Femoral blood concentrations of flualprazolam in 33 postmortem cases

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Kriikku , P , Rasanen , I , Ojanperä , I , Thelander , G , Kronstrand , R & Vikingsson , S 2020 , ' Femoral blood concentrations of flualprazolam in 33 postmortem cases ' , Forensic Science International , vol. 307 , 110101 . https://doi.org/10.1016/j.forsciint.2019.110101

Title: Femoral blood concentrations of flualprazolam in 33 postmortem cases
Author: Kriikku, Pirkko; Rasanen, Ilpo; Ojanperä, Ilkka; Thelander, Gunilla; Kronstrand, Robert; Vikingsson, Svante
Contributor organization: Medicum
Department of Forensic Medicine
University of Helsinki
Date: 2020-02
Language: eng
Number of pages: 5
Belongs to series: Forensic Science International
ISSN: 0379-0738
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.forsciint.2019.110101
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/323513
Abstract: Flualprazolam is a novel designer benzodiazepine, structurally related to alprazolam, flubromazolam and triazolam. In the last couple of years, it has been frequently detected in seizures and in forensic cases in Sweden and Finland. However, there is a lack of published blood concentrations for the drug, which presents difficulties when assessing its relevance for the cause of death. A quantitative method for the determination of flualprazolam in post-mortem blood was developed and validated, and subsequently used to analyse samples from 33 deaths previously screened as testing positive for flualprazolam in Sweden and Finland. Most of the cases in the study were accidental deaths (61 %) or suicides (18 %). The median (range) flualprazolam concentration was 18.0 (3.0-68) ng/g. The majority of the deceased were male (82 %) and the median age was 30 years. The median age in the Swedish cases was significantly higher (35 years) than in the Finnish cases (23 years) (p <0.05). Poly-drug use and particularly the concomitant use of flualprazolam and opioids were very common in the study population. Most of the cases that were positive for flualprazolam were fatal poisonings by a drug (N = 23), and in 13 cases, flualprazolam was implicated in the cause of death. Combining the resources of two countries in which all post-mortem toxicology is centralised provided a more comprehensive insight into the toxicology of flualprazolam. Research on novel psychoactive substances, such as flualprazolam, is required in order to be able to provide scientific evidence on the risks of these new substances for drug administration and potential users. (C) 2019 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Subject: Flualprazolam
Designer benzodiazepines
Post-mortem toxicology
New psychoactive substances
319 Forensic science and other medical sciences
Peer reviewed: Yes
Rights: cc_by_nc_nd
Usage restriction: openAccess
Self-archived version: acceptedVersion

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