Special Issue "Clinical and Forensic Toxicology: The Latest Updates"

A special issue of Pharmaceuticals (ISSN 1424-8247). This special issue belongs to the section "Pharmacology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 22 March 2021.

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Francesco P. Busardó
Guest Editor
Department of Excellence of Biomedical Sciences and Public Health, University Politecnica delle Marche, Ancona, Italy
Interests: toxicology; forensic toxicology; drugs of abuse; legal medicine; hepatotoxicity
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Within the field of analytical toxicology, there are two distinct disciplines involved in the testing of human biological matrices and non-biological specimens: clinical and forensic toxicology.

The difference between both specialties lies in the final use of the obtained results. In clinical toxicology, analytical results support clinical management, selection of an appropriate treatment, diagnosis, prognosis, and eventual disclosure of drug intoxication in the emergency room. In addition, drugs of abuse testing in maintenance treatments is also an area of special interest. In forensic toxicology, the obtained results have medico-legal implications related to eventual drug contribution to death or to possible impairment or to behavioral changes linked to a crime.

There are numerous areas of mutual interest between clinical and forensic toxicology. Indeed, most of the advances in the clinical setting come from investigation in forensic laboratories. Owing to those advances, the number of detectable pharmacological and psychoactive substances and/or metabolites and the number of conventional and non-conventional biological matrices to be investigated is continuously increasing. Furthermore, technological innovations in the field of sample pre-treatment and in the instrumental methodologies has improved levels of precision, accuracy, sensitivity, and specificity of quali-quantitative analyses in both disciplines.

The aim of this Special Issue is to collect original and review articles to provide the latest updates in the field of clinical and forensic toxicology.

Suggested topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Determination of cannabinoids in biological matrices for clinical (medical cannabis) and forensic (recreational cannabis) purposes
  • Development and validation of analytical methods for the identification and quantification of New Psychoactive Substances (NPS) in conventional and non-conventional biological matrices.
  • Studies and updated reviews on drugs of abuse-related toxicity, acute intoxications, and fatalities.
  • Metabolic pathways of new synthetic opioids, their potency, and studies of incubation with human hepatocytes to simulate in vivo metabolism.

Prof. Dr. Francesco P. Busardó
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Pharmaceuticals is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • Clinical toxicology
  • Forensic toxicology
  • Drugs of abuse
  • Acute intoxications
  • Fatalities
  • New Psychoactive Substances (NPS)
  • Liquid chromatography-high resolution mass spectrometry (LC-HRMS/MS)
  • Liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS)
  • Gas chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and Gas chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (GC-MS/MS)
  • NPS-related toxicity

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Pharmacology of Herbal Sexual Enhancers: A Review of Psychiatric and Neurological Adverse Effects
Pharmaceuticals 2020, 13(10), 309; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph13100309 - 14 Oct 2020
Sexual enhancers increase sexual potency, sexual pleasure, or libido. Substances increasing libido alter the concentrations of specific neurotransmitters or sex hormones in the central nervous system. Interestingly, the same pathways are involved in the mechanisms underlying many psychiatric and neurological disorders, and adverse [...] Read more.
Sexual enhancers increase sexual potency, sexual pleasure, or libido. Substances increasing libido alter the concentrations of specific neurotransmitters or sex hormones in the central nervous system. Interestingly, the same pathways are involved in the mechanisms underlying many psychiatric and neurological disorders, and adverse reactions associated with the use of aphrodisiacs are strongly expected. However, sexual enhancers of plant origin have gained popularity over recent years, as natural substances are often regarded as a safer alternative to modern medications and are easily acquired without prescription. We reviewed the psychiatric and neurological adverse effects associated with the consumption of herbal aphrodisiacs Areca catechu L., Argemone Mexicana L., Citrus aurantium L., Eurycoma longifolia Jack., Lepidium meyenii Walp., Mitragyna speciosa Korth., Panax ginseng C. A. Mey, Panax quinquefolius L., Pausinystalia johimbe (K. Schum.) Pierre ex Beille, Piper methysticum G. Forst., Ptychopetalum olacoides Benth., Sceletium tortuosum (L.) N. E. Brown, Turnera diffusa Willd. ex. Schult., Voacanga africana Stapf ex Scott-Elliot, and Withania somnifera (L.) Dunal. A literature search was conducted on the PubMed, Scopus, and Web of Science databases with the aim of identifying all the relevant articles published on the issue up to June 2020. Most of the selected sexual enhancers appeared to be safe at therapeutic doses, although mild to severe adverse effects may occur in cases of overdosing or self-medication with unstandardized products. Drug interactions are more concerning, considering that herbal aphrodisiacs are likely used together with other plant extracts and/or pharmaceuticals. However, few data are available on the side effects of several plants included in this review, and more clinical studies with controlled administrations should be conducted to address this issue. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Clinical and Forensic Toxicology: The Latest Updates)
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