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Brorphine is a piperidine-based opioid analgesic compound. The chemical structure of brorphine (IUPAC chemical name: 3- {1- [1-
(4-bromophenyl) ethyl] piperidin-4-yl} -1H-benzimidazol-2-one) is similar to that of bezitramide, an opioid listed in Schedule I of the 1961 Convention. Brorphine free base has been described as a white or off-white solid and the hydrochloride salt as a neat solid, with seized samples described as white, yellowish, grey, purple or white powder or in crystal form. It is also found in tablets and capsules as falsified opioid medicines. It is reported to be used by oral, inhalation and intravenous (iv) routes of administration.

Brorphine is not an approved pharmaceutical product and is not approved for medical use anywhere in the world.

The identification of brorphine on the illicit drug market has been reported in the United States, Canada, Belgium, and Sweden. Data obtained from preclinical pharmacology studies show that brorphine has a pharmacological profile similar to that of other potent opioids such as morphine and fentanyl, schedule II controlled substances. Because of the pharmacological similarities between brorphine and other potent opioids, the use of brorphine presents a high risk of abuse and may negatively affect users and their communities. The positive identification of this substance in law enforcement seizures and post-mortem toxicology reports is a serious concern to the public safety. The abuse of brorphine has been associated with at least seven fatalities between June and July 2020 in the United States. Thus, brorphine poses an imminent hazard to public safety.

Brorphine has been encountered by United States law enforcement in powder form. In the United States, brorphine has been identified as a single substance and in combination with other substances.  In several encounters, brorphine was found in combination with heroin (a schedule I substance) and fentanyl (a schedule II substance).

In reports from the Northeastern Illinois Regional Crime Laboratory, suspected heroin/fentanyl powders were analyzed and found to be brorphine in combination with flualprazolam, a non-scheduled benzodiazepine, and diphenhydramine, an over-the-counter antihistamine.


February of 2021 DEA Temporary Placement of Brorphine in Schedule I

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