Death in Britain: “Ivory Wave” (MDPV) or Diabetic Ketoacidosis?

August 30, 2010, 1:06 pm

A long article in the Daily Mail (U.K.) this weekend described the death of a 35-year-old woman who had been snorting “Ivory Wave” for 10 months in an attempt to lose weight.  As TPR mentioned a week ago, “Ivory Wave” is a substance marketed as a “soothing bath salt”. Although ingredients are not listed on the package, the Leicester Mercury (U.K.) has reported “Ivory Wave” contains MDPV, a psychoactive stimulant that inhibits re-uptake of dopamine and norepinephrine without affecting serotonin.

Although the Daily Mail article is completely speculative and provides no real evidence concerning what drug the woman was using, the effects she experienced — paranoia, insomnia, tachycardia — are consistent with similar reports describing “Ivory Wave” abuse.  The cause of death, however, seems completely unclear.  Apparently, she was an insulin-dependent diabetic who became comatose and presented to hospital with abnormal glucose levels.  She remained comatose even after the glucose level was corrected, and developed cerebral edema.  This scenario can certainly also be seen in severe diabetic ketoacidosis alone.  A more detailed description of this case would be enormously interesting.

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