Flakka Drug Testing
Flakkaα-Pyrrolidinopentiophenone (also known as alpha-pyrrolidinovalerophenone, α-PVP, alpha-PVP, O-2387, β-keto-prolintane, Prolintanone, or desmethyl pyrrolidinovalerophenone) is a synthetic stimulant drug of the cathinone class developed in the 1960s. Colloquially it is sometimes called flakka or gravel. α-PVP is chemically related to pyrovalerone and is the ketone analog of prolintane. It is used as a recreational drug, and is considered a Schedule I drug under the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act.
Adverse effectsα-PVP has been reported to be the cause or a significant contributory cause of death in suicides and polydrug overdoses. α-PVP can cause a condition called "excited delirium" that involves hyperstimulation, paranoia, and hallucinations. α-PVP has also been linked to at least one death where it was combined with pentedrone and caused heart failure.
PharmacologyThe mechanism of action is unknown for α-PVP. It is believed to act similarly to the designer drug MDPV, which acts as a norepinephrine-dopamine reuptake inhibitor (NDRI), although no substantial research on this compound has been conducted.
Detection in body fluids
α-PVP may be quantitated in blood, plasma or urine by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry to confirm a diagnosis of poisoning in hospitalized patients or to provide evidence in a medicolegal death investigation. Blood or plasma α-PVP concentrations are expected to be in a range of 10–50 μg/L in persons using the drug recreationally, >100 μg/L in intoxicated patients and >300 μg/L in victims of acute overdosage.
α-PVP is a Schedule I drug in New Mexico, Delaware, Florida,Oklahoma, and Virginia. On January 28, 2014, the U.S. DEA listed it, along with nine other synthetic cathinones, on the Schedule 1 with a temporary ban, effective February 27, 2014. The drug was explicitly made illegal in New South Wales after it was illegally marketed with the imprimatur of erroneous legal advice that it was not encompassed by analog provisions of the relevant act. It is encompassed by those provisions, and therefore has been illegal for many years in New South Wales. The legislative action followed the death of two individuals from using it; one jumping off a balcony, another having a heart attack after a state of delirium.
α-PVP is sometimes the active ingredient in recreational drugs sold as "bath salts". It may also be distinguished from "bath salts" and sold under a different name: "flakka", a name used in Florida, or "gravel" in other parts of the U.S. It is typically manufactured in China, India, or Pakistan and repackaged in gram packets in the U.S., and it is possible to mix it with higher-priced drugs such as heroin, cocaine, or methamphetamine. It is reportedly available as cheaply as US$5 per dose. A laboratory for one county in Florida reported a steady rise in α-PVP detections in seized drugs from none in January–February 2014 to 84 in September 2014.