Volume 22, Issue 1 (January 1977)
Intravenous Abuse of Propylhexedrine
The Benzedrex® nasal inhaler is an over-the-counter device used for the symptomatic treatment of nasal congestion resulting from head colds and hay fever. The active ingredient is propylhexedrine, a local vasoconstrictor. While only two deaths due to propylhexedrine are in the medical literature , abuse of the drug occurs with greater frequency than realized. Since 1974, the Dallas County Criminal Investigation Laboratory has detected propylhexedrine in syringes in twelve cases submitted by local police agencies. In a recent six-month period, the Office of the Medical Examiner for Dallas County has encountered three deaths resulting from intravenous injection of propylhexedrine as well as two deaths from other causes in which the deceased had been injecting this drug. Two of the individuals dying of propylhexedrine abuse showed vascular changes in the lungs, apparently caused by chronic intravenous injection of this drug.