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AN ingredient found in ecstasy [...].

AN ingredient found in ecstasy pills can cause serious liver and kidney damage, researchers say. The compound, known as benzylpiperazine (BZP), is toxic to the body's cells, according to the first study of its kind. BZP has replaced MDMA as the main ingredient in ecstasy tablets, though it does not produce the same intense feeling of euphoria. But in terms of toxicity, researchers found that BZP can cause serious damage.

Scientists at Anglia Ruskin University analysed the most serious effects of BZP and other compounds in a class known as piperazines. Cells derived from the liver and kidney were exposed to BZP at concentrations which reflected a dose for a user of the drug. The results showed that BZP itself was toxic to the kidney and its starting material, piperazine hexahydrate, was toxic to the liver.

Researcher Prof Mike Cole said: "Mixtures of drugs and impurities, synthesised to reflect street samples, produced a variety of toxic effects depending upon the composition of the mixture."
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:May 9, 2011
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