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Home / Health / FDA issues warnings after synthetic marijuana contaminated with rat poison saps hundreds

FDA issues warnings after synthetic marijuana contaminated with rat poison saps hundreds



  AP Synthetic Drugs

A customer grabs a pinch of synthetic marijuana

2011 AP photo

Federal health officials warn the public of a version of synthetic marijuana with rat poison that causes hundreds of uncontrolled human bleeding and kills several others who have taken the spoiled products.

Synthetic cannabinoid, sold under names such as Spice, K2 and AK 47, has been taking in ten states since early March. This was when health officials in Illinois tracked down people in hospital emergency rooms with severe bleeding who had taken synthetic marijuana with brodifacoum, a deadly anticoagulant that was contained in rat poison.

A bad load seems to be circulating in Washington DC, where fire and emergency medicine Englisch: www.germnews.com / archives. Fire and EMS, 1

50 of these cases were brought to hospitals in the region.

Although synthetic marijuana has been sold for years at gas stations, shops, and smoke stores, federal health officials and law enforcement officials said this version is particularly alarming.

In a public health warning released Thursday, Commissioner Scott Gottlieb and two other senior officials warned the public not to use synthetic marijuana.

"We join forces to send a strong warning to anyone using synthetic marijuana products that these products can be particularly dangerous because of the apparent intentional use of Brodifacoum in these illegal products," the FDA said

FDA officials said there are "significant public health concerns" for people who smoke synthetic marijuana and the US blood supply. At least three people in Illinois donated blood before being hospitalized for use of foul synthetic marijuana, according to a previous Clinic Alert by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Synthetic marijuana, in the same category as street drugs like LSD and cocaine is listed. but marketers label packages "not for human consumption" or change the chemical structure to circumvent regulatory requirements, according to the FDA.

Officials said the illegal drugs are associated with adverse health effects such as rapid heart rate, vomiting, increased blood pressure, decreased blood supply to the heart, kidney damage and cramps. Users have also shown violent behavior or suicidal thoughts.

Health officials and law enforcement agencies believe that manufacturers of the product have mixed batches with Brodifacoum or BDF, an ingredient found in the current wave of people with uncontrolled bleeding.

On May 25, state health departments reported 202 cases and five deaths in patients requiring treatment for severe bleeding after taking synthetic marijuana, the CDC reported.

The investigative judge's office in Washington DC has been investigating another four deaths since Saturday, but the authorities have not yet confirmed whether those losses involved BDF or other substances.

Another 33 cases and one death were confirmed in Maryland Maryland Gift Center.

The presence of BDF in synthetic marijuana is worrying because of the substance's strong and long-lasting effects, experts said.

Douglas Feinstein, a University of Illinois researcher who has received funding from the National Institutes of Health to study the effects of BDF, said the substance is essentially a much stronger, more lethal version of the anticoagulant warfarin.

He said it was developed as a poison to kill rats and mice that became resistant to milder versions of anticoagulants.

Drugs and agents that include BDF are "not for human consumption," Feinstein said. "These are for killing humans and animals."

While health officials do not know why BDF appears in synthetic marijuana, Feinstein said one possible explanation is that the substance effectively slows down a body's ability to metabolize the drug. This could cause the "high" of the drug to last longer.

Another theory is that the substance inadvertently enters the chemical mixture when it is manufactured abroad. An even scarier option is that the manufacturers of the drug BFD have purposely mixed into the product, according to Feinstein.

Health officials said people who use synthetic marijuana should carefully monitor for any signs of bleeding. People using BDF-laced synthetic marijuana have reported mild bruising, gum and nose bleeding, according to the FDA.

Officials said that people experiencing the systems should seek medical attention immediately because the effects of BDF are treatable. People can get oral doses of vitamin K to counteract the effects of the substance. It costs $ 8,000 for a two-week course of vitamin K on an outpatient basis, but people who are poisoned by BDF may need months of treatment, according to the CDC.

Bruce Anderson, executive director of the Maryland Poison Center, part of the University of Maryland College of Pharmacy, said the current scare is the latest in a long list of adverse health effects of people taking synthetic marijuana.

The reality is that people use these products regularly, "Anderson said." Some people get lucky, but there are consequences. Sometimes fatal consequences. "

Anderson said that people who use synthetic marijuana could do so to avert drug testing for more commonly used street drugs such as marijuana or cocaine Professional football players like the former New England Patriots defensive end Chandler Jones and ex-Seattle Seahawks fullback Derrick Coleman were linked to the substance before the National Football League added synthetic marijuana to its list of banned substances.

One of the Maryland patients recently harmed by synthetic marijuana used by BDF to pass a positive drug test Avoiding a risky offer that people consider do not know what can be mixed in a given batch, Anderson said.

"Not only is it (synthetic marijuana) deadly toxic in itself, it's playing Russian roulette." Anderson said, "You could get things that contained Brodifacoum n. "

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