Addictive Potential: Medium
Emergency Room Visits Yearly: Unknown
Mandatory Minimum Sentence: Unknown
Mechanism of Action: GABA (B) agonist; GHB receptor agonist
1,4-Butanediol is also referred to as 1,4-BD and BD. It is a colorless, viscous, and nearly odorless liquid. 1,4-Butanediol is a CNS depressant with two types of pharmacological actions. The major psychoactive effects of 1,4-butanediol are due to its metabolic conversion to GHB in the body; however, Poldrugo and Snead (1984) suggested that 1,4-butanediol may have potential alcohol-like pharmacological effects that are not due to this conversion.
|Mandelin Reagent||Marquis Reagent|
(Info provided by SWG, 2005)
Do not use 1,4-Butanediol with alcohol. Ingesting 1,4-butanediol in combination with ethanol may increase the risk of death or renal and hepatic damage. 1,4-butanediol also potentiates the effects of ethanol. Plus, through the competitive inhibition of alcohol dehydrogenase, ethanol often delays the effects of 1,4-butanediol (Zvosec et al., 2001).
1,4-Butanediol can be physically addictive and may result in psychological addiction. Around-the-clock ingestion with short dosing intervals appear to be necessary for the development of addiction. Zvosec et al. (2001) explained that the symptoms of 1,4-Butanediol withdrawal include “anxiety, confusion, tremor, mild tachycardia and hypertension, agitation, insomnia, delirium, delusions, and auditory, visual, and tactile hallucinations.”
Side Effects & Adverse Reactions:
Central nervous system effects have been reported following oral dosing at 25 mg/kg body weight. More significant negative effects occur at higher doses (NICNAS, 2014). Numerous case reports describe the negative effects of ingesting 1,4-butanediol. According to Zvosec et al. (2001), these negative effects include:
- loss of consciousness
- fecal incontinence
Remember, although some people are willing to ingest 1,4-Butanediol, it is unreasonable to assume that it is in any way safe to use recreationally.
- Acute toxicity and withdrawal syndromes related to gamma‐hydroxybutyrate (GHB) and its analogues gamma‐butyrolactone (GBL) and 1, 4‐butanediol (1, 4‐BD)
Deaths & Overdoses:
- Adverse events, including death, associated with the use of 1, 4-butanediol
- New Zealand’s first fatality linked to use of 1, 4-butanediol
- Fatalities associated with the use of gamma-hydroxybutyrate and its analogues in Australasia
- 1,4 Butanediol, γ-hydroxybutyric acid and ethanol: Relationships and interactions
- Gamma-butyrolactone and 1,4-butanediol: abused analogues of gamma-hydroxybutyrate
- Clinical pharmacology of 1, 4-butanediol and gamma-hydroxybutyrate after oral 1, 4-butanedioladministration to healthy volunteers
- Intoxication due to 1, 4-butanediol
- Drug-facilitated sexual assault (‘date rape’)