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Fatalities / Deaths
by Erowid
MDPV is a very new substance that was been wrongly blamed for causing "zombie-like" effects in 2012 news stories. Although little is known about its long term health risks, it is a strong and potent euphoric stimulant. It is likely that high doses could be extremely dangerous for those with heart conditions. Some people use stimulants to skip sleep periods, staying awake for days at a time, leading to dangerous or inappopropriate decision making.

If you know of a confirmed fatality that is not listed on this page, please let us know.

Pharmacological fatalities are those deaths caused by the direct action of a plant or drug in the body, not including deaths caused by accidents or as a result of inebriated behavior.

Incident: June 2013, Christopher Tsacoyeanes, 28 Year Old Male #
Vermonth Department of Health. "Vermont's First Confirmed "Bath Salts" Death". Vermont Department of Health. July 31, 2013.
Clarendon, VT --On June 23, at approximately 10:00 AM, the Rutland Barracks was contacted regarding an unattended death in Clarendon, Vermont. Detectives from the Vermont State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation were called to investigate.

On July 30, the Chief Medical Examiner determined the cause of death to be acute intoxication due to compounds MDPV, Alpha-PVP, and Pentylone, commonly known as bath salts. The manner of death was determined to be an accident (substance abuse).

Incident: April 2013, Tonia M. Whitehead. #
On April 26, 2011, 28-year-old Tonia M. Whitehead died in Alton, Illinois after being found unresponsive at her home. Toxicology testing found MDPV and cannabis in her system. The coroner ruled her death accidental due to "acute MDPV intoxication". "Madison County coroner closes four cases". Madison County, IL, USA. Feb 11, 2013.
Whitehead was pronounced dead at Alton Memorial Hospital on April 27, 2011, after being found unresponsive and not breathing at her home. In addition to MDPV, toxicology testing also revealed the presence of marijuana metabolites.
Incident: 2012 Anonymous, 39 year old male. #
A 39-year-old man died after using MDPV. Toxicology findings were written up in this journal article.

Wyman JF, Lavins ES, Engelhart D, et al. "Postmortem Tissue Distribution of MDPV Following Lethal Intoxication by 'Bath Salts'". J Anal Toxicol. Feb 18, 2013.
MDPV was uniformly distributed among multiple tissues (blood, brain, muscle, cerebrospinal fluid and lung) at concentrations of approximately 0.4 to 0.6 µg/mL. Tissue and fluids responsible for detoxification/excretion had higher concentrations of MDPV (kidney, liver and bile > 0.8 µg/mL). A blood concentration >/= 0.4 µg/mL was judged sufficient to cause death.
Incident: 2011, Anonymous, 40 year old male. #
Murray BL, Murphy CM, Beuhler MC. "Death following recreational use of designer drug 'bath salts' containing 3,4-Methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV)". J Med Toxicol. Mar 2, 2012;8(1):69-75.
We report the case of a 40-year-old male who injected and snorted "bath salts" containing MDPV and subsequently became agitated, aggressive, and experienced a cardiac arrest. He was resuscitated after his initial arrest; however, he developed hyperthermia, rhabdomyolysis, coagulopathy, acidosis, anoxic brain injury, and subsequently died.

This is the first case in the medical literature to report death due to isolated confirmed MDPV intoxication. The manner of death is also consistent with excited delirium syndrome.
No identified behavioral fatalities, although their existence seems likely.

None known. (unconfirmed)

None known. (unconfirmed)

LD50 #
It is extremely difficult to determine an LD50 for a drug in humans. LD50s are only ever experimentally determined in animals, and extrapolations from one species to another for lethal dose are notoriously unreliable.