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Published 8 August 2011.

Bromo-DragonFly is a synthetic hallucinogen, also known as Bromo-DragonFLY, 3C-Bromo-Dragonfly, DOB-Dragonfly and Br-DF. It is named after its molecular structure, which has an attached bromine atom and resembles a dragonfly.

Bromo-DragonFly is a research chemical. Very little reliable data is available on it. It was first synthetised in 1998, when it was used to investigate the structure and activity of the brain’s serotonin receptors as part of animal studies. In Finland, Bromo-DragonFly was first intercepted in early 2007. It momentarily generated a lot of buzz on a variety of online drug forums, after which interest has waned. It appears that since the start of the 2010s it has seen an increase in popularity. In 2010, more than 7,600 doses of Bromo-DragonFly were confiscated by Finnish Customs.

Mechanism of action

Like other hallucinogenics, Bromo-DragonFly produces its affects via interactions with the serotonin system. The key to the effects is the serotonin receptors found in the central nervous system, particularly sub-type 2A. Bromo-DragonFly’s molecular structure is similar to other hallucinogenic compounds as well as amphetamine.

Bromo-DragonFly is sold on blotter sheets but also as pills and powder. It is difficult to estimate a standard dose as the concentrations available on the drug market appear to vary greatly. A common dose of one of the more potent forms of Bromo-DragonFly is 200400 micrograms. A high dose would be 500800 micrograms.

Bromo-DragonFly’s period of action is considerably longer than with other hallucinogenics. Onset occurs after 2090 minutes, peaking over the next few hours. The so-called plateau lasts for 612 hours after which the effects begin to wear off gradually. The total period of action is 1224 hours, sometimes extending to 36 hours and beyond.

Effects and side effects

Positive effects described by users include elevated mood, visual changes, high energy levels, improved associative powers and ego softening. Some have also reported anorexia and loss of vision. Adverse effects include short-term memory loss, confusion and muscle stiffness as well as disturbances in sleep and nausea. The visual disturbances increase the risk of accidents. Strongly negative experiences include phobias. The marked constriction of blood vessels associated with Bromo-DragonFly is also known to cause tissue necrosis in limbs. As Bromo-DragonFly acts via the body’s serotonin system, it can increase the risk of so-called serotonin syndrome. As little is known about this compound, life-changing side effects cannot be ruled out.

Ultimately, the effects of halluciogens are largely dependent to the users own frame of mind as well as the environment in which they are consuming the drug. The exact same compound in exactly the same dose can generate widely different effects. Mental and physical addiction may be a possibility but are thought to be unlikely. Tolerance will develop.

Many hallucinogens require a minimum dose measured in milligrams. However, Bromo-DragonFly is commonly administered in micrograms, which increases the overdose risk considerably. In the event of an overdose, the period of action may extend to several days and be accompanied by skin irritation, ego loss and head aches. The risk of life-changing side effects is also increased and Bromo-DragonFly has been associated with a number of deaths. Users have also reported being sold LSD which has turned out to be Bromo-DragonFly. There is no antidote for Bromo-DragonFly and only symptomatic treatment can be provided.

If you suspect an overdose, please dial 112.

Veli-Matti Surakka
Senior pharmacist



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