UMASS TOX Blog

Loperamide: How An Anti-Diarrheal Causes Cardiac Arrest

WHAT IS LOPERAMIDE? Loperamide (known in the United States as the over-the-counter medication Imodium) was discovered  in 1969, and is used world-wide as an anti-diarrheal medications. Recently there have been a significant increase in cases of cardiac arrest associated with taking large doses of loperamide, either in attempt to…

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The Kim Jong Nam Assassination

Toxicology has been front and center in the media recently with the high-profile assassination of Kim Jong-nam ( the estranged half-brother of North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un, at the airport in Kuala Lumpur. Preliminary reports from the Malaysian government suggest that VX nerve agent was the murder…

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What is Sassafras?

Recently, we’ve had several adults report using Sassafras (or “Sass”) to get high at concerts and in social situations. In researching sassafras, this is what we learned. Like Sassafras… the plant? Sort of. Safrole (4-allyl-1,2-methylenedioxy-benzene) is a phenylpropene oil derived from sassafras plants (typically root bark and fruits)….

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Should Kratom Become a Schedule I Drug?

On August 31, 2016, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) temporarily placed mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine into Schedule I status, then withdrew the intent to schedule in favor of a public comment period until December 1, 2016. The status of Kratom remains undetermined. Mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine are the active alkaloids…

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