Nitazene, an opioid produced in China is more lethal than FENTANYL, doctors warn.

Nitazene, an opioid produced in China is more lethal than FENTANYL, doctors warn.


By Luke Andrews,’s health reporter Updated: 15:25, August 29, 2023 EDT

Doctors are warning about a narcotic developed in China that is entering the US and is more lethal than fentanyl.Nitazenes, a class of synthetic opioids similar to fentanyl, are being added to more heroin and fake prescription drugs being sold on the black market, which is leading to fatal overdoses.

Patients require at least two doses of naloxone to reverse an overdose compared to the normal one dose of fentanyl, suggesting that they are at least 1,000 times as potent as morphine.Doctors at Mount Sinai in New York noted that “clinicians should be aware of these opioids in the drug supply so they are adequately prepared to care for these patients.” Researchers examined the lab findings of 537 persons who were referred to ERs with suspected overdoses between 2020 and 2022 for the tiny study, which was published today in JAMA Network Open.

They discovered that 11 of them had just fentanyl in their bodies.However, a total of nine, or about 2%, tested positive for nitazenes.36 percent of the fentanyl patients required more than one dosage of naloxone, and 27 percent required intubation.

In contrast, 66 percent of people who had nitazenes in their system required more than one dosage of naloxone, and 11 percent required intubation.It was as high as 50% among individuals who received the nitazene Mentonitazene. One patient from each group overdosed and passed away, but the others lived.In comparison to those who consumed other drugs, such as fentanyl, those who took metonitazene also had a higher risk of experiencing cardiac arrest.


“Given the alarmingly high cardiac arrest rate for nitazene overdose, this study should energize harm-reduction policies,” said Dr. Alex Manini, a specialist in emergency medicine at Mount Sinai.Future studies should look at the clinical effects of new, potent opioids as the supply of illicit opioids continues to change, given the appearance of potentially toxic substances in the illicit opioid supply in the United States.Around 60 years ago, scientists created nitazenes as a morphine substitute.But they were never released because to their substantial overdose risk.

Brorphine, isotonitazene, metonitazene, and N-piperidinyl etonitazene are examples of nitazenes.It was reported that nitazene had been discovered mixed with supplies of heroin and fentanyl last year, prompting the Drug Enforcement Agency in Washington, D.C., to issue a warning to locals.The agent who issued the alert, Jarod Forget, declared at the time: “We want to get this information out and warn people.”We can stop the spread of these dangerous opioids, put an end to all these senseless deaths, and help keep our neighbors and loved ones safe if we can educate and enlighten our communities about the risks of using counterfeit prescription medications or other substances.

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