New psychoactive substances (NPS) escape routine drug testing: a case report of phenibut

Torben Breindahl, Peter Hindersson, Andreas Kimergård

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Phenibut (β − phenyl − γ−aminobutyric acid) is licensed for use as a medicine in countries outside of the European Union (EU), but has also been sold as a “food supplement” from online shops to the general public in the EU. We present a case of phenibut use in a 25-year-old female undergoing alcohol and drug addiction treatment. She reported using phenibut, which she had purchased readily over the internet as a “food supplement.” Our clinical laboratory located in a hospital in the same region received urine samples for analysis which confirmed ingestion of phenibut. Identifying and responding to new psychoactive substances (NPS) emerging on the drug markets poses a challenge to clinical and forensic drug testing. A comprehensive laboratory analysis approach can identify the use of multiple NPS, including those used as medicines, offering beneficial opportunities for drug treatment services and clinical laboratories to work together.

Original languageEnglish
JournalToxicology Communications
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)55-58
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jul 2020


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