What is Flunitrazolam?
Flunitrazolam belongs to benzodiazepine class. It is a novel synthetic depressant substance which is highly potent, that is, drug is active even in microgram dose range. On administration, it can cause anxiety suppression, disinhibition, anticonvulsant, hypnotic, muscle relaxation and amnesia etc. It is relatively a new molecule and has been available from the research chemical market from year 2016, marketed by online vendors. This substance is entirely novel, so all the information available about its dosage, effects and toxicity is more of a speculation and therefore, the information provided should not be entirely trusted upon.
The class of benzodiazepine to which the Flunitrazolam belongs contains fused triazole ring called as triazolobenzodiazepines, and have particular suffix of “zolam”. This indicates that the flunitrazolam is comprised of a methylated triazole ring attached to R1 and R2 location of its diazepine ring. The name Flunitrazolam is due to the molecule containing fluorine, bromine and triazole substitutions on the core benzodiazepine skeleton. The Flunitrazolam is a member of benzodiazepine class as it comprises of 1,4- diazepine ring that is fused to a substituted benzene ring. The bromine attaches at R7 location of this bicyclic structure. Moreover, a fluorine substituted phenyl ring is attached at R5 location of this structure.
It is prepared through volumetric liquid dosing method, due to reason of being highly potent. It is strongly recommended not to combine this substance with other depressant substances such as opiates, barbiturates, gabapentinoids, thienodiazepines, alcohol and other GABAergic substances, particularly in common to heavy doses, as it can cause death of an individual. As it belongs to the benzodiazepine class, it has same dependence and addiction-causing potential and the individual can experience dangerous disinhibitory black-out states. Moreover, life-threatening withdrawal effects may occur on sudden discontinuation of drug, i.e., seizure or death, so, it is highly advisable to gradually lower the dose and observe other harm reduction practices while using this substance.
Bioactivity of Flunitrazolam
It produces anxiolytic, sedative, hypnotic, muscle relaxing, amnesic properties and produce anti-convulsant effects on administration. It has structural similarity to triazolam, pyrazolam and other benzodiazepines, so the pharmacological properties are guessed on the basis of these substances’ mechanism of actions as well as the reported available subjective index.
Being a benzodiazepine, it exhibits a number of effects when bound to the receptor site of benzodiazepine. They potentiate the effects of the neurotransmitter GABA (gamma amino butyric acid), due to which inhibitory effects occurs, thereby causing sedation. As the GABA receptor site is widely present in brain, the modulation of it is responsible for the sedating effect of flunitrazolam on nervous system. The mechanism of anti-convulsant effect of flunitrazolam has been linked to binding to voltage-dependant sodium (Na) channels completely or partially, rather than binding to benzodiazepine receptors.
Expected Physical Effects of Flunitrazolam
It affects nervous system causing sedation, dizziness, respiratory depression, loss of motor control, and muscle relaxation. An increase in aggressive behavior, anxiety, irritability, violent and suicidal thoughts may likely occur in less than 1% of general population. These effects are intensified while following high-dosage regimes in patients having mental disorders, children or if habitually used, such as by recreational abusers.
It can also have effect on cognition presenting itself in the form of amnesia, difficulty thinking and thought deceleration, anxiety and analysis suppression, disinhibition, dream potentiation, emotional suppression and ability to process information, compulsive redosing and sleepiness. Also it can manifest delusions of sobriety in individuals under the effects of this drug.
The after-effects of this drug are reported, such as rebound anxiety, dreamy state potentiation or suppression, residual sleepiness, thought deceleration and disorganization, and irritability etc.
Dosage Information for Flunitrazolam
The drug is usually taken orally. Its total duration of action is short and is expected to last between 4-5 hours, with onset of action showing within 10-30 minutes of dose administration. The after effects are felt from 1 – 16 hours. With sublingual route, the duration of action is same, i.e. 4 – 5 hours; however the onset of action is achieved within 5 – 15 minutes, while after affects shows up to 1 – 12 hours.
The dosage range can be described as starting from a threshold level of 30 – 40 µg, light dose of 40 – 80 µg, common dose of 80 – 150 µg, and a strong dose of 150 – 300 µg.
Overdose of benzodiazepine is treated as medical emergency as it leads to coma, brain injury or death if left untreated or not treated properly and promptly.
Street name: Designer Benzodiazepine