Bromo-Dragonfly Death and Hospitalization in Sweden

By chillinwill · Aug 20, 2008 · ·
  1. chillinwill

    According to news reports1,2 and one journal article3, one Danish man was hospitalized and another was killed by toxic effects of bromo-dragonfly in September, 2007. Pers Ståhl, 35, suffered convulsions, liver and kidney failure, and lost several fingers and toes, while his unnamed friend died within hours of taking the substance.

    The two men reportedly ordered bromo-dragonfly from an internet vendor and took an unknown amount one evening. One of the men had previously taken bromo-dragonfly, while the other had not.

    The two were found the next morning by Ståhl's brother. Ståhl was deeply disoriented and could not use his legs, and his friend was dead.

    Ståhl was taken to the hospital, where he was awake but disoriented. He had no memory of the night before, and suffered from low blood pressure, pronounced chills, and poor blood oxygenation. His condition deteriorated and he experienced convulsions and difficulty breathing. He was administered 5 mg diazepam (IV) and norepinephrine (IV). He sufferred from respiratory and metabolic acidosis, which were successfully treated with assisted respiration and fluid replacement.

    A urine sample taken on admission was later found to contain traces of bromo-dragonfly. Ståhl could not say how much they had taken. Erowid has received an unconfirmed report that they may have measured the dose by licking a fingertip and dipping it into a bag of bromo-dragonfly powder. If this is correct, this would probably deliver a dose many times greater than the threshold of activity, which is reported to be less than one milligram. (see Bromo-Dragonfly Dosage)

    Ståhl showed severely inhibited circulation, and on the second day he began to show discoloration of the extremities and the nose.

    Over the next few days he developed acute liver failure and renal failure. His liver failure was short-lived, and his kidneys responded favorably to treatment over the next three weeks.

    Ståhl was administered nitroglycerin infusions, calcium inhibitors, ACE inhibitors, and prostacyclin analogues to dilate blood vessels. None of these treatments had any visible effect.

    On his ninth day in the hospital, gangrene was detected in one foot.

    Seven weeks after his admittence, the fingers of Ståhl's left hand and several toes had to be amputated.

    Ståhl has been released from the hospital and appears to be back in good health.

    It is believed that the circulator problems Ståhl experienced were caused by bromo-dragonfly's vasoconstrictive properties. That is, bromo-dragonfly can cause blood vessels in the extremeties to constrict, reducing blood flow to the limbs.

    Bromo-dragonly's vasocontrctive effects are believed to be caused by prolonged stimulation of Alpha-1 adregenic receptors in the limbs. Activation of local serotonin receptors in blood vessels can also result in vasocontriction, and bromo-dragonfly is known to be a serotonin agonist.

    Bromo-dragonfly's pharmacology has not been well-studied, and its effects are in part extrapolated from research on long-lasting phenethylamine hallucinogens such as DOB4.

    This case is particularly troubling, owing to the possibility that the men consumed a relatively small dose of bromo-dragonfly. If they did in fact measure a bromo-dragonfly dose by licking a finger and putting it in a bag of powder, this could have produced a dose on the order of 5-10 mg, roughly ten to twenty times the minimum effective dose of bromo-dragonfly. This is probably larger than what most informed persons would intentionally take for a recreational dose, but not vastly larger - particularly for a material that is active in very small amounts (less than a single milligram). Such small quantities of material can be difficult to accurately measure.

    References #

    1. Kållberg A.. "Drogen tog hans hand [The Drug Took Him By the Hand]". KvällsPosten. Apr 23 2008.
    2. Johansson L. "Ny drog leder till dödsfall och amputationer [New drug leads to deaths and amputations]". Skånskan. Apr 22, 2008.
    3. Thorlacius K, Borna C, Personne M. "Bromo-dragonfly--livsfarlig missbruksdrog [Bromo-dragon fly--life-threatening drug. Can cause tissue necrosis as demonstrated by the first described case]". Läkartidningen. 2008 Apr 16-22;105(16):1199-200.
    4. Bowen JS, Davis GB, Kearney TE, Bardin J. "Diffuse vascular spasm associated with 4-bromo-2,5-dimethoxyamphetamine ingestion". Publication Name. JAMA. 1983 Mar 18;249(11):1477-9.

    Revision History #

    • version 1.0 - Aug 16, 2008 - Erowid draft, based in part on Suave's translations from Swedish. Psilo reviewed pharmacological information.

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  1. tinytom
    if they had of been correctly educated this tradagey could of been avoided.

    SWIM belives education is a much better way than prevention.
  2. Zentaurus41
    Still, do you have scale that can activly measure 0.001 of a gram ?
    Swim would love to try the stuff, but he has heard many deaths associated with this RC. Most of them have been because of overdose.

    If swim was to try it, i would want some pretty expensive scales to measure them on.
  3. Panthers007
    The consensus out in Bongo's stomping-grounds is that all things point to this drug being similar to DOB in effect. Most people don't like DOB. Though it has a few ardent fans. Given the reported toxicity and vaso-constrictive effects, this one stays "on the shelf" for the current time. Not worth the risk.
  4. N0ly
    A larger known amount of substance dissolved into a known about of water, divided into smaller known amounts will allow for a known dosage. Just takes doing some easy math and these tragedies can be avoided.
  5. Panthers007
    So would finding the chemist who allowed something this powerful to get into the underground marketplace - and making him/her eat all their glassware. Something this powerful and unknown is lucrative to someone with no moral principles or ethics - to blithely synthesis and sell to anyone with money.

    This doesn't even go near the culpability of the seller in Sweden (we know who) that dumped this onto a market known for it's general ignorance regards background data. That person is fully responsible for the deaths/damages of those who blindly bought what seemed a good thing at the time. You might as well sell nerve-gas and call it a "Room-Deodorizer."

    Pure blind greed and ignorance.
  6. FuBai
    I see where you are coming from, but I would like to know more about the context of the sale before condeming the dealer/producer. If it was sold as bromo-dragonfly then I find it difficult to lay blame anywhere other than on those who consumed it. Whilst the chemical is relatively obscure a simple google search tells you that the correct dose lies somewhere around 500 millionths of a gram to a maximum of about 1.6mg, an amount so small that it is quite obviously stupid to attempt to do anything but dilute it as another poster said, and even that seems like an unsure method of doing it, as you are assuming that the ammount in the bag is the ammount that the dealer said it was. I quite strongly feel that people need to take responsibility for thier own drug use. So long as the product was not missrepresented, it is up to the individual to do thier own research on the matter, and not to take a dangerous research chemical without some serious consideration of the risks. However, if it was missold as something other than bromo-dragonfly, or the dealer told them that the finger method would be a safe mechanism of ingestion, then fault lies, at least partially, with the dealer. I'm not saying that the dealer may not be responsible, I just don't want all the blame being laid at his feet.
  7. Panthers007
    Okay, let's bump this up a notch. I agree that 'caveat emptor' (let the buyer beware) comes into play. But you also need to factor in that certain cultures are not as capable as you or I in getting their paws on good data. In this effect - A 20 year old there has the same knowledge , in certain aspects, as a 12 year old where you, or I, live.

    To consider otherwise is ageist. And if you do some background on the "drug-scene" in Sweden, you will find that it is much different than Amsterdam and/or New York City.

    The seller of this material was from this region and knew a bundle about his target audience. He was well versed in likely problems. But he didn't give a Swedish Krone about anything other than his capital. Last I bothered to hear, there was some media communique stating he had committed suicide.

    <edit> I'll add this. As someone who is a scientist skilled in organic synthesis, I have been approached by many people. Many different ideas. It's a right-of-passage of many scientists. And the vast majority will listen to the concept - and throw a nitwit straight out the door if they were to propose such a piece of work. I would like to see some form of integrity maintain itself within the scientific community. One who would say: "SURE!!" to this sort of project would get beaten up in the proverbial alley.
  8. SullyGuy

    Even a simple Wikipedia search shows you how hazardous this thing is. It wasn't terribly big of the chemist to sell this stuff...
  9. drug-bot
    swim doesnt see how someone can blame the chemist, if it werent for these semi-legit chemists the majority of us swimmers wouldnt have accsess to any RC's, as long as the buyers are over 18 its there responsibility to be responsible.
  10. Zentaurus41
    You should blame the dealer then, many legal drugs have a list of precautions and prescription information for the user. Just blindly handing something out as powerfull and dangerous as this is wrong.
  11. enquirewithin
    Seller should leave these powerful long lasting psychedelics well alone. DOB, for example, is known by my monkey to have given some people rewarding experiences, but in low doses only. People are not well enough educated, especially outside this forum!
  12. Alfa
    Although doses with bromo-dragon-fly accidents where off the charts, this is the risk that one takes with new research chemicals. Anyone that takes research chemicals without properly weighing the dose is taking the chance on hospitalisation or worse.

    And the same consumers of research chemicals are very happy that there are providers / producers / vendors of research chemicals. And the same consumers are very thankful for the publications of Sasha Shulgin, Dave Nichols and other scientists. Still all those parties are responsible for bromo-dragon-fly hitting the market. Remember that people where really enthusiastic when the bromo-dragon-fly paper was published.

    I strongly feel that research chemicals should be sold at dose levels only, to avoid overdose problems. I know that this does not compute with the research chemical sales angle.
  13. enquirewithin
    What Alfa is saying about RC vendors could not be more true. Most are reliable enough, one vendor did sell DB Dragonfly in careful doses. Nichols does not talk about effect on humans of his materials (or even seem to know second hand sometimes-- eg, flatliners).

    I don't know of anyone getting into real trouble with materials if they followed Shulgin's instructions. Little was given for Bromo-Dragonfly, so perhpas it should have been left alone? Nothing as bad has occured with the DOx which still make then rounds.

    We all owe a great debt to Sasha and Dave researches.

    "....research chemicals should be sold at dose levels only"-- there is certainly something in this suggestion. How it could be worked out something else-- they are not for 'human consumption.' Perhaps there could be warnings for IF human were accidentally to consume them?
  14. melvin2008
    Bromo-dragonfly, also known as abdf, is a psychedelic hallucinogenic drug related to the phenethylamine family. Bromo-dragonfly is considered an extremely potent hallucinogen. ​
  15. Raz
    Also true for bromo methamphetamine ?
  16. Beeker
    Like 2C-P, the dose-response curve is extremely steep. Even with a good .001 scale the DOx RCs can be hard to scale for a single dose. I'd go as far as saying if you can't get the dosing right with LSD, threw a liquid medium, then don't bother distributing anything that has a dose under 2mg.

    People who hustle anything in the USA that kills people find themselves in jail for distrobution and manslaughter. The drugs don't even have to kill ... remember the kid who ran naked at a cop high on shrooms and got shot? The guy who sold him the shrooms caught a manslaughter charge. Strong psychedelics and dumb kids do not mix well at all.
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