NBOMe: New potent hallucinogens-pharmacology, analytical methods, toxicities, fatalities: A review

C. Kyriakou, E. Marinelli, P. Frati, A. Santurro, M. Afxentiou, S. Zaami, Francesco Paolo Busardo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


OBJECTIVE: NBOMe is a class of emerging new psychoactive substances that has recently gained prominence in the drug abuse market. NBOMes are N-2-methoxy-benzyl substituted 2C class of hallucinogens, currently being marked online as "research chemicals" under various names: N-bomb, Smiles, Solaris, and Cimbi. This article reviews available literature on the pharmacology; the analytical methods currently used for the detection and quantification of NBOMe in biological matrices and blotters, together with intoxication cases and NBOMe-related fatalities. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Relevant scientific articles were identified from Medline, Cochrane Central, Scopus,Web of Science, Science Direct, EMBASE and Google Scholar, through June 2015 using the following keywords: "NBOMe", "Nbomb", "Smiles", "intoxication", "toxicity" "fatalities", "death", "pharmacology", "5-HT2A receptor", "analysis" and "analytical methods". The main key word "NBOMe" was individually searched in association to each of the others. RESULTS: The review of the literature allowed us to identify 43 citations on pharmacology, analytical methods and NBOMe-related toxicities and fatalities. CONCLUSIONS: The high potency of NBOMes (potent agonists of 5-HT2A receptor) has led to several severe intoxications, overdose and traumatic fatalities; thus, their increase raises significant public health concerns. Moreover, due to the high potency and ease of synthesis, it is likely that their recreational use will become more widespread in the future. The publication of new data, case reports and evaluation of the NBOMes metabolites is necessary in order to improve knowledge and awareness within the forensic community.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3270-3281
Number of pages12
JournalEuropean Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - 2015



  • Analytical methods
  • Fatalities
  • Intoxication
  • N-Bomb
  • NBOMe
  • Pharmacology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Pharmacology (medical)

Cite this

Kyriakou, C., Marinelli, E., Frati, P., Santurro, A., Afxentiou, M., Zaami, S., & Busardo, F. P. (2015). NBOMe: New potent hallucinogens-pharmacology, analytical methods, toxicities, fatalities: A review. European Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences, 19(17), 3270-3281.