Molly’s Plant Food is a synthetic hallucinogenic amphetamine marketed as a “plant food” that contains ingredients that produce highs similar to Ecstasy. Molly’s Plant Food is usually purchased at a convenience store and is packaged in a capsule form with a cost of $8-$12 per capsule. The product label warns “not for human consumption”; however it is packaged in a psychedelic colored wrapper and several Internet web sites and chat rooms refer to the product as “legal ecstasy”. The active ingredient is mephedrone, which is not a scheduled (DEA) drug, therefore making it legal.
Over the past six months, The Tennessee Poison Control Center has received an increasing number of calls from emergency departments regarding symptomatic patients who have ingested or snorted Molly’s Plant Food. Clinical effects include euphoria, anxiety, paranoia, agitation, tachycardia, hypertension, delusions, diaphoresis, and weight loss. The treatment is supportive with intravenous fluids and benzodiazepines. Signs and symptoms have lasted an average of 24-48 hours.
This past week brought good news. Under an emergency court order sought by the Tennessee Agriculture Commissioner and the Attorney General, sheriff narcotic detectives have been removing the products from convenience stores in Rutherford County. Since Molly’s Plant Food is titled a “plant food”, it must be registered with the state as a fertilizer (the purported use of Molly’s Plant Food) and clearly list its ingredients. Molly’s Plant Food has neither been registered nor are the ingredients listed on the package.
This question prepared by Marilyn Weber, CSPI, MSN, RN Tennessee Poison Control Center
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Donna Seger, MD
Tennessee Poison Center
Poison Help Hotline: 1-800-222-1222