been found in powder form and in counterfeit tablets that resemble pharmaceutical opioids.2 Additionally, it has been found in combination with other substances including heroin and fentanyl. The DEA has utilized data from the National Forensic Laboratory Information System (NFLIS) to monitor the drug trends of U-47700.1 Also, the DEA has received reports through the NFLIS from 2015 to 2016 of at least 46 deaths associated with U-47700 (See Table).1 This substance is being manufactured in illicit labs and is being distributed online and through drug dealers. The most dangerous part is that the identity, purity, and quantity are unknown, which creates a Russian Roulette situation for individuals abusing U-47700.2 Adverse effects include numbness, sedation, respiratory depression, and death.
TABLE: FATALITIES ASSOCIATED WITH U-477001
3. Pharmacists can educate patients on the dangers of counterfeit drugs
Pharmacists can educate patients and the community about the dangers of abusing U-47700 and other synthetic drugs. Educating the youth is also extremely important to prevent drug abuse and diversion. When conducting medication therapy management and other counseling sessions, it’s important to inquire about the use of synthetic drugs. This is especially important for patients taking prescription opioid medications because the combination with U-47700 is extremely dangerous due to the risk of overdose. The counterfeit pill market has become a huge problem in the United States and has caused the number of overdoses and deaths to increase drastically.3 Unfortunately, the state prescription drug monitoring programs that are used to track prescription controlled substances are unable to monitor these illicit substances. Therefore, it’s important to discuss the dangers of using counterfeit drugs.