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Brain Sci. 2018, 8(9), 170;

Novel Synthetic Opioids: The Pathologist’s Point of View

Department of Medical Sciences, University of Ferrara, 44121 Ferrara, Italy
Department of Life Sciences and Biotechnology (SVeB), University of Ferrara, 44121 Ferrara, Italy
Department of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Ferrara, 44121 Ferrara, Italy
Department of Morphology, Surgery and Experimental Medicine, Section of Legal Medicine, University of Ferrara, 44121 Ferrara, Italy
Collaborative Center for the Italian National Early Warning System, Department of Anti-Drug Policies, Presidency of the Council of Ministers, 00184 Roma, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 31 July 2018 / Revised: 24 August 2018 / Accepted: 29 August 2018 / Published: 2 September 2018
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Background: New Psychoactive Substances (NPS) constitute a broad range of hundreds of natural and synthetic drugs, including synthetic opioids, synthetic cannabinoids, synthetic cathinones, and other NPS classes, which were not controlled from 1961 to 1971 by the United Nations drug control conventions. Among these, synthetic opioids represent a major threat to public health. Methods: A literature search was carried out using public databases (such as PubMed, Google Scholar, and Scopus) to survey fentanyl-, fentanyl analogs-, and other synthetic opioid-related deaths. Keywords including “fentanyl”, “fentanyl analogs”, “death”, “overdose”, “intoxication”, “synthetic opioids”, “Novel Psychoactive Substances”, “MT-45”, “AH-7921”, and “U-47700” were used for the inquiry. Results: From our literature examination, we inferred the frequent implication of fentanyls and synthetic opioids in side effects, which primarily affected the central nervous system and the cardiovascular and pulmonary systems. The data showed a great variety of substances and lethal concentrations. Multidrug-related deaths appeared very common, in most reported cases. Conclusions: The investigation of the contribution of novel synthetic opioid intoxication to death should be based on a multidisciplinary approach aimed at framing each case and directing the investigation towards targeted toxicological analyses. View Full-Text
Keywords: fentanyl; NPS; synthetic opioids; MT-45; AH-7921; U-47700; forensic pathology fentanyl; NPS; synthetic opioids; MT-45; AH-7921; U-47700; forensic pathology
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Frisoni, P.; Bacchio, E.; Bilel, S.; Talarico, A.; Gaudio, R.M.; Barbieri, M.; Neri, M.; Marti, M. Novel Synthetic Opioids: The Pathologist’s Point of View. Brain Sci. 2018, 8, 170.

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