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Emergency department presentations in determining the effectiveness of drug control in the United Kingdom: mephedrone (4-methylmethcathinone) control appears to be effective using this model
  1. David M Wood1,2,
  2. Shaun L Greene1,
  3. Paul I Dargan1,2
  1. 1Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust and King's Health Partners, London, UK
  2. 2King's College London, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr David M Wood, Medical Toxicology Office, 2nd Floor, Bermondsey Wing, Guy's Hospital, Great Maze Pond, London SE1 9RT, UK; david.wood{at}


Mephedrone (4-methylmethcathinone) and related cathinones were controlled in the United Kingdom on 16 April 2010. An analysis of presentations to the emergency department of patients with acute toxicity related to the use of mephedrone demonstrated that there was a peak in presentations prior to and a significant fall in presentations following the control of mephedrone. This suggests that the control of mephedrone in the United Kingdom may have been effective in reducing the acute harm associated with the drug.

  • Mephedrone
  • 4-methylmethcathinone
  • acute toxicity
  • legislation
  • drug control
  • toxicology
  • acute medicine—other
  • toxicology
  • deliberate self
  • overdose
  • poisoning

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Ethics approval Ethics approval, provided by data collected from the emergency department notes in the clinical toxicology database used for this study, has been reviewed by the Caldicott Guardian on two occasions (the last review was in 2010) to ensure that it is appropriate and compliant.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.