Nephrotoxicity of recreational party drugs

Linda Berney-Meyer, Tracey Putt, John Schollum, Robert Walker

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


N-benzylpiperazine (BZP) is the active ingredient in recreational 'party' pills with a stimulant, euphoric mechanism of action akin to that of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA or ecstasy). Many people (ab)use BZP-based party pills usually without any significant toxic effects. However, nephrotoxicity secondary to hyperthermia and rhabdomyolysis has been reported. Another serious renal-related side-effect is hyponatraemia with acute cerebral oedema. There is also evidence that these agents may have a specific toxic effect producing acute kidney injury. Thus, acute kidney injury either direct or secondary to the effects of BZP or MDMA need to be considered when any individual presents with symptoms of a recreational party drug overdose. N-benzylpiperazine (BZP) is a popular recreational party drug. There is a potential for acute kidney injury, and this needs to be considered when any individual presents with symptoms of recreational drug overdose with 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) and/or BZP components.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)99-103
Number of pages5
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • N-benzylpiperazine
  • acute kidney injury
  • nephrotoxicity
  • recreational drug

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology


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