Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
Case Reports
, 13 (4), 337-9

Intravenous Abuse of Propylhexedrine (Benzedrex) and the Risk of Brainstem Dysfunction in Young Adults

Case Reports

Intravenous Abuse of Propylhexedrine (Benzedrex) and the Risk of Brainstem Dysfunction in Young Adults

L Fornazzari et al. Can J Neurol Sci.

Abstract

In 1949, amphetamine sulfate was replaced by propylhexedrine in the nasal decongestant agent Benzedrex because of psychosis, sudden death, and widespread abuse. Propylhexedrine is not without risks, and reported cases of psychosis, myocardial infarction, pulmonary vascular disease and pulmonary hypertension, and sudden death are well documented in the medical literature. We are reporting 2 cases of definite brainstem dysfunction and 5 cases of transient diplopia secondary to IV abuse of Benzedrex. This widely abused drug is prepared by heating Benzedrex and hydrochloric acid, and the resulting crystals are dissolved in water for injection. This agent is called "stove-top speed". All 7 patients had transient diplopia, within seconds after injection. One patient had evidence of a right-internuclear ophthalmoplegia, and another had a depressed right gag reflex and paralysis of the right half of the tongue. The deficits in these two patients, persisted for many months. In young adults with history of drug abuse, the IV use of Benzedrex should be considered in the differential diagnosis of transient or permanent focal brainstem deficits.

Similar articles

  • Propylhexedrine: A Vintage Drug of Abuse, Rediscovered
    P Fernandez Julia et al. J Psychoactive Drugs 44 (3), 277-9. PMID 23061329. - Case Reports
    In 1949, propylhexedrine replaced amphetamine sulfate as the active ingredient in over the counter Benzedrex due to reports of widespread abuse, psychosis and sudden deat …
  • Intravenous Prophylhexedrine (Benzedrex®) Abuse and Sudden Death
    RJ Anderson et al. Am J Med 67 (1), 15-20. PMID 37732. - Case Reports
    Propylhexedrine was implicated in 15 deaths investigated by the Dallas County Medical Examiner since 1973. Twelve of the deaths were attributable to intravenous abuse of …
  • Intravenous Abuse of Propylhexedrine
    VJ DiMaio et al. J Forensic Sci 22 (1), 152-8. PMID 45496. - Case Reports
    Propylhexedrine, a local vasoconstrictor, is the active ingredient in the Benzedrex nasal inhaler. In a six-month period, the Office of the Medical Examiner of Dallas Cou …
  • Medical Complications of Glue Sniffing
    R Meadows et al. South Med J 89 (5), 455-62. PMID 8638168. - Review
    Glue sniffing refers to the deliberate inhalation of volatile solvents, commonly found in adhesives, for the purpose of intoxication. The increasing prevalence of inhalan …
  • Paresis of Cranial Nerves III, IV, and VI: Clinical Manifestation and Differential Diagnosis
    TJ Carlow. Bull Soc Belge Ophtalmol 237, 285-301. PMID 2486113. - Review
    Successful identification of the cranial nerve and ocular muscle responsible for a subjective complaint of diplopia requires an evaluation of the type and character of th …
See all similar articles

Cited by 1 PubMed Central articles

Publication types

LinkOut - more resources

Feedback