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NBOMe — a very different kettle of fish . . .

To the Editor: We are concerned that recent media reports about a 17-year-old Sydney boy who died after allegedly consuming 25B- or 25I-NBOMe might lead to an increase in the incidence of NBOMe toxicity among patients presenting to emergency departments. NBOMe was reported to be available online for as little as $1.50 per tablet.1 The subsequent media interest is likely to have increased public awareness of the availability of the NBOMe series of drugs; and increased awareness of psychoactive substances through media reporting is associated with their increased initial uptake.2 It is possible that the increased awareness of this cheap LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide)-like drug will prompt some individuals to buy NBOMe tablets and sell them as LSD in order to make a significant profit.

The NBOMe series are analogues of the 2C series of psychedelic phenethylamine drugs that include an N-methoxybenzyl (hence, “NBOMe”) substituent that has significant effects on their pharmacological activity. NBOMe drugs have been characterised in in-vitro receptor studies as remarkably potent agonists of the 5-HT2A and 5-HT2C receptors,

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