Kailene Pillay
1 minute read
15 Apr 2016
10:30

No antidote yet for killer drug’s special ingredient

Kailene Pillay

The mystery drug that has killed almost a dozen people in KZN and left scores of others in hospital is so new on the market that an antidote is yet to be created.

Pietermaritzburg – The mystery drug that has killed almost a dozen people in KZN and left scores of others in hospital is so new on the market that an antidote is yet to be created.

This week, after the drug was analysed, police named N-Ethylpentylone as the special ingredient used in the drug with the street names “Mercedes”, “Mitsubishi” and “Lacoste”.

A police task force was formed to deal with the scourge of the pill when it surfaced recently. Police confirmed that at least four people died in Pietermaritzburg after taking the drug, as well as one person in Isipingo and four more in KwaMashu. More than 20 people were admitted to Edendale Hospital after consuming the pill over a weekend last month, when the drug first started spreading across the province.

Netcare St Anne’s pharmacist Charldon Jacobs said the ingredient N-Ethylpentylone is not commonly seen or used.

“Because of it being so new there is no specific antidote for overdose with it and no specific treatment, however, it is treated in a similar way as cocaine overdose,” said Jacobs.

He said the N-Ethylpentylone is a stimulant of the brain and is misused for its euphoric effect and increased sex drive.

“It affects heart function and increases heart rate and blood pressure, which can lead to increased body temperature. Over time it causes damage to muscle and causes weakness,” he said.

Jacobs said the ingredient could cause serious damage to the brain, heart and muscle. “It is very easy to overdose.”