Saturday, May 6, 2017

What's the Deal With: Benzedrex?

Update 7/28/2021:  Earlier this year, the FDA announced that Benzedrex is a danger to public health & advised the manufacturer to alter the product to make it more tamper resistant due to an increase in calls to poison control centers & emergency room visits.  If you want this substance to remain legal & accessible in its current state, PLEASE read on & follow the tips here to avoid hurting yourself & contributing to a ban.  

If you don't know what Benzedrex is, you're not alone.  This innocuous-looking inhaler sits among the cold medicines and nasal sprays at CVS and other pharmacies, rarely drawing attention to itself.  It sells for $5-$8 a pop and is used to treat nasal congestion.  Or at least, that's its intended use.  (Evil laugh). 

The other use for Benzedrex--active ingredient propylhexedrine--is to ingest it orally as a form of over-the-counter speed.  An online search for "Benzedrex high" reveals a mixed bag of results ranging from glowing reviews to horror stories.  Having used these bad boys for several years myself, I thought I'd share my tips to help you get the most out of your Benzedrex experience.  I'll begin with a list of "Don'ts" for all you impulsive blokes & lasses out there. 

1.)  Firstly, do not mess with this drug if you have hypertension or other serious heart problems.  It constricts blood vessels more than most stimulants, which can raise blood pressure and heart rate severely.  Taking a low dose and avoiding exercise or other stimulants can help offset this effect, but this drug is definitely not safe for everyone.  And this next bit is absolutely vital, so I'm going to yell it:


It could kill you.  In fact, it's likely to kill you even on the first try.  That's because Benzedrex induces brainstem dysfunction & other serious problems when injected.  The vast majority of Benzedrex deaths have happened in injection users.  It's not known exactly why injecting this drug is so deadly, but it just is.  So do not.

3.)  Next, do not eat the cotton.  It could cause a bowel obstruction and generally increases side effects like cramping and nausea.  And it's totally unnecessary.  The cotton is just a medium that carries the good stuff, not a part of the drug itself.  

4.)  Finally, do not take the whole inhaler at once.  I don't know who decided 1 inhaler = 1 dose but this is faulty logic.  Back when propylhexedrine was prescribed as a weight loss drug (Eventin) or seizure medication ingredient (Barbexaclone), doses hovered around 25mg, not the 250mg in a Benzedrex inhaler.  Start low & go slow until you know how it affects you.  Taking too much can result in hypertensive headache, projectile vomiting, stomach cramping, heart palpitations and sheer panic.  Or worse.  Overdose is the cause of most bad trips on this substance.  

If you avoid those 4 major no-nos, you should be fine.  Now here's my personal preparation method for consuming Benzedrex.  You can alter this as needed once you have some experience.

Image result for benzedrex ad
Vintage Benny ad


- Open inhaler.  Remove cotton rod and cut in half, putting one half in about 2 cups of water.  Put the remaining half of cotton back in the inhaler, reassemble & store for later.  (Screw lid on tight so the active ingredients don't evaporate).

- Swirl, shake or stir the cotton rod around in the water to disperse the good stuff.  Leave the cotton in.  You can add lemon or lime juice to help with extraction if you wish, but in my experience it's unnecessary.  The propylhexedrine is in freebase form so it leeches out into plain water just fine if shaken/stirred vigorously enough.

- Sip gradually, drinking only about 1/4th of the total water in one setting.  You can start sipping right away--there's no need to wait after adding the cotton to water.  After drinking it down, wait ~45 minutes for effects to take hold (they don't kick in right away).  You may even feel slightly sedated as the serotonergic effects set in.  

- After 45 minutes, if you don't feel sufficiently stimulated, drink roughly half the amount of your previous dose.  Wait another 20 minutes and see how you feel.  (Repeat until you achieve desired effects, putting ~20 minutes between each new dose).  

- Store in refrigerator when done.

- As you drink down the solution, you can add a little more water to help extract all the medicine from the cotton.  I do this to the same cotton for about a week or so until it's fully spent.  Your solution will begin to smell & taste weak as it loses potency.  You can throw in the other half of the cotton after 3 days or so and repeat.  

(After you get a feel for how you react to Benzedrex, you won't have to time the doses so carefully but it's a good idea to be extra cautious at first.  You can always take more but you can't take less once you've overdosed.  If you start feeling uncomfortably stimulated but don't think you've actually overdosed, try taking a benzodiazepine & doing some deep breathing.  However, if you have an underlying health condition or have accidentally ingested a large dose, seek emergency help right away).  


Additional Tips:

* If you're tempted to do a complicated extraction & smoke this drug, you should probably just go buy real drugs.  Not enough is known about how it affects the lungs to safely recommend smoking it.

* Leave the cotton rod in the water for as long as you keep the solution.  You can take it out and squeeze it when it's on its last leg for maximum mileage but throwing it away prematurely is a waste.

* If the taste bothers you, hold your breath while you swallow and chase it with soda or another strong flavored drink.

* Many people report "lavender burps" due to the lavender and menthol in the inhaler.  Taking an antacid with your dose might help prevent or lessen this effect.

* Don't combine Benzedrex with other stimulants (including caffeine) or strenuous physical activity to avoid heart problems & overheating.  

* The long-term effects of taking propylhexedrine orally are not known.  If you have the option, opt for safer alternatives like prescription Adderall or Ritalin instead.  

* Never drive or engage in other potentially dangerous activities under the influence of Benzedrex.  


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  1. a proud product of DARE indeed! were i into up... thx

  2. Haha, that D.A.R.E. lion must be so proud of us ;)


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