We have acquired an etizolam reference standard, so our International Drug Checking Service is now able again to quantify etizolam samples. We offered etizolam quantification until 2018 but discontinued this service because of technical problems. Now, again, in samples containing etizolam, we will not only offer a qualitative result, but also provide quantitative data (% for powder samples, mg for pills or capsules)

Etizolam is a benzodiacepine derivative (thienodiazepine) with amnesic, anxiolytic, anticonvulsant, hypnotic, and muscle relaxant properties.It shares pharmacological effects and risks of benzodiacepines (including tolerance, abuse potential and withdrawal if supressed abruptly)

Etizolam is used as prescription drug and marketed in some countries (India, Italy, Japan), but not in all the world. Legal status is different countries around the world , so acquisition of etizolam through Internet is relatively easy.

Common daily dosages in therapeutic use is 0.5-2 mg daily. Higher dosages involve increased risk of adverse effects, overdosage, tolerance and dependence.

We can offer a few data about etizolam samples analyzed in our Service.

Between 1 Jan 2016 and 30 Jun 2019 we received 39 samples that revealed etizolam as unique component in drug checking process.

  • In 2016 (n:5) all samples were submitted as “etizolam”
  • In 2017 (n:9) : 5 samples were submitted as “etizolam”, 4 samples were submitted as “unknown substance”
  • In 2018 (n:8): 2 samples were sumbitted as “etizolam”, 2 as “diazepam”, 2 as “alprazolam” and 2 as “unknown”
  • In the first half of 2019 (n:9), 5 were submitted as “alprazolam”, 2 as “diazepam”, 1 as “flualprazolam” and 1 as LSD (in blotter form)

In samples were quantification was possible (n:10) the media was 81% , with a minimum of 55% and maximum of 97%. We have not detected combinations of etizolam and other substances.

Although our data are limited, they support the idea that etizolam is being used in sustitution of other benzodiacepines. 83% of samples checked from Jan 2018 to Jun 2019 (n:17) were purchased on cryptomarkets.

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