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Seemingly innocent medication such as Visine eyedrops are used by people to concoct a mixture with similar effects as a date-rape drug.
When mixed with alcohol and taken orally, the eyedrops can lead to drowsiness and can cause someone to pass out, confirmed Jaco Lotriet, Health24's pharmacist.
The trick to spike alcoholic drinks with eyedrops is apparently not a new one. In fact, it is a well-known trick and much cheaper than the use of other drugs often associated with date rape.
Visine contains the ingredient nafazoline, which suppresses the central nervous system. When the drops are mixed with alcohol, the body temperature drops, heart rate slows down and the person becomes sweaty and drowsy, and may even lose consciousness. In severe cases, intoxication with this mixture can lead to memory loss, coma, and even death.
"Visine does not have such a drastic effect," says Lotriet.
The active ingredient in these drops is phenylephrine which stimulates the sympathetic nervous system in the same way as adrenalin or noradrenalin. When mixed with alcohol and ingested orally, the drug can result in hallucinations, dizziness and fainting.
The anti-allergic version of Visine also contains Mepyramine Maleate, an anti-histamine which could lead to drowsiness.
The quantities of the active ingredients in eye drops are however very small and one needs to use a huge amount to lose consciousness.
Once a person recovers, he or she may struggle to remember events that occurred while intoxicated Ė similar to the blackouts that can result from excessive alcohol consumption.
"But some people are affected even more adversely. Adolescents and young adults are more sensitive to the effects and are more adversely affected than adults," Lotriet says.
Saturday, May 23rd 2009 at 9:51AM
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Sister, I think itís great that youíve blogged about this, there was a news story about a man who had been raping a woman and four children, all relatives of his, by adding Visine to their drinks.
Iím not sure how knowing that Visine can be used as a date-rape drug will help anyone protect themselves more. I think itís more important to put emphasis on the fact that people ought to be vigilant and never leave drinks unattended regardless of how easily available various drugs are.
Thursday, December 19th 2013 at 7:07PM
Truth B. Told
Institute study: Visine as a date-rape drug
Study identifies overdose level for Visine as a date-rape drug
Mary Carr, MD
Tetrahydrozoline eye drops, sold under the brand name Visine, have been implicated as a "date-rape drug." However, up until Mary Carrís internal-grant funded study, "Tetrahydrozoline (Visine) Concentrations in Serum and Urine During Therapeutic Ocular Dosing: A Necessary First Step in Determining an Overdose," no studies had been done to establish concentrations of the drug when used according to manufacturer recommendations.
To establish parameters that could be used in court in Visine-associated rape cases, Carr, an emergency medicine physician at Regions Hospital, and colleagues placed two drops of Visineís original formula into the eyes of 10 healthy volunteers and repeated the dosing at 4, 8 and 12 hours. Blood and urine samples were collected 2, 5, 9, 13 and 24 hours after application and analyzed for concentrations of tetrahydrozoline.
The drug was detectable in both serum and urine after administration. Absorption varied among subjects. At 24 hours, all patients still had detectable urine levels of tetrahydrozoline.
The results established that, when used as intended on the label, tetrahydrozoline was detectable in both serum and urine up to 12 hours after the last dose. A level greatly exceeding that amount would suggest intentional use as a date-rape drug or accidental ingestion.
When used as a date rape drug, tetrahydrozoline is often surreptitiously placed in a victimís drink. It takes just one small bottle to sedate an adult, rendering them less able to resist assault. Visine is an over- the-counter medication that many people carry in their pocket, so it is rarely viewed as a potential weapon.
Thanks to this study, itís possible to determine whether the concentration of tetrahydrozoline in a victimís serum and urine is consistent with routine use of the medication or whether an intentional or unintentional overdose occurred. The study was published in the November 2011 issue of the Journal of Clinical Toxicology. Carrís co-investigators were Kristin Engebretsen, PharmD; Benjamin Ho, MD; and Chris Anderson, MPH.
Friday, June 20th 2014 at 5:46PM
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