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Case Report, Dec/22:Clonazolam Intoxication: Danger of Designer Benzodiazepines


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The full title of this American case report is "Clonazolam Intoxication Case Report: Danger of Designer Benzodiazepines".






Clonazolam is a derivative of the Xanax active ingredient, alprazolam. Classified as a designer benzodiazepine, clonazolam availability has been rising because of its circulation on illegal internet drug markets and marginal cost in comparison to its parent analogs. Clonazolam's accessibility encourages abuse prevalence and use of designer benzodiazepines. In our case, a 14-year-old male was found unresponsive the morning after ingesting multiple tablets believed to be Xanax. Toxicology testing indicated 140 ng/mL of 8-aminoclonazolam, a clonazolam metabolite, in the decedent's system. Alprazolam was not identified. Pathological analysis determined cerebral and respiratory depression to be the mechanism of death, resulting from acute clonazolam intoxication. This case presents the first death induced by clonazolam alone. Current literature identifies a gap in designer benzodiazepine confirmatory testing and a lack of awareness within the forensic and medical communities. Knowledge of designer benzodiazepines is needed to better understand their potency and to help prevent future intoxications. We present this case to aid in the recognition of novel benzodiazepines by medical examiners and coroners, to encourage their consideration in suspected Xanax and other substance related investigations, and to be aware of the capabilities of toxicological testing to improve novel benzodiazepine identification and subsequent interpretation.

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