, Volume 207, Issue 3, pp 439-446

Determining the subjective and physiological effects of BZP on human females

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Abstract

Background

“Party pills” containing benzylpiperazine (BZP) used to be widely and legally available as recreational drugs in New Zealand. There are only two published trials on human subjects (1973), which suggested that 100 mg of BZP produced subjective and physiological effects similar to 10 mg of dexamphetamine. The purpose of this study is to further investigate the subjective and physiological responses to BZP in females.

Methods/study design

In a randomised, double blind, placebo-controlled study, the subjective and physiological effects of BZP were investigated in 27 healthy, right-handed non-smoking females (mean age 22 ± 3 years). Two groups were tested before and approximately 120 minutes after administration of a single oral dose of either 200 mg BZP (n = 14) or placebo (n = 13). Participants were required to comment on the subjective effects of BZP using three rating scales—the Addiction Centre for Research Inventory, the Profile of Mood States and the Visual Analogue Scale. Participants’ blood pressure, heart rate and temperature were also measured.

Results/findings

Statistical analysis using a split-plot analysis of variance and t tests revealed that BZP significantly increases blood pressure and heart rate (p < 0.05) Likewise, the subjective reports revealed that BZP has significant stimulant effects, increases euphoria and dysphoria and increases sociability and drug liking (p < 0.05).

Discussion/interpretation

Physiological and subjective data reflected a clear similarity between the effects of BZP and those of other commonly known stimulants such as amphetamine and 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine.