April 26, 2016: What is Bromo-DragonFly?

Bromo-DragonFLY is a potent hallucinogen first synthesized in the late 1990s. It is an analogue of amphetamine and is related to the phenethylamine family of drugs. It is a Schedule I controlled substance in the United States.


Why the name “DragonFly”?

The chemical structure of Bromo-DragonFLY has the appearance of a winged creature like a dragonfly.

The chemical 1-(8-BROMOBENZO[1,2-B; 4,5-B']DIFURAN-4-YL)-AMINOPROPANE has two furanyl rings with double bonds and an amphetamine arm. The R-Isomer of Bromo-DragonFLY is the more psychoactive isomer.




     http://tse1.mm.bing.net/th?&id=OIP.M878f0a478687cce0b9746d02357001a3o0&w=198&h=219&c=0&pid=1.9&rs=0&p=0       Kekulé, skeletal formula of bromo-DragonFLY (R)             https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/7/78/Packet_of_4BDF_powder.jpg


When it was first made?

It was synthesized in the late 1990s as an agent for doing research into the structure and activity of serotonin receptors in the brain.


How potent is it?

It is only slightly less potent than LSD and is 300 times as potent as mescaline. Its effects are much longer lasting. A typical dose of Bromo-DragonFLY is 0.2 to 1 mg. Anecdotal reports indicate this drug has a delayed onset of effects up to 6 hours after, and symptoms maybe prolonged for up-to 2 to 3 days.


How is it sold?

It is available as a powder, liquid and as ‘blotters’ similar to LSD.  



Bromo-DragonFLY has a high affinity for the 5-HT2A serotonin receptors, and is a potent hallucinogen. It is also an alpha-1 agonist, capable of causing intense peripheral vasoconstriction and end organ damage. Symptoms can include agitation, tachycardia, mydriasis, hallucinations, seizures, and limb ischemia. Several fatalities attributable to the use of Bromo-DragonFLY have been reported internationally, including incidents in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and the United States [2].



Supportive care is the mainstay of treatment. Treatment includes the use of Benzodiazepines, high doses maybe required to control severe agitation and seizures. The drug is not detected on routine toxicology screens, confirmation of the drug can be obtained by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry and thin layer chromatography.

Contact the Tennessee Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222 for treatment recommendations. 


References: The Poison Review, Emergency Medicine News, Erowid.


This Question prepared by:  Suparna Kumar, MD, CSPI  (Certified Specialist in Poison Information)  Tennessee Poison Center


We have had calls in the Poison Center about this drug.  Please call the Poison Center if you are caring for patients with this exposure so we can make the medical community aware of its presence./ds


I am interested in any questions you would like answered in the Question of the Week.  Please email me with any suggestion at donna.seger@vanderbilt.edu


Donna Seger, MD

Medical Director

Tennessee Poison Center


Poison Help Hotline: 1-800-222-1222