Nike-branded MDMA pills are linked to increased hospitalisations

Health authorities have issued an urgent warning against buying orange “Nike-tick” MDMA pills after a number of hospitalisations.

The Victorian Department of Health issued the warning on Tuesday

The pills in question have been found to contain a toxic combination of MDMA and the stimulant Pentylone.

The substance produces similar effects to stimulants like MDMA and methamphetamine but are more potent with even small amounts able to produce strong effects.

Pentylone – like other synthetic cathinones- often causes a more mild euphoric or psychedelic effect and wears off faster than that of MDMA.

Camera IconOrange MDMA pill branded with a “Nike-tick” have been linked to increased hospitalisations. Supplied Credit: NCA NewsWire

This often leads users to take more in a shorter period of time and increasing the risk of toxic effects.

Symptoms of high dosage of synthetic cathinones can lead to long periods of sleeplessness, muscle twitching, increased risk of agitation, paranoia and hallucinations, and toxic effects such as overheating and heart problems.

The sale of these MDMA and pentylone combined pills has led to a rise in emergency department admissions with blood tests showing synthetic cathinones in the system.

Synthetic cathinones may appear as crystals, powders, tablets or capsules.

Health authorities have warned that taking cathinones with psychedelics like LSD (acid) can also increase the risk of dysphoria (bad trip), agitation, and behavioural disturbances that place people at immediate risk.

They can also interact with a range of medications, including those used to treat depression and anxiety such as SSRIs, SNRIs and TCAs.

How to avoid getting into trouble (from the VIC Department of Health)

  • If you experience adverse drug effects, or are present when someone has an unexpected reaction, seek help immediately by calling triple-0 (000).
  • Be aware that other false or contaminated drug products may circulate in Victoria, even if no specific warning has been issued about them.
  • Make sure you’re in a safe environment with people you trust.
  • Remember, even ‘pure’ drugs can produce serious side effects and death, and can interact dangerously with medications/pharmaceutical drugs.
  • Contact Harm Reduction Victoria’s DanceWize team for anonymous support and education from peers.

If you or someone you know needs help with alcohol or drug use, call DirectLine on 1800 888 236 or visit Directline for information and support to access treatment.

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