Current awareness of piperazines: pharmacology and toxicology

Authors

  • Simon Elliott

    Corresponding author
    1. (ROAR) Forensics Ltd, Malvern Hills Science Park, Geraldine Road, Malvern, Worcestershire WR14 3SZ, UK
    • (ROAR) Forensics Ltd, Malvern Hills Science Park, Geraldine Road, Malvern, Worcestershire WR14 3SZ, UK.
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Abstract

Although many piperazine derivatives exist, only a limited number have been studied, whereby they have been found to be generally stimulant in nature resulting from dopaminergic, noradrenergic, and predominantly serotoninergic effects in the brain. Reported toxic effects include agitation, anxiety, cardiac symptoms (e.g. tachycardia) and sometimes seizures. As for many drugs, they are primarily metabolized by cytochrome P450 with subsequent possible glucuronidation and/or sulfation. Their abuse has been relatively recently observed in the last decade with only a few identified in biological fluid (primarily 1-benzylpiperazine (BZP) and 1-(3-trifluoromethylphenyl)piperazine (3-TFMPP)) despite publications of a number of analytical methods. Even when detected, however, the toxicological significance of their presence is often difficult to ascertain as many cases involve other drugs as well as a wide and overlapping range of concentrations found in blood (both in life and after death). This paper reviews the current pharmacological and toxicological information for piperazine derivatives and also includes new ante-mortem and post-mortem blood data. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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